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Op Shops and Thrift Stores - Social Enterprise Directions
Melbourne, 12 April 2006
9.30am - 4.00pm

Op shops are an Australian tradition. They've developed as retail outlets for a wide range of organisations, usually combining three, sometimes four, different purposes: 

  • Income generation for their host cause or organisation

  • Low cost goods distribution for low income communities

  • Recycling outlets for re-usable goods

  • Communications outlets and community presence for host organisations

In recent years, two trends have emerged. Not-for-profit organisations have been regularly reassessing the value of their op shops in light of alternative strategies for achieving some of these purposes. And for-profit commercial organisations have begun moving into the market for low-cost re-usable items.

The result is a crisis of identity and purpose for many organisations and groups running op shops and thrift stores.

This forum will bring together people running these ventures to exchange ideas and experiences, and to explore perspectives on these issues of identity and purpose. We will also explore possible areas of collaboration. 

We are also interested in individuals and groups who are considering setting up operations like these to explore ways of getting started and succeeding without having to re-invent the wheel. 

Who Should Attend?
  • Managers and staff of community op shops and thrift stores

  • Service organisations and institutions that run stores

  • Social enterprises seeking retail outlets for their products

  • Resource recovery ventures seeking new retail outlets

  • People wanting to set up op shops and thrift stores for social and fundraising purposes

  • Philanthropists and social investors wishing to establish relationships in this sector

The forum will explore possible areas of collaboration including:
  • group sourcing of goods

  • group processing of goods

  • shared business services

  • group training 

Date and Time

Wednesday 12 April 2006, 9.30am - 4.00pm

Attendance Fees (Cost includes GST)
TYPE OF PARTICIPANT  Member Non-member

Unfunded individuals, families $22 $33

Unfunded groups   $44 $55

Funded community organisations $143 $165

Funders and social investors   $143 $165

Private sector organisations, consultants  $165 $187

Public sector organisations, Government  $176 $198


CLICK HERE to register

Further information

Contact Vern Hughes 
03 9326 4481





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