Go to Top

Housing Works Shops

Challenge

Housing Works' thirteen high-end second-hand shops account for one-third of the non-profit's total revenues; 88 percent of which go directly to services for its clients. The shops represent a large percent of income to fund the company, the goal was to maintain and grow that in a tough economy. The shops were considered trendy and were popular although inventory management and higher-end brands were not consistently donated for resale. The organization was interested in growing its business both in terms of higher-end merchandise and store locations. A primary concern was how not to cannibalize existing store sales with the addition of new neighborhood stores located in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Solution:

RVA set about updating Housing Works by launching a better digital presence, developing a real estate strategy that ensured no cannibalization from “sister” stores, creating a new prototype store format that maximized capacity & productivity and facilitating brand fundraising efforts and assisting to develop long-term sustainable relationships for the business.

Results

New locations were opened in Manhattan and Brooklyn vicinities successfully growing the business reach and sales revenues. Along with the new store format, strategic hires were made and the boost from donations from big-name fashion designers such as Marc Jacobs, Thom Browne, and John Varvatos continues today. Two existing annual gala events were expanded upon: “Fashion for Action”, a charity sample sale, and “Design on a Dime,” a home interior shopping event, which further supported the brand’s position as fashion-philanthropy, and resulted in a boost in major boosts in donations overall.

About Housing Works

Housing Works is the nation’s largest grassroots AIDS service organization. Since 1990, Housing Works has provided life-saving housing, food, medical, HIV prevention, and job training services to more than 20,000 homeless men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS in New York City. It's numerous donation-based second-hand shops provide funding to support this incredible work. Visit www.housingworks.org to learn more about Housing Works.