FRN Says there is an alternative to high-interest lifestyle stores – the furniture re-use charity sector
In The Guardian magazine’s article about Brighthouse, it asks if the high-interest lifestyle store is cashing in on consumer poverty (Saturday, 5th October 2013).
The company's chief executive, Leo McKee, argues that the business gives people who have no access to credit a means of buying essential items that would otherwise be denied them. Buying a sofa or a television or an oven from BrightHouse is, he says, a better option than going to a loan shark, which is probably true, but it isn't a brilliant benchmark. The way McKee describes it, this easy-to-budget model, where purchases are priced in weekly repayments (ranging between £3.50 a week for a table and £26 a week for a sofa), represents a valuable, morally justifiable service to low-income households
The FRN’s Response:
There are alternatives to Brighthouse for people who have no access to credit and the means of buying essential items that would otherwise be denied them.
They’re called furniture re-use charities and there are hundreds of them located in the most economically-deprived communities in the UK. Not new items but quality items that are sometimes better than new and always more affordable.
They don’t have the marketing power of Brighthouse but they’ve steadfastly served their communities for over 20 years; providing low income households with essential furniture, electrical appliances, smaller household goods and increasingly clothing and food.
Donors and buyers of goods can find their local charity at: www.frn.org.uk