Comic books are a regular staple of charity shops, such as Oxfam. They may be tatty but they are usually quite cheap and often a good way to get a box to see you through the summer holidays. But not cheap enough, it seems for some people. Here's a photo as spotted by comic book reader Barry Flinstone in the Oxfam charity shop in Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London, and shared with Bleeding Cool. A sign that says so much…
"The Comics Box has been moved due to repeated theft. Please ask at the counter for its new location. Thanks." So who is repeatedly going into charity shops in North London and stealing their comic book boxes?
Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942. It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations. This includes a number of shops that sell many fair-trade and donated items. The proceeds from these are used to further Oxfam's mission and relief efforts around the globe. Much of their stock comes from public donations but as of 2012 they still sold fair trade products from developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America. These objects are brought to the public through fair trade to help boost the quality of life of their producers and surrounding communities.
As of 2010, Oxfam had over 1,200 shops worldwide. More than half of them were in the UK with around 750 Oxfam GB shops including specialist shops such as books, music, furniture and bridal wear. Oxfam Germany has 45 shops including specialist book shops; Oxfam France shops sell books and fair trade products and Oxfam Hong Kong has 2 shops selling donated goods and fair trade products. Novib, Australia (with over 20 fair trade shops), Ireland and in Belgium also raise funds from shops.
Of the 750 Oxfam charity shops around the UK, around 100 are specialist bookshops or book and music shops. Oxfam is the largest retailer of second-hand books in Europe, selling around 12 million per year.