Hi, I'm Tami. I am the founder of the Harmless Store in Hornsey, North London.
My team who so many of you will know are Jess, Santi and Constança. We're on hand 7 days a week to help you refill.... we still need in store support to keep us going.
As our regular shoppers will have spotted, our stock has been slowly diminishing over the past few weeks.
The reason this is happening:
* Prices have increased
* Customer numbers have dropped
* Stock is selling at a much slower rate
We buy everything in large quantities, 5kg-25kg, which allows us to sell on to customers in a plastic free way.
As a result of the above, we can no longer make enough money at a fast enough pace to be able to cover bills, wages AND restocking. Each bag or box we buy is anywhere between 5kg - 25kg. On average each bag or box is around £100 and rising.
In the last 2-4 weeks, everyone has been affected by the fear of the fuel/ energy crisis. As people emerge from this initial threat, we are happy to see some people returning. Unfortunately, they are returning to empty shelves. When things are too slow for us, we are unable to pay off our suppliers, which of course means we are unable to buy any more stock from them, and when we don’t have the stock to sell, we don’t make any money. In the meantime, the safety net has been used on wages and rent. A break in the already delicate circuit, however small, has tipped us quite far off balance.
As soon as any money begins to trickle in, it will be immediately spent on paying off our mounting invoices, which will then allow us to reorder from those companies. We may have to pay a few companies upfront to help rebuild trust, but that means hopefully restocking fully within a few weeks. Monthly invoices currently run well into the £1000's. The remaining amount of money will be used to finally buy the long-awaited fridge we so desperately need to be able to stock a whole array of fresh produce. This, in turn, will encourage new and returning customers into the store.
We recognise the symbiotic relationship that we have with our customers, we will continue to do our best no matter what the outcome of the GoFundMe is. We are grateful that we are still here, but we have so much more to give, we just haven’t managed to get back on our feet yet. We need this cash injection to boost us. Anything that you can give, no matter how big or small, will make a difference!
Love Tami, Jess, Constanca and Santi x