Country Road is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate. The Company has a Community Policy in place, which offers employees volunteering leave and the opportunity to participate in workplace giving. In addition, the Company provides a significant annual corporate social investment, which is comparable to our industry counterparts and guided by our employees community priorities.
After supporting a childrens charity was identified as the top community priority for our employees, Country Road entered into a 3-year partnership with Redkite in 2008, one of Australias leading childhood cancer support charities.
As the Major Programme Partner of the Redbag, Country Road will invest $330,000 over three years to fund the Redbag Programme, which provides special support packs to families at diagnosis.
Part of these funds are provided through employee and customer fundraising the latter consisting of profits from the sale of our reusable cotton bags and gold coin donations from customers who have their Christmas presents wrapped in store.
In 2009/10, total donations to Redkite increased 6.8%, due to an increase in employee and customer fundraising.
|Measure||2009/10 Actual||2009/10||2008/9 Actual|
|Total investment to Redkite||$131,845||$118,000||$123,396|
|Corporate donation to Red Cross Haiti Appeal||$10,000|||||
|Corporate donation for Doxa cadets suits||$4,992|||||
|Product donations||$129,187||||$132, 457|
|No. Redbags packed||600||N/A||195|
In 2010, Country Road and Red Cross partnered to launch Fashion Trade, a clothing donation programme that aims to raise money for the community and reduce landfill, by encouraging customers to recycle their pre-loved clothing and accessories. Customers donate clothing or accessories (that include at least one pre-loved Country Road or Trenery item) to Red Cross retail stores, and receive a $10 discount card that they can redeem when they spend over $50 at Country Road stores. Red Cross in Australia and New Zealand report that the majority of the items have been of excellent quality which increases the likelihood of resale: the underlying purpose of Fashion Trade.
The Partnership is also our first formal community partnership in New Zealand and has received a phenomenal response from our New Zealand employees already with a friendly cotton bag sale competition emerging between stores.
The Partnership also offers a range of volunteering, mentoring and fundraising opportunities for Country Road employees in both countries, through Red Cross retail stores and various other community programmes including disaster relief, school nutrition initiatives as well as youth and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programmes.
All Country Road and Trenery standalone stores and concessions in South Africa participate in MySchool, run by Woolworths, allowing customers to use their MySchool supporter cards whenever they make a purchase. Country Road or Woolworths then donates a small percentage of each purchase to the customer's chosen school or charity. Since the launch of Country Roads first stand-alone store in December 2009, the Company has contributed R41, 284 (A$5,898) to South African schools and charities via MySchool.
Due to increasing participation in fundraising activities by Country Road retail teams, Community Committees have been formalised in each State and New Zealand. These teams will be responsible for leading fundraising, volunteering and other related events with retail teams.
Volunteering numbers increased in 2009/10, due to the implementation of Kitetime, a Redkite initiative which encourages employees to take an hour off work to spend time with their loved ones and in turn, make a donation to Redkite in Australia or Red Cross in New Zealand. However, the number of employees participating in ongoing workplace giving remains low, so increasing participation will be a focus in 2010/11.