Mary Queen Of Shops: Episode One

Mary Portas is a woman on a mission – a mission to transform the humble charity shop. And what better way to get to understand the nitty gritty of charity shop life than to roll up her sleeves, put on a pinny and get stuck in?

First stop is Orpington and a poorly-performing Save the Children outlet. Mary works on developing the shop throughout the series in a bid to increase profits and prove that charity shops can be as hot as the best retailers on the high street. If her ideas succeed they could be rolled out across the entire chain.

After introducing herself to the volunteer work force – many of whom are pensioners with up to 30 years’ service – Mary tries to teach them how to overhaul the sad and tired clothes and bric-a-brac that gets dumped at her shop door.

Gobsmacked by the appalling quality of the donations, Mary and her trusty volunteers descend on West London’s glossiest shopping centre armed with sacks of dirty knickers and moth-eaten jumpers to see what think the Great British public think of them.

With the help of volunteer and former football coach Graham, Mary launches a local campaign to get better donations into her shop, but her first attempt to appeal to the people of Orpington’s charitable side fails and Mary’s left wondering if she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

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