15 April 2015

WITH less than three months to go until the Salvation Army's 150th anniversary international congress, Boundless – the Whole World Redeeming, the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland’s trading company is delighted to reveal exciting plans for a large-scale congress retail hub. The 20,000 square-foot shop, located along a concourse in the O2 complex, is expected to receive a record number of global visitors. 

The Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL) was established in 1991 to create jobs, benefit the environment (through recycling) and, through profitable trading, to help fund The Salvation Army’s work in the UK and Ireland. It has donated millions of pounds to The Salvation Army since its formation – including more than £39.5 million in the past five years.*

Officially opening at 12.30 pm on 30 June, the Boundless shop will be accessible to anyone visiting The O2 throughout the congress, which runs until 5 July. It will be located alongside The O2's many restaurants, which will be open to the public throughout the event.

The shop, which will stock thousands of items from Salvationist Publishing and Supplies (SP&S), has been organised to give an exciting shopping experience for Salvationists and friends who will be visiting from countries far and wide. The entranceway will include a huge replica of the 'Lights in Darkest England' matchbox, highlighting Salvation Army Founder William Booth’s famous initiative to make London’s 19th-century match industry safer for its workers. Inside there will be creative and interactive displays. Alongside SP&S’s best-loved products there will be a range of commemorative souvenirs, including a specially recorded double CD from congress participants and the official Boundless t-shirt, made from fairtrade cotton.

Traditional uniform and casualwear will be available to buy as well as specially sourced clothing, including t-shirts from The Salvation Army USA Western Territory’s popular WARdrobe collection, designed by graphic artists who donate their time and talent to raise funds and awareness for The Salvation Army. Also available will be a special replica of Booth’s original matchbox as well as other souvenir gift ideas and keepsakes, alongside a huge range of Salvation Army accessories, books, music, recordings and gift items, and a range of brass instruments. 

The SATCoL team will also be producing DVD recordings of the main congress sessions and live CDs of other concerts. Visitors should be able to pre-order these and collect them within 12 hours of each programme finishing (stocks will be limited). Book and CD signings will take place at the shop, details of which will be published nearer to the event.

In a corner of the Boundless shop, SATCoL has reserved space for a clothes boutique. Over the past year, SATCoL’s network of more than 200 charity shop teams has been carefully selecting some of the best donations from businesses and communities, setting them aside for the Boundless boutique. Many of the items are brand-new. Visitors can expect a wide selection of high-end and high street clothing and accessories, with designer brands such as Gucci and Alexander McQueen included in the collection – all at affordable prices.

A number of fairtrade products have been sourced especially for the congress, including Boundless t-shirts and hoodies inscribed with ‘Est London 1865’. The WARdrobe t-shirts already mentioned are also fairtrade. 

One of the most exciting launches for the congress will be Salvation Army fairtrade tea, which will have its own stand in the shop. Visitors will be able to take home a 'proper British cuppa' while knowing they are supporting The Salvation Army's work in the country of its birth. The slogan across the front of the box, 'There’s Nothing Like an Army Cup of Tea!', is the title of a well-known Salvation Army song. 

Garry Smith, Project Manager for SATCoL’s shop at Boundless 2015, says: 'This summer’s international congress to celebrate The Salvation Army's 150th anniversary is one of the most important events in the calendar and the SATCoL project team is excited to be supporting it. Everyone from procurement and logistics to marketing and retail have been working hard to present the world’s Salvationists with a fantastic range of items to purchase as a souvenir to remember this historic congress. We look forward to greeting all our visitors and hope they enjoy what is certain to be a memorable few days.'

A dedicated SP&S website for Boundless is available at www.sps-shop.com/boundless. All products will become available to order online for delivery, and a 'click and collect' service is also in place, allowing for pre-orders to be placed and collected from the SP&S shop at The O2.

Feature by Catherine Hamou
PR & Communications Manager, SATCoL

* Calculated from April 2009 to March 2014

Tags: 150th anniversary, Events