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Now that we are all ‘back at school’, looking to make the most of this ‘final term’ in the run up to Christmas, PG delves into the ‘report cards’ of leading indie retailers, who reveal what grade they would give trade so far, what has been the most testing subject, what they would thank ‘teacher’ for and how they are hoping to achieve top marks in the festive run-up.
Jon May co-owner of Mooch Cards and Gifts, Stourport on Severn and Bewdley: Making the grade: “I would give trade this year a B grade, though with the right product mix and hours this could easily be an A by the end of term.” Most testing ‘subject’: “Brexit - uncertainty is not good for trade, you can just see some people holding off from some purchases as they are not sure what is round the corner in regard to job security or interest rate increases, all of which has had a knock-on effect on larger luxury purchases.” Thank you teacher: “We thank our wonderful suppliers for providing us with fabulous cards and gifts, giving people the need to part with their hard earned cash! We also thank our customers. We had a great response to our ‘We Love Stourport' window which involved us asking customers to send in photos of what they loved about Stourport past or present, with the winner receiving a Mooch goodie bag, in addition we encouraged people to take selfies in front of the shop to win a £50 Voucher.” Festive run-up: “We are launching Christmas on Monday 28 October with a VIP shopping evening with special offers on the night. We believe people will be a bit guarded on their spend this year due to Brexit, but let’s see what the 31st October brings! Hopefully it will be better news for the High Street but we will do what we always do and give customers plenty of reasons to come into our stores through our fabulous Christmas windows and the fabulous products we work hard to find that keep our customers coming back for more.” Above: The Mooch’s Stourport store window which fanfares its ‘We Love Stourport' initiative. Right: Jon May (left) and Luke Jacks, co-owners of Mooch in Stourport-on-Severn and Bewdley, spending their Retas Sunshine ticket with Paper Salad’s co-owner Karen Wilson at PG Live.
PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE
Deborah Tingay owner of Southbourne Cards, Bournemouth: Making the grade: “B for brilliant start to the year. Positive improvement in grades for sales, stockholding and design. Well presented - new lighting and flooring. Always polite - dedication to customers. Attendance - best sellers kept in stock as that is the key to great sales. Sometimes runs in the corridor - the excuse is always Christmas prep.” Most testing ‘subject’: “Geography where to put the stock? We were burgled and were advised to close a secondary sales room for the safety of the sales team. The resulting changes have made the shop easier to operate and customers can find the items they are looking for effortlessly. It was a mountain that we overcame and it has created a much improved work environment.” Thank you teacher: “I would thank my history teacher as we have built on good sales last year by focusing on historic sales’ successes. We have been rewarded by working on our product mix and customer wants.” Festive run-up: “Preparation is indeed the key and we launched 16’ of linear space to Above: Southbourne Cards’ Deborah Tingay with Redback Cards’ Sean Edwards.