Retail viewpoint: 3 Wishes

Sarah and Paul Henderson of 3 Wishes run four shops in Ringwood, Lymington, Verwood and Ferndown in Hampshire. PGBuzz caught up with them on Valentine’s Day sales.

Heart Throb: “Valentine’s Day was very good for us this year, all four stores managed a fairly healthy gain. Overall we ended up 13% up year-on-year on Valentine’s cards.

We were very happy with the increase. We didn’t do anything particularly different; we had all the same suppliers as previous years, but we do work hard the rest of the year to give people more reasons to shop with us rather than our competitors and this definitely helps with footfall during the different seasons.

We did sell a lot of higher priced (£6+) cards this year, which could have been instead of spending the money on gifts.

I think it helped us that Valentine’s fell on a Tuesday this year, our Saturday was similar to last year’s Saturday and then we had the additional trade on Monday. Our poorest performing Valentine’s sales are when February 14th falls on a day at the weekend. My theory is that people are often shopping with their partners on the Saturday so we miss out on a lot of the last minute sales, they then resort to convenience stores and supermarkets to purchase their card without their partner present.”

A pretty Carnival design from Cherry Orchard
A pretty Carnival design from Cherry Orchard

Loving It!: “We have some brilliant new ranges at the moment, including Ling’s The Wildlife (especially the cat and dog designs) and Animal Function from GBCC (a brilliant new humour range, the ‘Full fat, half fat or fat free’ design is our bestseller). We also have several new ranges from UKG, which are very popular, notably Just For Gents, Punny Profiles and Christopher Vine. And finally, Cherry Orchard’s Carnival in open birthday, as well as occasions and relations, is great. We had a very good year with both Ling and Cherry Orchard last year, the extra sales were purely due to the standard of product currently available from these two publishers.”

Big Love: “The thing we love most about life at the moment is having more time to spend at home with our children and horses, although if all goes to plan we hope to have a little less spare time on our hands later this year!”

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