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A Fantabulous Welcome Back As Cardies Re-open Their Doors

They came…they saw…and they bought greeting cards. The much-anticipated grand reopening of greeting card retail stockists in England exceeded expectations as the public came out to quench their pent-up desire to buy greeting cards.

“Well Day One went well. I remembered how to use the till, there were plenty of customers, and it was good to see money going into the bank that wasn’t a government grant!” summed up Sean Austin of Austin & Co in Malvern who was up and trading from his newly relocated shop in the town.

Above: Austin & Co made the most of lockdown 3 to relocate to an impressive new shop.
Above: Austin & Co made the most of lockdown 3 to relocate to an impressive new shop.

“I was a bit nervous. It felt like the first day back at school, but as soon as the first customer came in minutes after we had re-opened and made a sizeable purchase, including a lot of greeting cards, I knew it would be OK,” Serge Sumerling, co-owner of Nor in West Norwood told PG Buzz.

Above: Locals came out to support well-loved Nor in West Norwood, right from the off.
Above: Locals came out to support well-loved Nor in West Norwood, right from the off.

Click below to hear from Serge…

With 37 years of trading under his belt, Jay Patel, co-owner of Greetings in East Dulwich was banking on his loyal customers coming through the door when the shop re-opened and he wasn’t disappointed. “We have had a good, steady flow of people coming in with their ‘shopping lists’, especially for occasions, saying how happy they are that we have re-opened as they could not get the same selection from a supermarket,” Jay relayed a few hours into the re-opening yesterday.

Click below to hear from Jay…

Above: Greetings is something of a landmark greeting card shop in London’s Lordship Lane.
Above: Greetings is something of a landmark greeting card shop in London’s Lordship Lane.

In the Crystal Palace branch of The Indigo Tree, Milo de Wolff experienced a similar scenario to Jay, with a surge in occasion card sales right from the off, yesterday.

“We were delighted by the steady flow of very eager customers, with many saying that they felt the need the spend as they had made the effort to come out, which is fine by us!” said Milo. “Our occasion cards have sold especially well, as customers are clearly keen not to miss any events from now on,” he added.

Click below to hear from Milo…

Above: The Indigo Tree’s Crystal Palace shop.
Above: The Indigo Tree’s Crystal Palace shop.

Up in Rugeley, although a greeting card retailing stalwart, Philip Nield, co-owner of Reflections, yesterday was an extra special day as it also marked the unveiling of the store’s new look and complete product selection revamp.

“I have been so heartwarmed by our customer reactions,” Philip told PG Buzz. “So many told us that they have been writing their card buying shopping lists, waiting for us to re-open. You cannot get better than that loyalty.” Going by the first day, Philip told PG Buzz: “Trade has been very good indeed, much higher than we would usually expect at this time of year. And long may it continue!”

Above: Reflections in Rugeley received a warm welcome from its local customers yesterday.
Above: Reflections in Rugeley received a warm welcome from its local customers yesterday.

While for the vast majority it was the sight of their local customers coming through their doors that brought a skip to their step, for Earlybird in Stoke Newington, co-owners Heidi and Dom Early had an added bonus of Minister for Small BusinessPaul Scully officially ‘cutting the ribbon’ to declare their Earlybird shop open for business.

Above: Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business cutting the ribbon to declare Earlybird back open for business.
Above: Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business cutting the ribbon to declare Earlybird back open for business.

Not one to set her sights low and with an innate urge to unite her community, Heidi has instigated a number of initiatives, the latest of which being a Local Shop Local Hope film which has resulted in neighbouring retailers and businesses appearing in a collaborative mini film which premiered in the build-up to the re-opening. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/earlybirds-heidi-early-spearheads-film-that-brings-her-local-high-street-together-for-reopening/)

Sharing her feelings of yesterday’s re-opening, Heidi said: “What a beautiful day! I had a permanent smile on my face all day. Everyone was so happy to be out shopping! What a relief!”

As Jennie Procter, co-founder of the Scribbler chain, summed up her feelings of yesterday’s reopening: “We all made it through the last year – so you could say it has been quite a day all round!”

Above and top: A joyful message in Scribbler’s Bath window.
Above and top: A joyful message in Scribbler’s Bath window.

 

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