Championing how two of Bude’s greeting card retail stockists are instrumental in a huge push to support their local community during these difficult times, caused by the Coronavirus, BBC’s The One Show dedicated a significant chunk of its Monday evening programme to the services and inspiring actions of Bude Post Office and fellow grocery store, Landsdown Dairy.
“Disappointed to see how fear had made some people “think about themselves before everyone else” head postmaster, Luke Francis told The One Show presenter Iwan Thomas how he, together with fellow businesses and Bude residents, have come up with ways of helping those in self-isolation or social distancing.
As part of this Luke is offering a free delivery service to residents, which not only means taking the likes of pension payments or stamps to those unable to get out, but also greeting cards.
“Greeting cards have always done well for us in the shop and everyone knows we have an extensive display. So, if want any cards, we can pick some and deliver them along with their other needs,” said Luke. “We have five deliveries already confirmed for this morning,” he confirmed to told PG Buzz today.
The Post Office greeting cards come from Simply Cards, part of the Colman Group, a Norwich-based wholesaler.
Luke’s generosity of spirit has also extended out to those who are venturing into the Post Office in person.
“We have loads of Easter cards and yesterday I decided to let customers take them free of charge knowing that they would be sent to cheer others up. It is these little things that will count during these scary times,” said Luke.
With Post Offices being deemed as providing “essential” services they are one of the few types of greeting card stockists who are still able to trade.
Bob McGhee of Newark Post Office which is also a Hallmark Gold Crown store is relieved that the vast majority of its customers are being respectful of the two metre social-distancing advice.
“Our post office is right at the back of the shop so customers have to walk through the card shop. We have only had to gently remind a few people looking at the cards to keep their distance. With our local Clintons and Card Factory shops now shut we are one of the few retailers still open with a good selection of cards,” says Bob. He is already planning to up his card stocks of one type of card in particular – new baby. “With so many people stuck at home I predict there will be a need for a load of new baby cards in nine months time!” quips Bob.
Nigel Hamilton-Evans, co-owner of Boroughbridge Post Office, whose won the Best Independent Non-Specialist Greeting Card Retailer in The Retas 2019 is saddened that in the interests of safety he has taken the decision to close the ‘card shop’ temporarily.
“We were having some difficulty in communicating how important it is to keep your distance, with customers forgetting this while they were looking at the cards,” says Nigel. “We tried limiting it to allowing only three people in the card shop at one time, but that didn’t work so we felt we needed to take the measures to keep people safe so for now are only concentrating on providing our essential post office services until things improve. It is a shame as I was on the verge of launching new branding for our Well Good Card Shop, but now that will have to wait.”
Top: The BBC’s The One Show recently highlighted how the community-spirit is high in Bude.