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Christmas Greetings: Carl Dunne of Cards & Gifts, Sheffield and Pam Ness of Bearing Gifts, Troon Share Their Festive Feelings

With the Christmas countdown now underway, PG Buzz talks to leading retailers about their hunches for this year’s festive run up trade wise, what approach they are taking, buying patterns they have clocked and the supply issues they have experienced thus far.

Here it is the turn of Pam Ness, co-owner of Bearing Gifts in Troon and Carl Dunne, co-owner of Cards & Gifts Sheffield and Dronfield who share their views.

First up, it’s Pam Ness, co-owner of Bearing Gifts in Troon…

Above: A cheers to Christmas! Pam and her husband Graeme Ness enjoying a G&T the day they found out Bearing Gifts is in The Retas finals.
Above: A cheers to Christmas! Pam and her husband Graeme Ness enjoying a G&T the day they found out Bearing Gifts is in The Retas finals.

How is Christmas trade shaping up so far for you?

“So far so good. We are about 10 days ahead of schedule on our Christmas displays, due to customer requests. We normally would not put our Christmas windows and displays out until mid-November.

Our town as a whole has been very busy. We are lucky to have lots of independent shops and find people are travelling to Troon as a destination shopping experience. Hopefully the trend of shopping small and local will continue. We are a seaside town and the weather has been kind to us which makes it a nice place to visit for the day.”

Above: The window of Bearing Gifts.
Above: The window of Bearing Gifts.

What have the buying patterns been like?

“Customers are definitely getting organised early. “Just in case” seems to be a commonly used phrase was to why people are buying early.”

Above: Pam describes these as “The best Scotch eggs ever!”. Handmade in Edinburgh, these Scotch whisky truffles in a white chocolate and ginger crunch shell are selling well in Bearing Gifts.
Above: Pam describes these as “The best Scotch eggs ever!”. Handmade in Edinburgh, these Scotch whisky truffles in a white chocolate and ginger crunch shell are selling well in Bearing Gifts.

Have you suffered supply issues?

“Thankfully the only supply problems we have had are delays with deliveries of our Steiff bears. They are taking much longer than usual to arrive from Germany.”

Above: Christmas coasters are going down well in Bearing Gifts.
Above: Christmas coasters are going down well in Bearing Gifts.

Now over to Carl Dunne, co-owner of Cards & Gifts Sheffield and Dronfield…

How is Christmas trade shaping up so far for you?

“Having been out in shopping centres the last few weekends, following media warnings about shortages of toys etc. I think there’s already a buying frenzy with people worried about supplies.  It looks like customers aren’t even wanting to risk waiting for online purchases to arrive and so are pushing themselves out into the high street to make sure they get what they want now.”

Above: It has been feeling festive in Cards & Gifts since the start of September.
Above: It has been feeling festive in Cards & Gifts since the start of September.

“We put all our Christmas stock out at the start of September and have been seeing strong seasonal sales. Stock is moving a little faster than usual right now, but I wonder whether this is just a blip because of media hysteria.

Anyway, I’m watching everything as it leaves my shelves with a smile on my face and my hand happily on the till!”

Above: Carl Dunne and his partner Ollie Guise-Smith at PG Live 2021.
Above: Carl Dunne and his partner Ollie Guise-Smith at PG Live 2021.

Have you suffered supply issues?

“Supply issues have not been a major problem for us as a whole, as we buy from a wide spectrum of publishers. Having UKG, ICG, Cherry Orchard, Noel Tatt, Paper Salad, Nigel Quiney, Dean Morris, Second Nature, Carte Blanche, Words ‘n’ Wishes, we’re well covered!

Some supply houses have warned of and suffered delays, whereas others forecast issues and got ahead so we’ve had reasonable stocks to be able to continue to offer a good selection to customers despite the delivery upheaval.

In the end it will be the publishers that suffer as if they deliver late, ultimately it may simply result in higher returns. Like others, we insist on 100% sale or return on seasonal goods, especially important if they’ve delivered late.”

Above: Carl took to social media to warn customers that supplies are short and to buy their illuminated products while they can.
Above: Carl took to social media to warn customers that supplies are short and to buy their illuminated products while they can.

Top: Part of the Christmas card display in Cards & Gifts, Sheffield.

 

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