Father’s Day Came Good For Indies…In The End

Being the first Spring Seasons event that bricks & mortar specialists could benefit from for over a year, there was a lot hanging on Father’s Day as a barometer to see whether consumers would put in the footwork for their dads.

While not making up for the lockdown miss outs of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter, indies agreed that it was so good to get a taste of the Spring Season action.

“All in all, it was great to be open for at least one of the Spring Seasons,” Penny Bailey of Bailey’s in Aintree, Crosby and Maghull told PG Buzz. “It was lovely to watch children picking out cards for their Daddy and fabulous to see the team busy and enjoying the buzz of a busy Saturday again.”

Penny highlighted Hallmark and UKG as giving “the best selection of Father’s Day cards across the board with a great mix of humour, sentiment and cute. Abacus also did a great job for us too, along with Pigment, Rosie Made a Thing and Think of Me.”

Above: Bailey’s Crosby store enjoyed a buzzy Saturday before Father’s Day.
Above: Bailey’s Crosby store enjoyed a buzzy Saturday before Father’s Day.

Sending out a wish to publishers, she would like to see a wider selection of additional captions for the event, similar to Mother’s Day. “We would love to see more Husband and Grandad titles as we sold out again, despite increasing our order….note to self to order more again for 2022!”

Down in Surrey, Roy and Julia Beswick, co-owners of The Card Collection, East Molesey had a good run up to the event, with some customers asking for Father’s Days cards as early as May, followed by a lull with an exciting race to the finish.

“The Dads are always a last minute buy and this year, we definitely had a massive late rush so turned out to be a really successful, but very tiring Father’s Day event! We had a queue at our pick n mix and chocolate counter all day and sold out of Father’s Day balloons!”

Its big movers on the card front came from Woodmansterne’s Quentin Blake, Paperlink humour and Lucilla Lavender.

Above and top: The Card Collection’s window display, anchored by a vintage postbox attracted a lot of attention.
Above and top: The Card Collection’s window display, anchored by a vintage postbox attracted a lot of attention.

As well as raising awareness by posting a countdown to the event on social media channels with, The Card Collection took posting to another level on the display front.

“We recently bought an old postbox and put this in our window with the Father’s Day bits n bobs, which caught people’s eye. It had only been in the window for a few hours when one customer asked if they could buy it!” said Roy.

The event exceeded expectations at Wishlist in Raynes Park. “We went into it with caution this year, but in actual fact ended up selling every last one of our Father’s Day cards!”

Above: Some of the strong sellers at Wishlist.
Above: Some of the strong sellers at Wishlist.

“There was a big rush on Friday and Saturday, with our sales in general on Saturday being amazing! Our best sellers came from Rosie Made a Thing, Ohh Deer and Lagom, plus we also sold lots of lovely Arthouse Unlimited chocolate,” added Rachel.

Deborah Tingay, owner of Southbourne Cards, Southbourne is another indie who ended up very pleasantly surprised, topping up a strong month’s trading.

“We’re having a great June so far, smashing our best ever June, which was in 2019.  Father’s Day, as predicted was last minute, but despite being personally critical of our range (many suppliers churned out last year’s designs due to the short selling window in 2020), we sold out of our best publishers and cleared through a lot of old stock.”

Top sellers at Southbourne Cards, came from “IC & G – a big thank you to the publisher for supplying new designs in its Father’s Day package – and Pigment, whose bright designs gave the display a lift.”

Also feeling buoyant is Julie Wombwell, owner of Papersmile Normanton. “Happy days!” she exclaimed about the last Spring Seasons event of 202. “We had a good last three days with Friday being the busiest for us. We did some Google Ads for Father’s Day and pushed it on Instagram and Facebook, but it is bloomin’ hard work getting noticed out there!

On the best sellers front, we sold out of the fabulously funny Rosie Made a Thing designs and were just left with a handful of wonderful Paper Salad ones.”

Above: Paper Salad (left and right) and Rosie Made a Thing (centre) sold well for Papersmile.
Above: Paper Salad (left and right) and Rosie Made a Thing (centre) sold well for Papersmile.

On the department store front, Sarah Moughtin, partner and junior buyer of John Lewis & Partners shared that “All in all, it was a good Father’s Day for JL. We didn’t quite make it back to our 2019 numbers, but we were very close! Our best sellers were a mixture, from humour to sentiment with the phrase ‘King of Dads’ proving popular across a number of designs.”

Above: A Susan O’Hanlon design that was among the King of Dads designs offered by John Lewis.
Above: A Susan O’Hanlon design that was among the King of Dads designs offered by John Lewis.

Over in the Scribbler camp, Jennie Procter, co-founder revealed that the group “maintained” its post lockdown percentages. Putting a positive spin on it, she said “at least this was pure cashflow as we sold last year’s stock.”

Above: Scribbler’s Bath supported Pride and promoted Father’s Day at the same time.
Above: Scribbler’s Bath supported Pride and promoted Father’s Day at the same time.

Stamping out the date

Royal Mail did its bit to raise awareness and importance of Father’s Day, delivering the message via a rapping video, written by and starring a real postwoman.

As well as working for Royal Mail, Amira Rahmoune is a talented rap artist. She combined both her skills in Guiding Light, a song and video which encouraged people to send cards and gifts to their dads in the run up to Father’s Day.

The musical mini film features Amira reflecting on the challenges of the past year and the impact it has had on personal relationships both for her and the country as a whole.

Her own father makes an appearance in the films, as well as images from Royal Mail staff with their own fathers, with a special section dedicated to those who have sadly lost their dads. It also recognises different types of father figures that individuals may have.

Click below to watch it…

Meanwhile, the GCA gained a lot of traffic to its blog all about Father’s Day hosted on the association’s website. The extensive piece, covered the history of the event as well as fanfaring contemporary designs from many members as well as facts and figures.

https://www.gca.cards/fathers-day-celebrating-the-uks-dads/

 

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