Final festive push, and it’s looking good

Buyers love small retailers – these fab Christmas windows show why

 

“Our best in the 13 years we’ve been trading,” rejoiced Sean Austin, owner of Malvern’s Austin & Co, about his sales in the golden quarter.

“Our November turnover was 50% up on 2022 and I hit last year’s December total on Monday, 18 December, Increased sales across all categories, but cards have been leading the way, especially humour singles and charity packs.”

And Kaye Thurgood is another happy bunny, as the owner of Sincerely Yours in Shenfield and Hornchurch and instigator of the #Cardmitment campaign explained: “Our card sales are up…I had to place repeat orders of single cards three times this month and the shelves are very low for the final push. Sales of boxes and charity packs are back to pre-Covid levels.”

Above: Plenty of entries for Glick’s window comp – clockwise from top left, Bluebird’s Nest, Chapel En Le Frith; Blue Poppy, Appleby; Carly’s, Solihull. Hugs & Kisses, Tettenhall; Expressions, Broadstairs; Celtic Company, Welshpool; and Conway Cards, Garstang
Above: Plenty of entries for Glick’s window comp – clockwise from top left, Bluebird’s Nest, Chapel En Le Frith; Blue Poppy, Appleby; Carly’s, Solihull. Hugs & Kisses, Tettenhall; Expressions, Broadstairs; Celtic Company, Welshpool; and Conway Cards, Garstang

Down in Petworth, Red Card’s Sally Matson was also happy to report that already her “Christmas card sales are up against last December, especially packs.”

Caroline Ranwell, owner of Hugs & Kisses in Tettenhall, is on course to “definitely finish the year ahead of target. Christmas charity cards have sold way better than last year, they’ve almost all sold and the boxes too.”

Meanwhile at Lark, which trades from 18 shops in London and Surrey, co-owner Priya Aurora-Crowe revealed: “Amazingly we sold out of all our Christmas cards across all stores with a week’s trade still to go but, thankfully, was able to rush through some re-orders.”

Above: More wonderful windows from the Glick contest with all seven stores in the House of Cards group, in Caversham, Chalfont St Peter, Kidlington, Thatcham, Tring, Wallingford and Woodley, pushing the #Cardmitment campaign
Above: More wonderful windows from the Glick contest with all seven stores in the House of Cards group, in Caversham, Chalfont St Peter, Kidlington, Thatcham, Tring, Wallingford and Woodley, pushing the #Cardmitment campaign

These comments echo the findings of a recent study by Forbes Advisor reveals that 47% of Brits prefer to buy their gifts from small shops and 22% are prepared to pay up to a 10% premium for the privilege of knowing their money is supporting a local business.

“There has been a lot of talk recently about the death of the High Street and the demise of local businesses,” Forbes Advisor business expert Kevin Pratt commented, “so it’s heartening to see a significant number of people want to shop locally to support small businesses in their area.”

The Opinium poll for the financial advice site showed the primary motivator for 57% of those who prefer buying from smaller and indie retailers is that they want to spend their money withing the community, 43% believe it’s a better quality of service, and 37% find the local shops to be more trustworthy than bigger outlets.

Above: The creativity continues in the Glick contest – clockwise from top left, The Little Gift Shop which won Beith’s best-dress Christmas window title; Wild Strawberry, Uppermill; Macmillans, Penwortham; Something Special, Widnes; Magpie Cards, Nantwich; and Wishes of Cockermouth
Above: The creativity continues in the Glick contest – clockwise from top left, The Little Gift Shop which won Beith’s best-dress Christmas window title; Wild Strawberry, Uppermill; Macmillans, Penwortham; Something Special, Widnes; Magpie Cards, Nantwich; and Wishes of Cockermouth

Kevin added: “Local shops are part of the fabric of many communities, and their importance cannot be overestimated. For many of them, the money they make in the run-up to Christmas in effect pays for the rest of the year, so let’s hope they manage to secure enough trade to help them prosper into 2024.”

And a great way of drawing in those customers is a fabulous window display, with independent greetings and gift shops really making the effort at this festive time of year, as this set of images shows.

Above: There’s a definite red and gold bauble theme at Zo And Co’s stores in Didsbury, Marple, Cheadle and Knutsford, all entered into Glick’s comp
Above: There’s a definite red and gold bauble theme at Zo And Co’s stores in Didsbury, Marple, Cheadle and Knutsford, all entered into Glick’s comp

Giftwrap company Glick has been running a competition on Facebook to find the stand-out example using its wrap, bag, boxes, tissue and trimmings products – and the number of entries gave md Becky Dobson and her team a big headache to choose the winner.

“It was an absolute pleasure,” Becky said, “There were so many beautiful windows sent in and we’re grateful for every single one that has been shared with us.

“Ultimately it came down to the sheer volume of social media engagements so is very much deserved. Congratulations to Henry & Co Heswall – we hope they enjoy their prize and eternal window glory!”

And a very happy Christmas too from all at PG Buzz!

Above & top: Delightful artwork saw Henry & Co’s Heswall store crowned the Glick competition winner
Above & top: Delightful artwork saw Henry & Co’s Heswall store crowned the Glick competition winner
Above: The ‘send a card, deliver a smile’ message is in lights at Mooch Gifts & Home in Stourport-On-Severn
Above: The ‘send a card, deliver a smile’ message is in lights at Mooch Gifts & Home in Stourport-On-Severn
Above: Penny Black went for humour in Glasgow (left) with a giant Cath Tate Cards Christmas Hot Foils design and the glitter-fication skills of owner Jo Marwaha, while it’s cards and gonks at MiMi in Hartley Wintney
Above: Penny Black went for humour in Glasgow (left) with a giant Cath Tate Cards Christmas Hot Foils design and the glitter-fication skills of owner Jo Marwaha, while it’s cards and gonks at MiMi in Hartley Wintney
Above: Plenty to catch the eye at Medici Gallery in London’s Kensington
Above: Plenty to catch the eye at Medici Gallery in London’s Kensington
Above: It’s the 46th Christmas Window for Present Days in Warwick
Above: It’s the 46th Christmas Window for Present Days in Warwick
Above: Art supplies are a big thing at Meraki Colour and have been used to great effect on the Oswestry shop
Above: Art supplies are a big thing at Meraki Colour and have been used to great effect on the Oswestry shop
Above: You definitely can’t put a text on the mantelpiece as Earlybird’s window illustrates in Stoke Newington, London
Above: You definitely can’t put a text on the mantelpiece as Earlybird’s window illustrates in Stoke Newington, London
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