In a double thumbs-up for independent greeting card retailing, the last couple of days has marked the opening of new stores for two multi-award winning independent greeting card retailers – House of Cards and Postmark.
House of Cards unveiled a totally new look for its flagship store in the Oxfordshire market town of Wallingford last Thursday (April 12) – and the contemporary look and feel has gone down a storm with its customers.
House of Cards’ partners, Miles Robinson and Nigel Williamson kept the new approach for group’s 1,500 sq ft store under wraps, but having been been closed for two weeks to allow for a complete refurbishment and expansion of the retail environment it was revealed to the good people of Wallingford who immediately voted with their feet and their purses.
“This is the biggest investment we’ve ever made in a store. Thankfully the new look went down very well with our customers. The opening day was a great success (record sales for a first day) with the most frequent comments being about the feeling of space and ease of walking round the store,” Miles Robinson told PG Buzz, who admitted that “It almost felt like it was our first store and I can’t remember feeling that nervous about a store opening before.
It’s not actually that radical but a combination of many small bits brought together, which combines to make the shop look very different.”
As to the rationale behind the mega overhaul, which involves bespoke fixtures and high end lighting, Miles said, “You have to keep raising the bar; investing in your retailing environment and the product you offer to customers.”
The House of Cards Wallingford store reincarnation fanfared the contemporary branding for the Home Counties group that first made an appearance in its Tring store.
Meanwhile, only two days after the House of Cards reopening in Wallingford, on Saturday (April 14) fellow Retas award winner, Postmark opened its fifth store in a prime retailing spot in the busy town centre of Kingston-on-Thames.
“This was a big step for us this one. It was a mad dash and an incredible team effort to make it in time but we opened as planned on Saturday morning and it’s gone down a storm,” co-owner Mark Janson-Smith told PG Buzz yesterday. “The initial response has been fantastic. Customers are loving the clean fresh look and we’ve already had repeat customers!”
The Kingston store’s slender format works well for Postmark. “It is the same shape as our Balham store which works really well for us. Long and thin suits our product the best. Which is a bit strange as it’s a bit like me!” jokes Mark.