Oliver Bonas has earned the hearts and pennies of the UK’s sisterhood as a lifestyle store group, with greeting cards very much part of its line up in its 77 stores.
Now, expansion is on the cards with its online offer too.
“Everything we do here starts with our customer,” says Natalia Kosterska, assistant buyer, who is responsible for all the card buying (as well as the wall art and books) for all Oliver Bonas stores. “87% of our customers are female, over 40% of whom are Millennials. We know who she is, what is important to her and the lifestyle she leads. It is then my job to ensure that the card selection we offer exceeds her expectations.”
Working within the space constraints of its stores, the greeting cards (sourced from around 80 different customers) are displayed on spinners, wall and free-standing racks, three designs to a pocket.
“Greeting cards are very important to us,” confirms Natalia. “Near the top of my ‘to do’ list for 2019 is to build our online everyday card offer. What has become apparent is that cards are seen as a logical add on for customers buying online. For Christmas 2018 we more than double the number of cards we offered to 50 designs. It is to all to do with our customers’ expectations. They enjoy selecting their cards in our stores and expect to be able to do the same online.”
Up Close And Personal
Entering into the festive spirit, Natalia Kosterska is put on the spot to share some of what makes her tick.
What three words would your best friend use to describe you?
“Scatty, fun-loving and confident.”
What are your guilty pleasures?
“The Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks film, You’ve Got Mail. I would not like to confess how many times I have watched it!
I am also a sucker for cheesy music…S Club 7!”
As a little girl what did you want to be when you grew up? “A tennis player. Sadly I have always been terrible at playing tennis so that was never a likely career for me.”
Your magic carpet awaits, where do you want it to take you? “To Cuba. I have never been, but have always wanted to.”
Who would you like to have dinner with? “Michelle Obama, Dolly Alderton, Sir David Attenborough and Louis Theroux.”
Who has/is your mentor or inspiration? “My mum. She brought me up as a single parent, but has always been such a positive, happy influence on my life. She is an ex-punk who is still cool and has so much energy.”
What are your fave retailers? “I love Anthropologie. The clothes are stunning and the store ambiance is great. I also really like Goodhood, which is a fantastic indie lifestyle store in East London, plus House of Hackney, which is so good for furniture and art prints.”
Top: Although bricks and mortar will remain the focus for Oliver Bonas, near the top of the ‘to do list’ is upping its everyday card offer online.