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Poignant Reflections And Celebrations Of Retas’ Finalists

Finding out that her shop In Heaven at Home in Market Harborough is a Retas’ finalist could not have been a better-timed fillip for independent retailer Anne Barber, who has wasted no time in instigating a promotion to reward loyal customers.

“I can hardly express how absolutely delighted I am that In Heaven at Home is a finalist in The Retas 2019,” Anne Barber told PG Buzz, before revealing the deep personal reasons for her reaction. “I had such a tough two weeks from 16th – 30thApril as these two dates are the 10 year anniversary of the death of my husband on 16th and his funeral on 30th,” shared Anne. Earlier in the day of The Retas finalists being announced, Anne had walked to the woods to take flowers to the place where her husband Julian had taken ill.  “I talked to him and told him that all I wanted to do was make him proud of me and I prayed that he could send me a sign that he could see me and was watching over me,” said Anne.

Above: Anne Barber, owner of In Heaven at Home, Market Harborough (left).
Above: Anne Barber, owner of In Heaven at Home, Market Harborough.

Anne was wondering “when and if life was ever going to feel bright again” when she received the news that In Heaven at Home has reached the finals in the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Wales and the Midlands category.

“I think Justin would be feeling super proud right now,” Anne told PG Buzz.

Within days of the finding out she was a finalist Anne had come up with a promotion to reward customers, that will run until the day of The Retas (July 10). She says that the ‘Buy any 6 cards and choose one card free from our selection box’ will reward customers “who buy lots of cards from us and encourage increased value sales.”

Meanwhile down in Petworth in Surrey there were audible ‘whoops’ when Sally Matson, owner of Red Card discovered that her shop had reached The Retas’ finals in the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Home Counties category.

Above: Red Card’s owner Sally Matson (right) with assistant manager Karen West.
Above: Red Card’s owner Sally Matson (right) with assistant manager Karen West.

Sharing her thoughts and feelings that are raised by the news of being shortlisted for The Retas, Sally told PG Buzz: “Firstly, it’s hugely positive thing personally, as it is an endorsement of what my team and I do, from people who are at the heart of the industry. It is one thing to receive positive feedback from your customers, but as proprietor of a small independent business, we never really get a report card or an appraisal, and so this kind of competition gives real support and encouragement to small independent retailers across the country. It acknowledges our efforts and also helps us feel we are ‘on the right track’.”

Sally also feels that the recognition extends beyond the Red Card team and its customers, to its suppliers. “I have received a huge number of congratulatory messages from my suppliers and they are very much part of this too. Their wonderful cards have helped to get Red Card shortlisted, and their businesses also feel positive about this feedback. Having now been running Red Card for just over six years, I will also really look forward to the Awards event as an opportunity to celebrate with colleagues and suppliers that I have made friendships with over those years. Being shortlisted is a great way to crown what has been a hugely successful year for Red Card.”

The Retas winners will be unveiled at a lavish afternoon Frida Kahlo-themed event on Wednesday 10 July, which will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane, not at The Dorchester as initially announced (the move was made in protest to anti-human rights laws.). The Sultan of Brunei has just announced that due to the protests, he has announced that the barbaric laws will now not be enforced.

To secure your Retas ticket to this great networking event at which the top retailers will rub shoulders with publishers and trade suppliers, contact Clare Hollick on clare@keystonecomms.co.uk or on 01733 294524.

 

Top: In Heaven at Home has reached The Retas’ finals in the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Wales and the Midlands category.

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