A week ago, over 300 members of the greeting card community headed to the Grosvenor House Hotel (Tuesday 16 November) for a triumphant return of The Retas 2021 greeting card retail awards.
You can now relive the event by checking out the official Retas 2021 photo gallery and download any pics you would like, by clicking here.
To read a full list of Retas 2021 winners, click here.
Here, PG Buzz shares comments from a trio of Retas’ winners…
Paul and James Taylor, co-directors of Cardzone, which won Best Specialist Multiple and Greeting Card Retailer of the Year: “We were both euphoric on the announcement of winning not just the Specialist Multiple Retailer award but also the Greeting Card Retailer of the Year award! A significant amount of hard work has gone into the past 18 months to both navigate the challenges of the pandemic, but also to take advantage of any growth opportunities available to Cardzone as a result of it. On one hand we have faced falling footfall and sales in our existing stores (which thankfully has gradually been improving since coming out of the third lockdown); and on the other we have been opening roughly a new store every fortnight and explaining to our staff that this growth is a means of supporting the business’ financial health in the longer term. It may have often felt like we were prioritising growth ahead of the performance of our existing stores when truthfully both aspects are of equal importance and without these combined elements we wouldn’t be where we are today, almost 17 years on since opening the first Cardzone store. These awards meant so much more given that eight members of our management team could also be present to share in their success. We are extremely humbled to have been selected and every employee of Cardzone who has played a part in achieving this award deserves to know they have truly contributed.”
Sean Austin, owner of Austin & Co, which won Best Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – Wales and the Midlands: “In the last 20 months, I’ve come through three national lockdowns, built a successful website, relocated our shop, and not forgetting losing two of my closest 4-legged companions, including my trusty Nessa. To be just here and still trading is reward enough, but then to recognised by my peers in the industry for what I’ve done is literally the cherry on the cake. It’s a wonderful industry and I am so proud to be part of the card family. It just makes me want to do more going forward. Here’s to a successful 2022!”
Mark Rees, managing director of Henry & Co, which won Best Newcomer – North: “We were blown away and so excited when we heard the announcement. I couldn’t really take it in straight away. So proud of the team and it feels amazing to be recognised for all our hard work. We couldn’t wait to tell the girls. She [our Retas trophy] is going in the window to be shown off. We’ve had so many lovely comments from people coming in the shop to say congratulations and over social media – it’s quite overwhelming. We are still smiling from ear to ear!”
More Retas’ reactions to follow on subsequent PG Buzz editions and in Progressive Greetings’ December edition.
To see The Retas 2021 finalists’ brochure, click here.
Top: (left-right) Heidi Early (Earlybird); Karen West and Sally Matson (both Red Card); Dom Early (Earlybird) with Objectables’ Annie and Tim Gould.