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Retailer Reports: Is Trade Making The Grade?

While school kids will be the most of their last day of ‘half-term’, the onus for retailers is to making the most of this ‘final term’ in the run up to Christmas, PG Buzz delves into the ‘report cards’ of a duo of leading indie retailers. Carshalton-based Liz Killick, owner of Calladoodles and Jon May, co-owner of Mooch Gifts and Home, Stourport on Severn and Bewdley reveal what grade they would give trade so far this year, what has been the most testing subject, what they would thank ‘teacher’ for and how they are hoping to achieve top marks in the festive run-up.

Liz Killick, owner of Calladoodles, Carshalton

What grade would give to trade this year?

“A hard earned B+ thanks to a lot of focused effort by dedicated staff and a hard core of loyal customers. The results are steady in the face of the world’s financial apprehensions!!”

Above: Calladoodles enjoys a loyal customer base in Carshalton.
Above: Calladoodles enjoys a loyal customer base in Carshalton.

What has been your most testing ‘subject’?

“Balancing the books while attempting to grow is always top of ‘testing’ subjects, but that aside, our biggest challenge has been maximising space to accommodate a widening choice of greeting cards without reducing dedicated gift offering space. Work in progress, shows promise!”

What would you send a ‘Thank you teacher’ card for?

“If ‘teacher’ is life then thank you for our health and positivity, loyalty and friendship.

Our great team is our strength. ‘Class Calladoodles’ is proud to have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence in our local MP Tom Brake’s local business competition.”

Above: MP Tom Brake presenting Liz Killick (front left) and her Calladoodles team mates with their Certificate of Excellence.
Above: MP Tom Brake presenting Liz Killick (front left) and her Calladoodles team mates with their Certificate of Excellence.

How are you feeling about the festive run-up?

“We started installing Christmas gradually from October 1. We hope for all our sakes that the political and financial upheaval of the ‘B’ word uncertainty will not mar Christmas trade, but my hunch is that purse strings will be tightened!”

Above: A selection of Christmas products that Calladoodles has on offer.
Above: A selection of Christmas products that Calladoodles has on offer.

Jon May, co-owner of Mooch Gifts & Home, Stourport on Severn and Bewdley

In addition to having received several Greats gift retailing awards, Mooch Gifts & Home, Stourport on Severn and Bewdley has been hailed as one of the 25 Best Small Shops in the UK. As one of the 25 finalists in the 2019 Best Small Shops competition, co-owners Jon May and Luke Jacks have been invited to the House of Commons for an awards reception next Tuesday (November 5) where they will meet with MPs, trade representatives and industry peers.

Above: Jon May (left) and Luke Jacks, co-owners of Mooch in Stourport-on-Severn and Bewdley, spending their Retas Sunshine ticket with Paper Salad’s co-owner Karen Wilson at PG Live.
Above: Jon May (left) and Luke Jacks, co-owners of Mooch in Stourport-on-Severn and Bewdley, spending their Retas Sunshine ticket with Paper Salad’s co-owner Karen Wilson at PG Live.

What grade would give to trade this year?

“I would give trade this year a B grade, though with the right product mix and hours this could easily be an A by the ‘end of term’.”

Above: The Mooch Gifts & Home shop in Bewdley.
Above: The Mooch Gifts & Home shop in Bewdley.

What has been your most testing ‘subject’?

“Brexit. Uncertainty is not good for trade, you can just see some people holding off from some purchases as they are not sure what is round the corner in regard to job security or interest rate increases, all of which has had a knock-on effect on larger luxury purchases.”

What would you send a ‘Thank you teacher’ card for?

“We would thank our wonderful suppliers for providing us with fabulous cards and gifts, giving people the need to part with their hard earned cash!

We also thank our customers. We had a great response to our ‘We Love Stourport’ window which involved us asking customers to send in photos of what they loved about Stourport past or present, with the winner receiving a Mooch goodie bag, in addition we encouraged people to take selfies in front of the shop to win a £50 Voucher.”

Above: Mooch’s Stourport store window which fanfares its ‘We Love Stourport' initiative.
Above: Mooch’s Stourport store window which fanfares its ‘We Love Stourport’ initiative.

How are you feeling about the festive run-up?

“We launched Christmas on Monday 28 October with a VIP shopping evening with special offers on the night. We believe people will be a bit guarded on their spend this year due to Brexit, but let’s see.

We will do what we always do and give customers plenty of reasons to come into our stores through our fabulous Christmas windows and the fabulous products we work hard to find that keep our customers coming back for more.”

Top: Calladoodles’ Liz Killick and Mooch’s Jon May.

 

 

 

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