Retailers Rejoice Making It Into The Retas 2021 Finals

The announcement of The Retas 2021 c finalists (https://www.pgbuzz.net/the-retas-2021-finalists-have-been-announced/) set off a feelgood ‘Mexican wave’ of overflowing enthusiasm and sheer joy that is still percolating throughout the whole industry.

Having shared two helpings of this positivity on PG Buzz (https://www.pgbuzz.net/wows-and-woops-galore-from-retas-2021-finalists/) and (https://www.pgbuzz.net/the-waves-of-wows-keep-lapping-from-retas-2021-finalists/), there is still more ‘soul food’ in the pot, so feast your eyes…

Jessica Hogarth and Phil Hammill, owner and manager of the Jessica Hogarth Shop, Robin Hood’s Bay

Finalist: Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – North

“We were so excited to hear we are finalists. Obviously, we chose to open our shop at an uncertain time, but the support and response we have had to our product offering has been incredible and that wouldn’t have been possible without our fabulous suppliers, many of whom are friends. We will keep our fingers crossed we are successful in winning the award, but even being shortlisted is enough for us!

Our local Whitby Gazette is going to feature us and we might get a bit in the Yorkshire Post too!”

Above: A very happy Jessica Hogarth and Phil Hammill on the beach having heard the news.
Above: A very happy Jessica Hogarth and Phil Hammill on the beach having heard the news.

Claire Brown, channel manager, Penny Black, Glasgow

Finalist: Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Scotland

“We are all delighted to hear that we’re in the finals for The Retas! The whoops of joy are still echoing round our office!

It has been great to share the news with our team and feels like all our hard work over the last topsy-turvy year and a bit has been worth it. We will certainly be spreading the news far and wide.

The whole Penny Black team is absolutely over the moon to hear that we’ve been chosen as finalists for The Retas after what has been a rollercoaster of a year for our community.

We’re delighted to be recognised by our industry for our commitment to excellence and continual improvement and wish all our fellow finalists the very best of luck!”

Above: A very happy Claire Brown with Jo Marwaha, product manager and co-founder of Penny Black.
Above: A very happy Claire Brown with Jo Marwaha, product manager and co-founder of Penny Black.

Hayley Bastable, owner of HBB Cards, Newport Pagnell

Finalist: Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – North

“I was absolutely THRILLED when I saw my shop name on The Retas finalists’ list, in fact I really couldn’t believe it… seriously I couldn’t. After a very difficult start (I had to close twice due to lockdowns in my very first few weeks) it was so lovely to receive The Retas news – I’m still on a high. In short, I am very, very happy!”

Above: Hayley Bastable relishing the news.
Above: Hayley Bastable relishing the news.

Pam and Graeme Ness, co-owners of Bearing Gifts, Troon

Finalist: Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Scotland

“We were absolutely blown away to hear that we were a Retas’ finalist. We heard through Dandelion Stationery who messaged us “congratulations” we weren’t expecting it at all.

This week has been a little crazy in the shop with lots of deliveries and orders coming in after such a busy May.  So, tonight, we have our feet up and popped some bubbly to celebrate our little business, and look forward to going to London for the event – we will make a wee holiday of it!

It’s been such a tough year and we have worked so hard through lockdown keeping our customers supplied with their cards and gifts by hand delivering locally and posting out Thanks to all our wonderful card suppliers, we could have got through it without them.”

Above: Pam and Graeme Ness are looking forward to their ‘wee holiday’ to London to attend The Retas.
Above: Pam and Graeme Ness are looking forward to their ‘wee holiday’ to London to attend The Retas.

Rachel Roberts, owner of Wishlist in Raynes Park

Finalist: Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – South

“We are so delighted that Wishlist has been nominated for one of this year’s Retas awards. As a newcomer we have embraced the support, loyalty and friendships of our customers, followers and commercial partners during a challenging year.  We hope our colourful and welcoming shop has bought others as much happiness as it has to us…Thank you so much!”

Above: Rachel’s reaction having just found out the news.
Above: Rachel’s reaction having just found out the news.

Emma Tanner, buyer of cards & wrap at Sainsbury’s

Finalist: Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards

“We are thrilled to be nominated for this prestigious award in a category with extremely strong competition.

It’s been an extremely difficult 15 months for everybody, so we are looking forward to attending The Retas this year and to celebrate with all of our friends in the card industry.”

Above: One of the new look card displays in Sainsbury’s.
Above: One of the new look card displays in Sainsbury’s.

Julie Wombwell, owner of Papersmile, Normanton

Finalist: Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – North

“I am absolutely over the moon with the news, I’ve never been nominated or invited to anything like this before, so to have my efforts and hard work recognised is truly wonderful. I’m sure like so many other small business, we just get our heads down, do our bit and then one day, someone picks you out from the crowd, so I’m chuffed to bits!”

Above: A happy Julie Wombwell of Papersmile.
Above: A happy Julie Wombwell of Papersmile.

Michael Apter, managing director of Paper Tiger, two shops in Edinburgh

Finalist: Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Scotland

“I am delighted that Paper Tiger has been nominated again for a Retas award. This year marks our 40th birthday, and reaching the finals is testament to the consistently high standards that Paper Tiger has delivered over those four decades. We are really grateful to the organisers for including us, and our suppliers who nominated us. I could not hope to be in contention for this award without the hard work and dedication of my team, and the loyal support of our customers who have shopped with us in store and online over the 40 years and in particular over the last few months of pandemic lockdowns. Fingers crossed that the Paper Tiger will roar with delight on November 16!”.

Above: Michael Apter has Paper Tiger’s 40th anniversary to celebrate too this year.
Above: Michael Apter has Paper Tiger’s 40th anniversary to celebrate too this year.

Debbie Pritchard, owner of Bookends, Christchurch

Finalist: Best Independent Bookstore Retailer of Greeting Cards

“What a lovely surprise to hear that we are in the finals this year.  Following government guidance, we, along with most of our admin staff, have stayed at home for the majority of the year. Therefore, as the shop has experienced such challenging circumstances, we felt it only right that our shop managers get the credit for being nominated. So, this was the response from Eleanor and Laura: ‘It feels wonderful to be nominated for The Retas, especially after such a challenging year. Greeting cards have been more important than ever during these isolated times and it’s a joy to know that our cards help to bring loved ones closer together. We love working in cards, as we know just how important it is that people find a special card for people that they care about. Therefore, we are delighted that the passion we have for card retailing is being recognised by being nominated for this amazing award. We are also extremely grateful for the loyal support of our customers after such an unstable time for the High Street, and as we spread the news, we know they will be very excited for us. It is lovely to have some happy news at last – there are very big smiles behind our masks!’”

3I. RETAS AWARDS FINALISTS LOGO 2021 copy 3

The winners of The Retas will be announced at a wonderful afternoon event (on a Finery of Greenery theme), which is now scheduled to take place on Tuesday 16 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel. (The event was initially planned for July 14, but due to the delay of lockdown restrictions easing, a new date later in the year was found. https://www.pgbuzz.net/the-retas-2021-to-move-to-tuesday-16-november-2021/)

Tickets and tables to The Retas 2021 can be bought online via www.max-subscriptions.net  or by contacting The Retas’ awards organiserClare Hollick of Createvents on 01183 340085 or by emailing her on clare@createvents.co.uk.

The Retas 2021 already has a strong roster of sponsors, leading companies, who are all committed to rewarding retailing expertise, with more to follow. These currently include The Art FileBelly Button DesignsCarte Blanche GreetingsCath Tate CardsDaniloHallmarkOhh DeerLing DesignPaper SaladPaperlinkPigment ProductionsProgressive Greetings LiveSecond NatureSensationsUK GreetingsWendy Jones-Blackett and Woodmansterne Publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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