Scribbler is anticipating a 40-60% reduction in turnover in the initial phase of ‘non-essential’ stores opening up on June 15 as the public adjust to the new shopping constraints imposed by the Government due to Covid-19.
“We could, of course, be way off!” mitigated John and Jennie Procter, co-owners of Scribbler told PG Buzz on sharing their anticipated takings, stating that their “staffing and suggested rental levels” have however been based on this assumption.
The popular specialist retailer has revealed that it is planning to open 7-10 stores initially. “We are planning to and base the rollout on their performance,” said John.
With the re-opening only six trading days before Father’s Day, John accepts that sales for the final 2020 Spring Seasons event “will not be great instore” but in line with the brand’s soaring online sales during lockdown, he is braced for strong sales via the company’s webshop.
Reiterating a belief he shared on the very first PG Buzz Zoom Meet-up at the start of lockdown, John is continuing to send out a strong message to landlords wanting to retain Scribbler as a tenant going forward as we look to recover from this challenging period.
“Rents will have to be based on a percentage of turnover for a sufficient period to then establish a new level based on current trading conditions. It is vital that landlords understand that the world has changed,” stressed John.
Summing up their views on ‘lockdown life’ (to be published imminently in Progressive Greetings’ May/June edition), Jennie responded: “Personally: Great – it’s the sabbatical we have always promised ourselves!”
On a business front, she added “Obviously incredibly challenging, but we must remind ourselves that retail was not in great shape before all this happened and if we come out of it with more realistic rental levels then, who knows, maybe things could improve.”
When asked to cite the best and worst things about this lockdown period, the Procters’ human side come to the fore.
Best: “Bizarrely I think we are all communicating more with work colleagues and family via Zoom etc and are realising that we can work from home really efficiently. Captain Tom was pretty impressive too!”
Worst: “The inevitable job losses throughout all industries and the conditions that so many families have had to endure during lockdown.
Paying tribute to the role greeting cards have played in all of this Jennie added how the huge uplift in online cards sales testify “what a great communication tool cards are.”