The fact that few of us are likely to be venturing beyond UK shores this year for our holidays (what are they?!) should signal a bonanza time for retailers located in UK hotspots.
Ditching its passport, PG Buzz ventured to Suffolk to find out how Pete Whiteman, co-owner of Dzodzo in Woodbridge is ready and waiting to welcome the wave of staycationers in his part of the world.
Over to Pete (who co-owns the card and gift shop with his wife Jelena) to share his holiday notes…
“We do believe that we will see an upsurge in visitors to our area this year, (especially after Woodbridge was named the best place to live in the East of England), which should be good for business, but there is a caveat to this. There are some older locals that are nervous about the ‘invasion’ of visitors. Although they are happy to see the town bounce back to life, they also would like everyone to be sensible. It’s a fine balancing act between welcoming new people and keeping locals happy.”
What are you doing to capitalise on the UK holiday mood?
“Buying patterns are different between locals and visitors, with the latter seeking out souvenirs and keepsakes. So, I expect our card shop to show some increase in sales, but for our home gift store to fare much better from this. Also, the style of visitor is changing this year, with many people who normally go abroad staying in the UK and they are after a different type of souvenir. Instead of the magnet and tea towel, they are looking for larger pieces for the home, such as cushions, prints, canvasses, which reflects the level of spare income they have to spend.
Also, this year we will miss the visitors from abroad, especially from the USA, who normally come over to see relatives from when we had the airbase here.
On the product front we love to make the most of our amazing heritage, with two ranges in particular. Firstly, our own designed range of confectionery and souvenirs based on a painting by my mother-in-law, Dobrilla Popovic (the company is named after her, it was her maiden name).
Secondly, from Gill Moon, a local top-quality photographer, who recently appeared on TV with Kate Humble. Gill has a great eye for image and light and had created our cards and Woodbridge calendar for over four years now.”
What would be your ‘must visit’ tip for those visiting Woodbridge?
“There are so many great things to do in this area. Firstly, to visit The Woodbridge Tidemill (only one of two remaining in the UK), secondly visit Sutton Hoo, which recently was the subject of The Dig film which starred Ralph Fiennes.
But most importantly to enjoy the slow way of life – the beaches, countryside and a pint of Adnams Ghostship!”
If there was a magic carpet waiting (and no pandemic) where would you want to go?
“If Jelena and I could be whisked away it would have to be to USA to drive Route 66 (cancelled last year). Big road, wind in the hair kinda feeling.”
Top: A portion of a card showing the river Deben in Woodbridge by local photography Gill Moon, whose products Dzodzo stocks.