This ad will be closed automatically in X seconds.

Store opening bucks trend

Morleys expands with third Camp Hopson outlet housing new greeting card department

 

Morleys is bucking the trend where department stores chains have been in difficulty, and is stead opening new stores – including a fabulous new greeting card and stationery department.

The official opening of the chain’s latest Camp Hopson store building in Newbury on Friday, 19 April, gives the eight-strong group a trio of sites in the Berkshire town.

Above: The mayor and mayoress turned out with all the staff to launch Camp Hopson’s latest store
Above: The mayor and mayoress turned out with all the staff to launch Camp Hopson’s latest store

Cllrs Nigel Foot and Sarah Slack, the mayor and mayoress of Newbury, were on hand for the event with the new shop at 13-15 Northbrook Street housing the greeting card, stationery, gifts, home fragrance, linens, tableware, cookware, electricals and toys departments just two doors down from the main grade II listed department store, with a furniture centre across the car park.

As a private limited company under directors Nigel Blow and Bernard Dreesman, and non-executive director John Egan, Morleys now has eight department stores, seven in and around the Greater London area plus Camp Hopson.

The group is named after the original store that opened in Brixton, as Morley & Lanceley, with Morleys Tooting originally opening in 1990 as Smith Bros, and the Bexleyheath branch opened by the group in Broadway Shopping Centre. Elys in Wimbledon was established in 1876, Selbys of Holloway Road in 1895, Roomes in Upminster in 1888, Enfield welcomed Pearsons in 1903, and Camp Hopson was founded in 1921.

Above: The ultra-modern stationery department contrasts with the listed original department store
Above: The ultra-modern stationery department contrasts with the listed original department store

At the other end of the retail scale is indie HBB Cards in Newport Pagnell where the new owners are Aamir and Danish, who have just bought the store from founder Hayley Bastable.

“We’re delighted to be here,” the pair said, “we have lots of plans for new exciting developments meanwhile keeping the shop to the same high standards as always.”

And up in Harrogate, Jespers has just celebrated the 30th anniversary of Lynn Cummings joining the store and working her way up from a sales assistant to store manager, despite only intending to stay six months!

Above: Aamir and Danish are the delighted new owners at HBB Cards
Above: Aamir and Danish are the delighted new owners at HBB Cards

When Lynn applied for the sales assistant role in 1994 she’d just finished a hospitality management degree and planned to take up a place on a graduate training scheme.

The then-md Charles Jesper was delighted to discover she came from the same village near Masham as his mother, and Lynn laughed: “I spent the interview talking about where I grew up, and I’m sure that’s why I got the job!”

The specialist retail stationer has been in the town since 1901 and now sells greeting cards and gifts as well as its core stationery and art supplies products, with the Jespers selling the business in 2019 to fellow Yorkshire folk the Vickers family.

After being promoted to second assistant retail manager Lynn moved to Jespers’ shop in York as manager in 1997, then returned to Harrogate in 1999 where she has been manager ever since.

Above: Lynn outside Jespers last week and the store in the early 1990s
Above: Lynn outside Jespers last week and the store in the early 1990s

“It’s a long time,” she said, “but I’m not the longest-ever serving member of staff – the lady I took over from was at Jespers for 36 years, and one of our sales assistants, Ann-Marie Smith, retired last year after 35 years.

“When I started, we had manual tills and there were typewriters in the window. It was a different type of era, more traditional. Jespers had a lot of long-standing, well-known Harrogate customers such as Lord Mountgarrett and Sir Thomas Ingilby. We used to do printing, rubber stamps, and we had the pen counter, which was seen as a privilege to be asked to work on.”

MORE NEWS
GCA RM Sale Feature Image
 
GCA reacts to protect industry interests as RM board ‘minded’ to accept new offer...
Gift Awards Feature Image
 
Outstanding Achievement for Hannah Dale and Rosie Made A Thing scores hat trick...
GCA agm rm Feature Image
 
Early bird tickets still available as Royal Mail boss announced for conference slot...
Bubblegum stuff Feature Image
 
The Apprentice finalist debuts fresh card collaboration at greeting card trade show...
Retas finalists 2 Feature Image
 
Retas’ awards finalists are springing about at news of being finalists...
 
International publisher takes on Linnapaperi, and hands over £60k charity donation...
Get the latest news sent to your inbox
Subscribe to our daily newsletter

The list doesn't exist! Make sure you have imported the list on the 'Manage List Forms' page.