“What a week that was!” states Stuart Delahoy, owner of Set Design in Leicester, summing up the recent harsh weather that wrecked havoc on card retailers’ business with icy and snowy conditions ‘freezing’ sales of Mother’s Day sales.
“The snow in the midlands was not as bad as for many, but the biting cold last week did have a real detrimental effect on trade,” Stuart confessed to PG Buzz yesterday (Monday March 5). Although last Saturday’s trade in his award-winning store was weak, “Sunday saw the sun come out, the snow melting and gave us a bumper day, which is continuing…so far!”
Stuart remains in buoyant mood that the event will come good. “On the back of an improved Valentine’s we have high hopes for all those lovely Mums out there. Early signs this week are really good, with our themed window displays and pent up demand on our side!”
Meanwhile, up in Scotland, Michael Apter, owner of two Paper Tiger shops in Edinburgh said the city “was heavily impacted by the wild weather, with a complete cancellation of public transport from Wednesday afternoon until Friday lunchtime, and school, council and many businesses were closed.”
He paid tribute to his “marvellous Paper Tiger team” many of whom walked in to work – “some hardy souls walked a couple of miles to get our stores open. I’m very grateful to them for their commitment and dedication, and to the customers that did visit our stores – there was a great spirit from people who were out and about,” he said.
Michael said that customers were so grateful that Paper Tiger had made the effort to trade, “and they spent a bit more than usual!”
While Paper Tiger’s sales on Thursday and Friday took a significant knock, Edinburgh residents’ “cabin fever” got the better of by the weekend, and despite ongoing disruption, sales were back on a par with the previous year. While “confident” that some of the suppressed spend will come back to the stores, Paper Tiger is extending its store opening hours this week to give people a chance to get organised for Mother’s Day at the weekend.
Down in Essex, Lesley Dunne of Feathering Your Nest in Raleigh rewarded hardy shoppers who ventured out during the bad weather, giving anyone making a purchase a freebie Penguin Kisses bath bomb.
While Lesley said that the snow “certainly took its toll on the Mother’s Day sales” in what is usually one of its best weeks of the year. She said that “this week, we have been mega busy and thankfully clawing back lost sales, with a fair wind I’m hoping to make up the deficit.”
Like Michael Apter, Lesley is ever thankful for her “stalwart staff” for braving the adverse conditions. “We really worked hard on our social media to keep reminding customers that we were open and Mother’s Day was near. Our windows are extra eye catching and attracting a lot of attention.”
In Surrey, Liz Killick, owner of Calladoodles, in Carshalton feels well blessed that her customers are a “hardy and determined bunch” meaning that while the Beast from the East did affect sales in the early part of last week, by Friday sales were back in force. “Saturday showed enough of a spike in sales to compensate for the week’s losses. Mother’s Day is second only to Christmas for us in sales terms so we’re happy so far,” admitted Liz.
Calladoodles has launched a ‘Draw your Mum’ competition for children, raising awareness by distributing colouring sheets in local coffee shops, libraries and nurseries. Attached to the sheets is a little slip that entitles shoppers to ‘buy one get one half price’ when they purchase any of the store’s award winning cards!
The children’s drawing of their mums will be displayed in the shop window in time for the mums to view on Sunday.
Plus, as today (March 6) marks Calladoodles’ 8th birthday, Liz and the team will be in the festive mood early. “We’ll be all caked-out by Sunday!” predicts Liz.
Karen Ebers of Something Special in Edenbridge is another indie who feels positive that many of the sales due to the weather can be clawed back. “Although last week’s extreme weather did significantly affect trade, since the thaw we have been very busy, with a bumper Saturday and Monday. If this continues through the week we will without doubt make up the deficit. Hopefully there will be a last minute rush as the public realise that Mother’s Day is this weekend!