Emotions ran high yesterday (July 11) in the UK and no mistake, but they were tears of joy at The Retas 2018 greeting card retail awards event, which took place at The Dorchester Hotel, in London. (See below for the full list of winners).
Paperchase, in the retailer’s 50th year, was presented with the ultimate accolade of Greeting Card Retailer of the Year.
“This is the best feeling ever,” exclaimed Emma Clooney, Paperchase’s greeting card buyer having just come off the stage with her colleagues having collected the retailer’s second award of the day. “Winning the Best Greeting Card Multiple was great, but to also receive the top award is fabulous, in our 50th anniversary year.”
Miles Robinson, co-owner of House of Cards, which won the Best Greeting Card Small Multiple exclaimed: “We are so thrilled. It was Nigel’s [Williamson, the other co-owner] birthday yesterday – this is a fabulous extra birthday present!”
There was rapturous applause from the entire room as Orkney retailer Robert and Caroline Petrie of Kairds jubilantly took to the stage attired in a fish suit with a shark’s hat and mermaid dress to collect the award for Best Independent Greeting Card retailer – Scotland.
“I can’t believe it,” said a very emotional Robert. “It was well worth the trip down from Orkney!”
Over 400 members of the greeting card community attended the awards ceremony, which this year took on an Into The Blue oceanic theme.
Comedian Tania Edwards hosted The Retas awards ceremony.
The Retas, now in their 14th year, are organised and owned by Max Publishing, publishers of Progressive Greetings. The award categories recognise excellence across the greeting card retailing spectrum, from independent specialists, multiples, department stores, supermarkets and non-specialists.
In the welcome speech, PG’s co-owner Jakki Brown said: “This year’s Into The Blue oceanic theme for The Retas embraces the commitment our industry is making to further improve its high environmental credentials and safeguard this wonderful trade and our beautiful planet.” Paying tribute to The Retas winners and finalists, she added that: “Although there are plenty of fish in the retailing sea, it takes courage, determination and fortitude to maintain a steady course given the turbulent waters in retail and life.”
The Retas 2018 Winners
Greeting Card Retail Employee of the Year
Jan Dowell, manager of three Card Factory stores, Merry Hill, Birmingham
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – London
Northwood Cards and Gifts, Northwood
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Home Counties
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – East Anglia
Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – South West
Southbourne Cards, Bournemouth
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Wales and the Midlands
The Little Card and Gift Company, Newport
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – North & Northern Ireland
Hallmark Widnes, Widnes
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Scotland
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – South
Bromley & Co, Ipswich
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – North
Bailey’s Cards & Gifts (Hallmark), Ainsdale
Best Independent Bookstore Retailer of Greeting Cards
Gerrards Cross & Chorleywood Bookshops, Gerrards Cross and Chorleywood
Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – North
Blaby Post Office, Blaby
Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – South
Cadeaux & Co, Chipping Sodbury and Wells
Best Greeting Card Small Multiple
House of Cards, six stores in the Home Counties
Best Department Store Retailer of Greeting Cards
Morleys Department Stores
Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards
Best Non-Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards
Gee Tee’s, five stores in the North
Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards
Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards
Garsons, Esher and Titchfield
Best Greeting Card Retailer Initiative
Blue Rose Gifts & Balloons, Heywood for its 1940s celebration and Armed Forces Day initiative
Best Greeting Card Wholesaler
Greeting Card Retailer of the Year