The Retas 2021 Finalists Have Been Announced

The finalists of The Retas 2021 greeting card retailer awards have been announced today (May 28), collectively representing the best greeting card retail stockists in the UK.

“In what must rank as the most challenging period for retail ever, the line-up of The Retas 2021 finalists stands as testament to the passion, inventiveness, nous and tenacity of the UK’s leading greeting card stockists,” commented Jakki Brownjoint managing director of Max Publishing, which owns and organises The Retas (as well as Progressive Greetings and PG Buzz). “Even through the forced closures during lockdowns, so many found ways to continue inspire, excite and over deliver on consumer expectations on the greeting card front,” she added.

The finalists were arrived at following a rigorous industrywide nomination and entry process.

Above: The entry form for The Retas (featuring illustrations by Lianne Harrison of Paperwhale) reflects the Finery of Greenery theme of the awards event in July.
Above: The entry form for The Retas (featuring illustrations by Lianne Harrison of Paperwhale) reflects the Finery of Greenery theme of the awards event in July.

This year there is no Best Retail Employee award category, due to extended periods when the card shops were not open and the vast majority of staff were furloughed.

However, there is an additional Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards award, which sees both independent centres as well as multiple-sited groups to be recognised and rewarded for their greeting card retailing prowess.

So, come now and meet the finalists of The Retas 2021…

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – London

Card Bureau, Holland Park

The Card Collection, East Molesey

Earlybird, Stoke Newington

Gift, Crouch End

The Indigo Tree, Streatham and Crystal Palace

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Home Counties and South East

Calladoodles, Carshalton

Cardies, Stevenage

Dee’s Cards, Leighton Buzzard

Objectables, Folkestone

Red Card, Petworth

Threads of Harpenden

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – East Anglia 

Celebrations Hallmark, Aylsham

Creativity, Sheringham

Elm, Norwich

Podarok, Cambridge

Quest, Bury St Edmunds and Holt

Sincerely Yours, Shenfield and Hornchurch

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – South West

Card Collection, Bath and Salisbury

Cilla & Camilla, Beaminster and Bridport

Expressions, Cats Whiskers and Polkadot, Swindon, Bishops Cleeve and Keynsham

Just Cards, Honiton

Southbourne Cards, Southbourne

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Wales and the Midlands

Austin & Co, Malvern

Beau Regards and Willowsbrook, Wombourne and Stone

The Celtic Company, Welshpool

Hugs and Kisses, Tettenhall

Mooch Gifts & Home, Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn

Nest, Stoneygate, Thurlaston and Broughton Astley

Something Special, Kingswinford

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – North and Northern Ireland

Bailey’s – Ainsdale, Crosby and Maghull

Best Wishes, Garstang

Cards & Gifts, Sheffield and Dronfield

Love & Best Wishes, Sheffield

Reflections, Rugeley and Nantwich

Serendipity, Newcastle

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Scotland

Bearing Gifts, Troon

Bijou and JP Pozzi, Elgin and Buckie

The Gift Boutique Hallmark, Fraserburgh

Paper Tiger, two stores in Edinburgh

Papyrus, Glasgow

Penny Black, two stores in Glasgow

Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – South

The Bean Hive, Falmouth and Kettering

Cranbornes of Shaftesbury, Shaftesbury

DickieBird Homestore, Battle

I Only Popped In For A Card, Clerkenwell, London

Kingfisher Cards, Sidmouth

Wishlist, Raynes Park

Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – North

Coorie Doon, Campbeltown

HBB Cards, Newport Pagnell

Henry & Co, Bridgnorth, Nottingham and Ormskirk

Jessica Hogarth Shop, Robin Hood’s Bay

Papersmile, Normanton

Paper Wishes, Prestatyn

Best Independent Bookstore Retailer of Greeting Cards

Bookends, Christchurch

The Bookshop, East Grinstead

Guisborough Bookshop, Guisborough

House of Books, Crouch End, Muswell Hill and West Hampstead

Spencer Thorn, Bude

Winstone Books, Frome, Sherborne and Sidmouth

Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – North

The Hollies Farm Shop, Little Budworth and Lower Stretton

Newark Post Office, Newark

QLM Home, Leeds

Stationery Supplies, Marple and Wilmslow

Tutbury Present Company, Tutbury

Utility, three stores in Liverpool and Manchester

Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – South

Anne Toms’ Yarmouth Gallery

Emporium, Leckhampton

Highworth Emporium, Highworth

No. 14, Ampthill

Papilio at Heritage, Thornbury

Paprika, Bath and Chippenham

Best Greeting Card Small Multiple (4+ stores)

3 Wishes – Broadstone, Ferndown, Lymington, Ringwood, Verwood

Bailey’s Cards & Gifts – Ainsdale, Crosby, Maghull and Southport

House of Cards – Caversham, Chalfont St Peter, Kidlington, Thatcham, Tring and Wallingford

Mooch – Olney, Northampton (x2), Rushden Lakes and Towcester,

Postmark – Balham, Blackheath, Chiswick, East Dulwich and Greenwich

Zo & Co – Cheadle, Didsbury, Knutsford and Marple

Best Department Store Retailer of Greeting Cards

Atkinsons, Sheffield

Austins, Newton Abbot

Fenwick Group

Goulds, Dorchester

John Lewis & Partners

Morley Group

Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards






Waitrose & Partners

Best Non-Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards (4+ stores)

Between the Lines – 15 stores in the South

Gee Tees – five stores in the North

Oliver Bonas, 75+ stores in the UK

Lark – six stores in London

Waterstones – 280+ stores in the UK

WHSmith – 1,100+ stores in the UK

Best Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards (20+ branches)

Card Factory – 1,000+ stores in the UK

Cards Direct – 37 stores in the UK

Cardzone – 160+ stores in the UK

Clintons – 240+ stores in the UK

Paperchase – 125+ stores in the UK

Scribbler – 35 stores in the UK

Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards – independent (1-4 centres)

Bernaville Nurseries, Cowley, Exeter

Fron Goch, Caernarfon

Frosts, Woburn Sands, Willington, Brampton, Millets Farm

Monkton Elm Garden Centre, Taunton

Plants Plus Garden Centre, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

RHS Garden Centres, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor, Wisley

Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards – Multiple or group (5+ centres)

Blue Diamond Group – 37 centres in the UK

Dobbies – 70+ centres in the UK

Haskins – five centres in the South

Klondyke & Strikes – 22 centres in the UK

Longacres – five centres in the South

Otter Nurseries – seven centres in the South West

Squires – 16 centres in the south

Best Greeting Card Retailer Initiative

Calladoodles, Carshalton – for its 10th Anniversary programme

Earlybird, Stoke Newington – for its Hope Programme

Little Boat Gifts, Brightlingsea – for The Brightlingsea Badge Challenge

My Beautiful Caravan, Stonehaven – for its Pay It Forward activity

Red Card, Petworth – for its Pants charity initiative

Swagger, Chipping Sodbury – for its Valentine’s Windows of Caring

Best Greeting Card Wholesaler

Archway Cards, Norwich

BGC Wholesale, nine branches

Card & Party World, Cardiff

Crosswear Trading, Enfield

Greetings House, Walsall

Jackson’s, Sheffield

Greeting Card Retailer of the Year

All winners of the other categories are contenders for this award.

The Retas winners will now be unveiled at a lavish afternoon Finery of Greenery-themed event on Tuesday 16 November, which will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane. (The event was originally planned to go ahead on Wednesday 14 July, but due to the delay in lifting the restrictions, it was moved to a later date to enable it to go ahead).

Above: The happy winners at The Retas 2019 Frida Kahlo-themed event.
Above: The happy winners at The Retas 2019 Frida Kahlo-themed event.

“Due to the pandemic, The Retas 2020 were cancelled before any finalists were announced, which means that this year’s awards are doubly important – and a great opportunity for retailers and publishers to get together once again,” said Warren Lomax, joint managing director of Max Publishing.

Tickets and tables to The Retas 2021 can be bought online via  or by contacting The Retas’ awards organiserClare Hollick of Createvents on 01183 340085 or by emailing her on

The Retas 2021 already has a strong roster of sponsors, leading companies, who are all committed to rewarding retailing expertise, with more to follow. These currently include The Art File, Carte Blanche Greetings, Cath Tate Cards, Danilo, Hallmark, Ohh Deer, Ling Design, Paper Salad, Paperlink, Pigment ProductionsProgressive Greetings Live, Second Nature, Sensations, UK Greetings and Woodmansterne Publications.


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