The UK’s very best greeting card retailers were officially recognised at The Retas greeting card retailer awards ceremony, which took place today (July 10) at The Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, London.
The sell out event, which this year took on a ‘Frida Fiesta’ theme after the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, was attended by over 400 greeting card retailers, publishers and suppliers.
Welcoming guests, PG’s co-owner Warren Lomax said:“As with so many of the talented retailers that we celebrate today, Frida’s skills were totally self-taught, not only that but she overcame adversity to produce brilliant end results of astonishing beauty. And much the same can be said of the inventive entrepreneurial retailers here who have fought the tough retail landscape using their own passion and tenacity to craft an inspiring retail environment to delight customers.”
The Retas 2019 saw greeting card retail stockists from right across the retail spectrum recognised, rewarded and celebrated. Among the worthy winners are Cardzone (Best Specialist Multiple), John Lewis (Best Department Store Retailer of Greeting Cards) and Blue Diamond Group, which was crowned Greeting Card Retailer of the Year.
Now in its 15th year, The Retas, organised by Max Publishing, owners of Progressive Greetings magazine are the only dedicated awards for greeting card retailers.
The event was hosted with great aplomb by comedian Pippa Evans, whose wonderfully crafted ditty about greeting card retailing went down a storm.
In keeping with the fact that The Retas had moved to the Grosvenor House Hotel from The Dorchester in protest of the hotel owner Sultan of Brunei passing barbaric anti-human rights laws, the £4,000+ proceeds of the charity raffle were divided between Amnesty International and The Light Fund.
And here are The Retas Winners 2019….
Greeting Card Retail Employee Of The Year
Mandy Baker, manager of Celebrations, Aylsham
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – London (inside the M25)
Medici Gallery, South Kensington
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Home Counties
Red Card, Petworth
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – East Anglia
Sincerely Yours, Shenfield
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – South West
Island Greetings, two stores in St Helier
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Wales and the Midlands
In Heaven At Home, Market Harborough
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – North and Northern Ireland
Bailey’s Cards and Gifts, Southport and Crosby
Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Scotland
Bluestone Gift Shops, Largs, Glasgow, Lochgilphead and Barrhead
Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – South
Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – North
Cards & Gifts, Sheffield
Best Independent Bookstore Retailer of Greeting Cards
Blandfords of Broadway, Hereford and Ledbury
Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – North
Boroughbridge Post Office’s The Well Good Card Shop, Boroughbridge
Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – South
Mooch, Olney and Towcester and two stores in Northampton
Best Greeting Card Small Multiple (4-20 stores)
Zo & Co, four stores in Greater Manchester and Cheshire
Best Department Store Retailer of Greeting Cards
John Lewis, Oxford St
Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards
Best Non-Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards (4+ stores)
Utility, three stores in Liverpool and one in Manchester
Best Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards (20+ stores)
Cardzone Group – 130+ stores
Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards
Blue Diamond Group – 30 garden centres
Best Greeting Card Retailer Initiative
Cardies – for its community street art programme
Best Greeting Card Wholesaler
Budget Greeting Cards, nine branches UK and Eire
Greeting Card Retailer of the Year
Blue Diamond Group
Photos from The Retas will be available to see and download from the awards’ website (www.theretasawards.co.uk) over the next few days and the event will be covered in full and glorious technicolour in the August edition of Progressive Greetings magazine.