This time next week (November 16), hundreds and hundreds of the UK’s best greeting card retailers will be in the Ballroom of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel with publishers, trade suppliers and agents galore. As well as lapping up the convivial atmosphere and enjoying the rich networking opportunity, all eager to find out who will be crowned as winners of The Retas 2021 greeting card retail awards.
The audience will be brimming with the great and the good of the greeting card community, from respected multiples, such as Card Factory, Cardzone, Oliver Bonas, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis & Partners, WHSmith, Blue Diamond, Scribbler and Waterstones to leading small groups, such as House of Cards, Between the Lines, Penmark and Postmark through to countless thrusting indies.
There is still time to be part of the celebrations with some tickets still available. These can be reserved quickly and securely online by visiting Max-Tickets.net or by contacting Clare Hollick at Create Events: firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)1183 340085.
“As they say, all the best things in life are worth waiting for,” said Warren Lomax, joint managing director of Max Publishing, which owns and organises The Retas, referring to the fact that with last year’s Retas having been cancelled completely, due to the pandemic and then the 2021 event shunted from its usual July timeline to next week’s date, these significant awards are all the more poignant.
Highlighting how the theme of this year’s Retas – the finery of greenery – is very apt, Warren added: “To thrive and prosper as a greeting card retailer you need to constantly tend and nurture your business. A pot plant will only stay verdant if its roots are strong and it receives care and love. And it’s the same in successful card retailing. Strong retail roots come from getting the basics right – an inviting product selection, a customer service that goes beyond the call of duty, good communication with suppliers, solid logistical and financial management are all as vital to successful retailing as regular watering is to a hanging basket.”
While the awards ceremony will be hosted by comedian Stuart Goldsmith, the schmoozing will no doubt continue until well after with the foyer of the ballroom being turned into a bar for Retas attendees’ exclusive use until 8pm.
The Retas 2021 has a strong roster of sponsors, all leading companies, who are all committed to rewarding retailing expertise. These currently include The Art File, Belly Button Designs, Carte Blanche Greetings, Cath Tate Cards, Danilo, GBCC, Hallmark, Heritage Art & Design, The Imaging Centre/Simplicity Retail, Kantar, Ohh Deer, Ling Design, Paper Salad, Paperlink, Pigment Productions, Progressive Greetings Live, Second Nature, Sensations, UK Greetings, W Select, Wendy Jones-Blackett and Woodmansterne Publications.
Covid policy: To help ensure that The Retas make a safe comeback as an enjoyable in-person event, everyone attending will have to show proof of being double vaccinated (via the NHS app) or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test (within 24 hours of the event start time), logged with the NHS result service. There will be facilities at the event for people to do a lateral flow test if required.
The Retas’ Covid policy can be read by clicking here.
Top: Part of the stunning Retas ticket that was designed by Paper Salad and produced by Windles, with the board donated by GF Smith.