Cardzone was forced to close over 10% of its 135 stores temporarily due to the horrendous weather conditions – while so many other card retailers are still experiencing dampened sales.
As the worst flooding for some two decades continues to wreak havoc for both homeowners and businesses in flood hit areas of the UK, retailers including greeting card shops, have little choice but to tough it out.
“While we are fortunate that none of our shops have been flooded, at one point we had 15 stores closed due to the weather as our staff had no way of getting to work,” revealed Paul Taylor, managing director of Cardzone which has shops in some of the worst affected areas, such as Pontypridd and Shropshire. The group’s Card Centre store in Pontypridd, for example was closed for two days.
Manager of Cardzone’s Hallmark Thorntons store in the Shropshire town of Ludlow, Nicky Heapey said: “It is so upsetting. People are seeing the floodwarnings and just are not coming out. We are a small town which also usually attracts a lot of tourists, but they are just not here. And now we hear that we have to brace ourselves for snow storms! Fingers crossed the weather in March will be better.”
Jon May, co-owner of card and gift shops Mooch Gifts & Home in Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn has also had his usual upbeat demeanor challenged by the weather.
Though thankful that no businesses in Bewdley have been flooded due to the town having flood barriers, and stresses how grateful he is for the work of the Environment Agency team, the necessary preventative action has nonetheless affected trade.
Jon shares how the town has been “turned into a ghost town due to the town centre bridge being closed since Sunday February 16.”
The closure was initially for vehicles, due to the erection of the flood barriers, but last Tuesday (February 18), it was closed to pedestrians as well as vehicles following concerns that the barriers were not going to hold.
Remaining ever stalwart, Jon posted messages on social media “that the town is still very much open for business and the local traders need supporting.”
While the bridge has remained closed to vehicles over the last weekend, it is due to re-open today.
Top: The closing of the town centre bridge in Bewdley has brought trade to a standstill.