Who are the UK’s best greeting card retailers?

The search is on with a vengeance to find the best greeting card retailers in the UK as The Retas 2018 greeting card retail awards are now open for entry! Now in their 13th year, The Retas are the UK’s only awards dedicated to celebrating greeting card retailing.

The Retas greeting card retailer awards, organised and owned by Progressive Greetings, recognise and reward greeting card stockists right across the spectrum, from regional independents to multiples, department stores to garden centres and everything in between. The Retas also fetes employees of outstanding excellence.

Entering is free and easy. Retailers should download an entry form at www.theretasawards.co.uk with the deadline being 23 March.

“We urge all retailers to tell us what they have been up to in the last year – you’ve got to be in it to win it!” quipped PG’s joint md Warren Lomax. “We will also be canvassing hundreds of publishers and agents for their nominations for which retailers they feel have been the tops over the last 12 months.”

Above: Could it be you on stage this year with the award winners?
Above: Could it be you on stage this year with the award winners?

The winners of The Retas 2018 will unveiled at an oceanic-themed awards event to held at The Dorchester Hotel in London on the afternoon of Wednesday 11 July, where ‘sea-ing is believing’!

Some of last year’s Retas winners share what it has meant to them to win one of these coveted awards:

“Winning our Retas award was fantastic. Hearing our name called out at the awards ceremony was an amazing experience and provoked quite an emotional response from both of us. All the hard work was paying off. Since winning, we have appeared in our local papers and have had a huge positive response from our local community and beyond. Sales of cards have definitely increased together with footfall.” Nicky Stephenson and Claire Jarvis, The Tutbury Present Company, Tutbury, Staffs, Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Wales and the Midlands

“Our Retas win came at a great time for the publicity it brought the business. Both the local, national and business press all ran articles featuring the win, which was fantastic after we had invested so heavily. More important than this though was the recognition that the award brought our store and the title of Scotland’s Best Independent Card Shop of which we were are very proud. The award felt like a little gold star on what we try to do and has spurred us on to continue to contribute and hopefully innovate in the world of card retailing.” David Roberston, JP Pozzi and Bijou – Buckie and Elgin, Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Scotland 

Above: Retas Winner David Robertson (JP Pozzi), Jenny Cummins (McMillan Cards, Sydney), Wendy Jones-Blackett (Wendy Jones-Blackett), double Retas winners Mark and Leona Janson-Smith (Postmark) in celebration mode.
Above: Retas Winner David Robertson (JP Pozzi), Jenny Cummins (McMillan Cards, Sydney), Wendy Jones-Blackett (Wendy Jones-Blackett), double Retas winners Mark and Leona Janson-Smith (Postmark) in celebration mode.

“I didn’t tell anyone I was entering the Retas and when I got an email telling me I was a finalist it was a massive shock, never mind winning it! It took quite a while for it to sink in that I had actually won. I would encourage everyone to enter The Retas. Even if you only make to the finalists stage in your category, to be selected ahead of all the independents in your area shows that you’re doing great! All the late nights, sleepless nights, early mornings and even the tears make it all worth it when you know people in the industry have supported you.” Megan Eyles, Peppertrees, Northampton, Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – South

“The most positive thing about winning the Retas has been our customers’ pride that ‘their’ card shop has been recognised in a national award – it is as if it somehow reflects on them and their town. They like the fact the cards they send are bought in an award winning shop. We have the trophy on our counter and it generates so much interest and positive reaction – not a day goes by without customers commenting. We would encourage other shops to get on board – your customers will love it if you are finalists.” Sarah Green, Spots, Southwold, Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – East Anglia

Above: Spots’ Retas award has pride of place on the counter.
Above: Spots’ Retas award has pride of place on the counter.

“Nor’s Retas win has caused quite a stir in West Norwood. We have become the talk of the town (and beyond!), which has in turn brought more and more people into the shop who otherwise may not have visited. Of those ‘first time’ customers many have become regulars…so thank you, thank you, thank you Progressive Greetings for such a splendid accolade!” Serge Sumerling, Nor, London, Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – London.

To book your tickets to The Retas awards event, a lavish event that will bring together retailers, publishers and suppliers, contact Clare Davies on clare@createvents.co.uk, call her on 01183 340085, or download a booking form (http://www.theretasawards.co.uk/tickets.html) and have a look at last year’s photos from the event while you’re at it!

Above: (Right) Amanda and Will Oscroft (Love It) with fellow retailers Steve and Julie McHale (Bentleys) with the wonderful goody bag that everyone received at last year’s Retas.
Above: (Right) Amanda and Will Oscroft (Love It) with fellow retailers Steve and Julie McHale (Bentleys) with the wonderful goody bag that everyone received at last year’s Retas.

 

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