Wows And Woops Galore From Retas 2021 Finalists

The good news has spread far and wide following the announcement of The Retas 2021 finalists ( with the nominated retailers quite rightly delighted and keen to share their joy.

“I’m as giddy as a ruddy kipper up North today! The news about The Retas has put a big smile on this tired stationer’s face. And what a great reason for a new frock!” exclaimed Sarah Laker, owner of Stationery Supplies, Marple and Wilmslow, finalist in the Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – North category.

Above: Stationery Supplies’ Sarah Laker.
Above: Stationery Supplies’ Sarah Laker.

Meanwhile down on the south coast, Deborah Tingay, owner of Southbourne Cards, Southbourne was equally as enthusiastic, finding out her shop is up for the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – South West award.

“Congratulations to The Retas team for 17 years of making retailers as happy as I feel!” said Deborah. “Reading the PG Buzz news that we are a finalist was such a fantastic way to start the Bank Holiday weekend and finish our best ever month of May trading (even the weather couldn’t dampen our sales!).”

Above: Deborah Tingay (left) with her ‘Lady Di’ aka Dianne Frewin in the shop.
Above: Deborah Tingay (left) with her ‘Lady Di’ aka Dianne Frewin in the shop.

Deborah and the team are to celebrate with an evening of “beachside dining, a few cocktails and a boogie. Forget Sea, Sand and Sangria – it’s all about Supportive Suppliers, Staying in Stock and most importantly Sensational Staff.

We’re on the crest of a wave and we’ve no intentions of coming off!” she adds.

There was no denying that Paul Mordecai and Hannah Rudder, co-owners of Dee’s Cards, Leighton Buzzard were happy about reaching the finals as they quite literally were jumping for joy in the shop.

Above: Dee’s Cards’ Paul Mordecai and Hannah Rudder jumping for joy.
Above: Dee’s Cards’ Paul Mordecai and Hannah Rudder jumping for joy.

“We are absolutely delighted to be nominated for a Retas award, especially after the tough year everyone has had. We are touched that some of our suppliers have picked us out among the other fantastic retailers out there. Good luck to everyone,” they commented to PG Buzz.

Linda Bygrave, owner of Celebrations in Aylsham was also airborne on seeing her shop’s name in the line-up, being nominated in the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – East Anglia category.

Above: Linda Bygrave was another ‘high jumper’.
Above: Linda Bygrave was another ‘high jumper’.

“I couldn’t be more delighted to be nominated again for a Retas award, and can definitely confirm there was a woop of delight having slowly scrolled down the nominations with bated breath until I saw our name.

Obviously Mandy (manager of the shop and winner of the 2019 Best Retail Employee award in The Retas 2019) was the first person I called with the good news.

I can only say that after the toughest year we have all known this was like a breath of fresh air. So excited for the event itself and seeing everyone again, both at The Retas and of course at PG Live. It feels so good for things to be ‘real’ again.”

Carl Dunne, owner of Cards and Gifts, Sheffield and Dronfield took the jumping for joy to the extreme when he heard the news about being in the finals of the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – North and Northern Ireland category.

Above: The ever enthusiastic Carl Dunne.
Above: The ever enthusiastic Carl Dunne.

“Jumping for joy doesn’t really cover it, as soon as I read the email I leapt off the sofa with such a jump that the dog went one way, my coffee the other, the TV changed to The One Show and Ollie Guise-Smith, Carl’s partner thought someone had come through the front window.  Excited beyond belief!  After the worst year any of us have ever seen, this really has made it all worth it.  To be recognised for the effort that I’ve made really is something special.  I’ve told our local community the good news – customers to fellow traders and even local councillors – who have all said “you’ve brought so much life and colour to a dead area, we needed you and we’re so glad that you’re receiving real recognition from your peers as well” which is lovely.”

Sharing her joy Aga Gabrysiak, co-owner of Highworth Emporium, Highworth (which is a finalist in Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – South category), exclaimed: “Wow, The Retas and PG Live within a fortnight. How happy does that make me feel. The double chance for everyone to get together and, at PG Live see so many wonderful new products – and enjoy all the other treats (free lunch, Retas drinks reception), I can’t think of anything better!”

I found out we had reached The Retas finals from our Retail Buddies WhatsApp group! As I honestly didn’t expect it, the excitement was mixed with disbelief. This is the first time we have been in The Retas finals and I am feeling really chuffed. Cards are big part of our business and we dedicate lots of time on sourcing new and exciting designs. Being recognised in these prestigious awards is a real joy!

Above: Aga and the Highworth Emporium team.
Above: Aga and the Highworth Emporium team.

The finalist logo is now proudly displayed on our website and all over our social media!”

And the outpouring of happiness has not been confined to indies as Hazel Walker, senior buyer and Claire Quinn, buyer of Waterstones were keen to tell PG Buzz:

“We are delighted to have been nominated as a finalist for this year’s Retas – it is an absolute honour! We have felt very fortunate to have been able to continue offering our customers wonderful greeting card ranges from our amazing suppliers, particularly given the challenges that the past year has presented. It is very welcome news indeed, thank you!”

Above: Waterstones’ Hazel Walker (left) and Claire Quinn.
Above: Waterstones’ Hazel Walker (left) and Claire Quinn.

Those in the John Lewis/Waitrose camp were also ecstatic about The Retas announcement with John Lewis & Partners making it into the finalists of the Best Department Store Retailer of Greeting Cards and Waitrose & Partners featuring in the line-up for Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards.

Sarah Moughtin, partner and junior buyer (lead on greeting cards) for John Lewis & Partners and Chloe Graves, partner and buying manager general merchandise (lead on greeting cards) for Waitrose & Partners said:

“We are absolutely delighted that both John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners are finalists in The Retas! It has been a tough 12 months, but we have worked doubly hard to ensure we are still delighting customers with a greeting card assortments!

We are also really looking forward to PG Live – it feels long overdue to see and speak to all our publishers old and new! It will be a key moment for us to start thinking about planning for 2022 and I can’t wait to see all the new designs.”

Above: The Retas 2021 will recognise and reward card retailing excellence across the spectrum.
Above: The Retas 2021 will recognise and reward card retailing excellence across the spectrum.

The winners of The Retas will be announced at a wonderful afternoon event, now scheduled to take place on November 16 at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

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 FileBelly Button DesignsCarte Blanche GreetingsCath Tate CardsDaniloHallmarkOhh DeerLing DesignPaper SaladPaperlinkPigment ProductionsProgressive Greetings LiveSecond NatureSensationsUK Greetings, Wendy Jones-Blackett and Woodmansterne Publications.

Top: The Southbourne Cards trio celebrate the news.


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