With Mother’s Day always a close second to Christmas, and Father’s Day generally seen as a less important gifting occasion for gift shops, was there a corner turned last weekend?
For many gift retailers, cards, as well as gifts, were the main drivers in making the tills ring. “We had a bumper Father’s Day trading weekend,” confirmed Maggie Thornton, owner of Greats winner Alligator Pear in Tadworth, “and we were significantly up. We created a mini ‘Dad Den’, using wallpaper to make the area look like a garden shed, and combined stylish and novel gifts which worked really well in conjunction with our gift wrapping service. Best sellers were mugs by Emma Bridgewater and Sweet William, photo frames from Widdop and Co, as well as a Reserved For Dad cushion from Sass & Belle, and a chocolate pizza saying ‘Best Dad in Tadworth’.” Explained Maggie, “Basically, people were coming in for Father’s Day cards, especially the humorous ones, and staying to buy gifts.”
At The Present in Barnet, a finalist in The Greats, owner Louise Bawcutt said that Father’s Day was another ‘last minute’ gifting event, with the majority of customers coming in to shop the day before. “We do a Father’s Day window and table in store to create interest, and offer complimentary gift wrapping on all gifts bought for the occasion. However, rather than buying in themed Father’s Day products, we use the selection of male orientated gifts we already have in stock, re-stocking on a few more pick-up lines such as socks and toiletries.”
Continues Louise: “While we had an increase of customers in the shop on the Saturday, and takings were good, we sold a lot of non Father’s Day gifts too. However, we sold out of Father’s Day cards, so I think people were coming in for a card and were then attracted by our other products, so they ended up making a purchase, with the lower priced pick up lines the most popular as Father’s Day gifts. It’s definitely not the boom that Mother’s Day is, but we were up on last year for the week, as is the case generally at the moment, despite the doom and gloom in the news! Getting to the finals of The Greats has definitely created a buzz and extra interest around the store.”
It was a similar story at Papilo in Thornbury, where owner Tabi Marsh highlighted that cards were the big sellers, along with Peter Pauper Brain Teaser books.
Top: The Father’s Day shop window display at The Present in Barnet.