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‘First Day Back’ Feedback: Gift Retailers Say ‘So Far, So Good’

On a day that saw two thirds of non-essential shops re-opening, with hundreds of shoppers descending on Primark, Sports Direct and Nike, asked: were the tills ringing for gift retailers on Monday?

“We had a fantastic first day, followed by another great day on Tuesday,” confirmed Aga Gabrysiak, owner of Highworth Emporium in Highworth. “We actually had a queue outside before we opened on Monday! Two of our staff, Paula Zielinska and Emily Milton, even made a video welcoming customers, reciting a poem they had composed especially for the occasion.”

Above: Paula Zielinska (right) and Emily Milton welcomed customer back to Highworth Emporium on Monday.




Aga continued: “Customers were lovely and understanding, and everyone was saying how much they missed us. Some just popped their head through the door to say welcome back, and one of our regulars, who couldn’t come in, sent us flowers. We took some decent money too, so fingers crossed it carries on like that.”

It was a similar story for Cilla and Camilla. “We’ve had a fantastic response to our SS20 fashion sale,” enthused Richard Barker, co-owner of four outlets in West Dorset, which includes a gift shop and a boutique department store. Not a lot of margin to be earned, but a very welcome cash boost.”

Above: Cilla and Camilla Clothes in Bridport.

Above: Cilla and Camilla Clothes in Bridport.

More good news came from The Hollies destination retail outlet in Little Budworth, Tarporley. “We had a very positive first day back on Monday, and lots of great feedback on social media from our followers,” commented marketing executive Sarah Holland. “We’ve had a complete re-shuffle and have moved the majority of the Living Shop lifestyle products into our gift shop The Barn, so everything is now in one place, with lots of new measures and procedures to keep everyone safe.”

Above: The team at The Barn at The Hollies.

Above: The team at The Barn at The Hollies.

At Bill & Bert’s in Colchester, there was more of a measured reaction from shoppers. “Monday was great, our fourth best weekday of 2020, with Tuesday good but not as busy,” commented owner Bill Nettlefield.


Top: The eye-catching ‘welcome back’ window signage that greeted shoppers visiting Bill & Bert’s in Colchester.

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