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King’s Coronation Boost For Gift Indies

With just over a week to go to the King Charles’ Coronation on 6 May, gift indies are seeing commemorative keepsake memorabilia flying off the shelves. 

“Coronation product is really hot at the moment,” states Greg Rose, co-owner of Maybugs which has stores in Bexhill-on-Sea, Eastbourne and Hailsham. “We simply haven’t bought enough! The gorgeous range from Wrendale Designs is almost a complete sell out already, with the Coronation mug having sold out online before we had even got the stock in. The stock for the stores never even touched the floor!”

Continues Greg: “We also have a great collection of memorabilia giftware from Widdop – mugs, coasters, tins and tea towels – all of which is flying out the door. We really underestimated how popular Coronation product would be. It seems everyone wants to have something as a keepsake. We’re expecting bunting sales to kick off now that town centres have started to be decorated. Having learnt our lesson from the Jubilee we have stocked up massively.”

Above: In store Coronation display at Maybugs, Hailsham.
Above: In store Coronation display at Maybugs, Hailsham.

‘We’ve taken great pride in joining in one of the country’s most monumental occasions,” says Libby Holden, owner of Lovely Libby’s in Rayleigh.  “It’s wonderful to see so many independent retailers embracing the celebrations and shows how high streets really are the heart of the community. Our Coronation range from Sifcon has been particularly popular, especially the Union Jack aprons, which we have been wearing in the shop to really get into the spirit of the Coronation.”

Above: Flying the flag at Lovely Libby’s, Rayleigh.
Above: Flying the flag at Lovely Libby’s, Rayleigh.

At Mooch, which has stores in Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn, co-owner Jon May says that the King’s Coronation has provided a much-needed sales boost following Easter. Sophie Allport’s Coronation range of mugs, trays and tea towels are proving very popular, along with party essentials from Talking Tables, in particular, the Royal carriage cake/treat stand,” highlights Jon, who was on BBC Radio 2’s the Sara Cox show this week (25 April).  “I was ‘Totally Teavoted’ with Sara asking what I did. We talked about Mooch and what was hot in gifts at present, which included talking through the Coronation ranges,” said Jon.

 Above: Mooch’s Stourport Coronation window.
Above: Mooch’s Stourport Coronation window.

“After the success of the Jubilee, it was difficult to predict whether the Coronation would have the same hype and excitement,” comments Jo Barber, owner of No. 14 Ampthill.  “What started slow soon gathered pace and has been a great revenue injection into what would have been a quieter month,” states Jo.

“Giftwise, we’ve sold out of our Sophie Allport Coronation mugs, restocked on many decorations and table accessories from Amscan. Our children’s books – Little People Big Dreams King Charles, and Paddington at the Palace – sell out as soon as they arrive.” Adds Jo: “I think I got my order quantities about right. Any accessories left over will do for Eurovision parties the following week!”

Above: A selection of No. 14 Ampthill’s stand out Coronation gift items.
Above: A selection of No. 14 Ampthill’s stand out Coronation gift items.

As Pete Whiteman, co-owner of Amore in Woodbridge, puts it: “The public are still very interested in Royal events and business is brisk. The stand-out items have been the mug and tea towels from Wrendale which have sold out. A beautiful image as always . Also, the co-ordinated ranges from both Elgate and Lesser & Pavey. Roll on 6 May for a day of history, quiche, cakes and fizz!” enthuses Pete.

Above: Amore’s Coronation window.
Above: Amore’s Coronation window.

“As soon as the Coronation themed window went in, it seemed to wake people up to the fact the Coronation was imminent,” points out Sean Austin, owner, Austin & Co Malvern. “We’ve had lots of admiration from passers-by for its simplicity, but also getting the message out. It has certainly driven sales of our only two Coronation-themed lines – tableware and bunting from Talking Tables and, the star of the show, the Coronation Chicken soft toy from Best Years. As yet, for us, the Coronation’s not on the same scale as last year’s Platinum Jubilee, but any remaining bunting will be remarketed for Eurovision parties the following week!”

Top: Talking TablesCoronation collection –  a best seller for the company – includes the sell-out Royal carriage cake stand.

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