A RETIRED civil engineer from Goring hopes to ... [more]
Sunday, 15 December 2019
A FESTIVE pop-up shop will be coming to Wargrave later this month.
Businesswomen Mel Stack and Libby Spratley are hoping to spread Christmas cheer by transforming the former Old Post Office coffee shop on the High Street.
The shop will open at 4pm on November 15 and the team have given a Halloween teaser by decorating the front windows to make residents aware of the venture.
The shop will sell traditional Christmas gifts, cards and decorations, as well as stocking fillers, vintage glassware and rugs.
Mrs Stack, who had the idea to occupy the empty unit, said: “There is a group of us and we all have marketing and retail backgrounds. I come from the candle industry and the shop became available for Christmas, so we thought it would be fun to do that.
“We wanted to bring the shop to life for Christmas and the idea has spiralled. We all know a number of local artisans and artists that we are hoping to get involved. We want to create a bit of warmth and have a unique offering for Wargrave.
“We really want to be open so we can get people in by the end of November and over the Christmas season.
“Retail is really tough at the moment. People need an experience that they can't get anywhere else.
“They are used to shopping at the major stores or going online. If you are going to bring some life to a retail environment then it needs to be different and that is why it has taken some time, because we are trying to find unique goods to sell.”
The lease for the Old Post Office coffee shop expired in August and the building’s owner, Lynda Walker, has been looking for a way to keep the site in use ever since.
She said: “They asked me and I said yes because it is better that it is open and the high street has something than it being empty. They will work so hard to make it a success.”
The Christmas shop is likely to be open most weekdays, with themed evening activities, such as wreath making workshops and poetry readings.
Mrs Stack, who lives in Bray, says she may carry on after Christmas with a different kind of shop.
She added: “I have a lot of experience in retail and the other girls have experience in crafts and marketing and we know we can expand the range for crafts and homeware in the spring.
“We just want to keep it open because it is such a shame to have a site closed on the high street during the Christmas season. We wanted to have a bit of fun and create and atmosphere.
“You don't want to walk down the high street and see a lot of empty shops; it is tragic.”
Customers will also be able to relax and purchase coffee when they visit and Mrs Spratley, who lives in Marlow, says she wants the shop to have a relaxed atmosphere.
She said: “We want to position it as the place to come in Wargrave to escape from the frenzy of the festive season.
“The aim is for it to be seen as a high-end shop to look at, but with competitive prices. It will be luxurious, but not necessarily expensive.”
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