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As well as what you sell, the fittings and layout are pretty obviously one of the most important ways to give a shop personality and draw in your preferred clientele. This month the Talk Of The Town is on how Sarah and Paul Henderson went through the process of refitting their latest 3 Wishes store in just seven weeks.

ITTING out your store can be a daunting prospect for any retailer but also a chance to create a great shopping experience for customers just by putting in a little bit of thought.

And the difference that thought can make really can brighten up the street scene, especially when the independent retailer’s creativity and ingenuity is combined with the practical advice available from companies such as UK Greetings. In Lymington, Hampshire, Sarah and Paul Henderson

recently completed their biggest 3 Wishes shop to date as they grow their gift and greetings small chain, turning a tired shoe outlet into a vibrant, bright destination store in under seven weeks. “We got UK Greetings involved in the planning stages,” Sarah said, “we’ve worked with Jon Morgan (head of independent retail development) quite a lot but our other shops look like standard card stores with slat wall, and we wanted to make this one look different. “This shop is a lot bigger and Lymington is a much bigger High Street that the others are on, so it was quite important to make this one right. “We managed to fi nd a different fi xtures company

and were just looking at fi xtures for the gifts then they offered to make them fi t the card racks too to make it look much nicer.

“Then Jon adapted the plan to fi t the fi xtures because they’re slightly different sizes so, between him, us and the company who supplied the fi xtures, Linkshelving, we’ve managed to get something that looks very nice.

“Their system is used in a lot of farm shops and

there’s a slightly less rustic version which is used in garden centres but we wanted it to be really different so we didn’t want the less rustic one.”


All change! F

All change! “

Sarah added “We do cards and gifts. We’d decided

before everything went wrong at Woolworths that we wanted to do it for ourselves. “We used contacts we had through Woolworths

merchandisers to make contact with UKG. I very much used a lot of the cards that Woolworths had when we started, Ling and Paper Rose, because it was good quality and I really liked them.

It was a bit of a gamble It was a bit of a gamble with the blue and

with the blue and

mushroom but it’s paid off and we’ve had a lot of compliments already

mushroom but it’s paid

off and we’ve had a lot of compliments already

Jon said: “At UKG we’re proud to support the family in the planning of this new store. Paul and Sarah wanted to take advantage of our From The Heart retail development scheme but, as they have with their other stores, were keen to stamp their own identity on 3 Wishes. “The result is a unique, contemporary-looking shop

“I wanted a gift shop and Paul said cards have a very high margin so we should do those – it’s proved a good move. “It’s very much a family business as my sister Rachel is the manager of the Lymington shop and mum Debbie is involved too.

“After nine years, we thought we’d been asked for everything but for the fi rst time this year we’ve been asked for Thanksgiving cards – but only in Lymington. I’ve never even thought about it before, but apparently there are quite a few Americans in Lymington so soon I shall be looking out to stock for next year!” A huge part of the look and feel of a store is the colour scheme, and Sarah spent a long time agonising over the choices as Linkshelving have six colours that can be mixed and matched to make an individual statement.

“The blue was a bit too blue by itself,” Sarah explained, “and the white wouldn’t have been a good idea so it was a bit of a gamble with the blue and

offering a wide range of carefully-selected cards, gifts and hand-made fudge, all in a very stylish environment.” Paul and Sarah started the business nine years ago when the former Woolworths managers realised their dream of working for themselves by opening their fi rst shop in West Moors village in Dorset, followed four years later with a second in nearby Verwood then Ringwood in 2010.



Stripped out

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