Shop Local: Greetings is more than a place of work, but a lifeline

PUBLISHED: 09:57 20 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:58 20 October 2020

Nigel Lambert (left), manager of Greetings and Ashleigh Stemp, assistant. Picture: IAN CARTER

Nigel Lambert (left), manager of Greetings and Ashleigh Stemp, assistant. Picture: IAN CARTER

Archant

For one employee, Greetings is not just a place of work, but a lifeline for her and her family.

The assistant, who works alongside manager Nigel Lambert at the shop on High Street, which offers a plethora of cards for the likes of birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas, as well as small gifts.

“The only girl here has a family and is the main breadwinner, so we have got to try and keep her going. As she doesn’t drive, she will then go out to all other shops and buy locally, such as food,” Nigel said.

“Some other shops have also gone, and it’s not just the independents.”

Nigel has been running Greetings since 2008 and it’s not just a plethora of cards for the likes of birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas he offers, but also something rather quirky.

Just some of the items Greetings in March has to offer. Picture: IAN CARTERJust some of the items Greetings in March has to offer. Picture: IAN CARTER

“Our peak seasons fall around Christmas and Valentine’s Day, so when it is quiet in the summer, we put in ice cream near the window,” he said.

Ice cream plus other sweet treats have been increasingly popular with a range of young and older customers, on top of a friendly and knowledgeable service.

But Nigel believes local shops can offer something different compared to cities such as Peterborough and Cambridge.

“March is a market town; it’s not a massive walk to get to anywhere. Everyone will look out for everyone else,” he said.

Nigel Lambert (left), manager of Greetings and Ashleigh Stemp, assistant. Picture: IAN CARTERNigel Lambert (left), manager of Greetings and Ashleigh Stemp, assistant. Picture: IAN CARTER

“There are quite a lot of older people living in March, so having shops in the town is convenient for them.”

One customer that bought an item from the shop said to Nigel, “It’s hard isn’t it?”, which he replied with: “We could do with more trade, but what can you do?”

For many local traders, they may be asking for more residents to show faith in shopping locally, and with the coronavirus pandemic keeping some customers away, for Nigel, showing faith is key to staying alive.

“We won’t last if we are out and about in the high street and people have just gone out for the day,” he said.

Just some of the items Greetings in March has to offer. Picture: IAN CARTERJust some of the items Greetings in March has to offer. Picture: IAN CARTER

“If you go to the shops, you can nip in and it feels like it’s a part of your day.

“The people are there, but they are not coming out. Customers know us by name, they know who you are and because of that, they like to have a chat.”

Visit Greetings in store at 3 High Street, call 01354 657495 or go to their Facebook page.

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