The first Me to You concept store will open on Saturday July 27 in the Marlands Centre in Southampton, where a life-size grey teddy bear and a group of Blue Nose Friends will welcome shoppers. The first 200 shoppers who spend £10 or over will take away a goody bag, including some brilliant blue nose goodies.
The store, which is launched managed by independent retail entrepreneur Terry Harvey, who operates a number of shops in the South of England, will sell toys, gifts and greeting cards created by Me to You brand owner Carte Blanche Group.
Harvey commented: ‘I consider this a very forward-thinking step for a manufacturer to undertake, and one which will provide valuable data for the future development of product ranges. As a retailer myself, it is encouraging to see such commitment to product research and development’.
Famed for its cute characters such as Tatty Teddy and My Blue Nose Friends, Carte Blanche Group is currently celebrating 25 years in the gift and greetings industry, while Tatty Teddy has reached the milestone 18th anniversary.
The company’s products are sold worldwide in leading high street stores and supermarkets, but this is the first time Carte Blanche has opened its own retail outlet. The bold new retail enterprise gives Carte Blanche the opportunity to showcase its diverse portfolio of brands in one spectacular venue. Shoppers are promised a fun and engaging experience every time they set foot in the store.
Alister Marchant, Carte Blanche CEO, comments: “Carte Blanche is expert in developing character brands and innovative, fun products. However, having our own store will allow us first hand to understand how consumers engage with our brands and products. We chose Southampton because it is such a vibrant retail centre, and The Marlands is a busy, family-friendly venue. We’ve had fantastic support from local people. Our advert for retail assistants in the new store attracted more than 250 applications.”
Stephen Haines, Carte Blanche Founder and Chairman, adds: “Our brands are about sharing sentiment and having fun and we intend to do just that within our new store. Whether you’re coming in to buy a last minute greeting card or to meet Tatty Teddy or some of our talented artists at one of our family fun days, you’re guaranteed an experience to remember.”