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Opening a Shop: After The Opening

At the end of last month, local florist Gardenia of London opened its fourth branch on Teddington High Street.

So far, so good!

What a week it has been. Surprising everyone (including myself) we kicked off our opening weekend as planned on 17th April. Our builders did us proud and we were ready to stock the shelves with all our lovely new bits and pieces with plenty of time to spare.

Gardenia Teddington opened its doors to invited guests, local Teddington traders and random passers-by at 5:30pm on Thursday; by 6:00pm there was barely room to swing an orchid! We were absolutely delighted to see so many of our new neighbours pop in for a glass of fizz and a cupcake whilst they had a good nose around.

The shop officially opened to the public bright and early the following morning, and we had a steady stream of new faces through the door all weekend. Our leafleteers were out on the high street to tempt people in with our opening offers, and the first 25 customers each day received a free gardenia plant as a memento. The challenge now will be to keep up our marketing efforts, through social media, our website, local PR and – most importantly – word of mouth. I’m hoping that the Gardenia experience will speak for itself and keep the tills ringing, but we mustn’t rest on our laurels: opening weekend may mark the end of our launch campaign, but it’s the beginning of something much bigger!

My overwhelming memory of opening on Teddington High Street will be the immense support and warmth we have been shown by local traders and residents alike. Many people have commented on our ‘writing on the wall’, which now rings true more than ever:

Gardenia’s journey has taken us from a simple pavement stall to the heart of the high street, but along the way we’ve kept hold of what’s important: Family, friends, flowers. You’ll find them all here.

This week has proved beyond doubt that Teddington was the right move for Gardenia. We’re looking forward to many happy years there.

Jamie Grant is the owner and creative director of Gardenia of London