Whirligig in running for best small shop

What the garden looked like before

Whirligig Toys specialises in ‘things to make and do’, providing creative toys such as model kits, construction sets and paint sets.

The traditional store prides itself on its richness of stock, in-depth product knowledge and enthusiasm, saying the fact that each product has been tested and explored by all staff members, has helped it build a reputation as creative toy experts.

The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (and sponsored by ‘booost’, the brand new loyalty, gift and promotions app for independent retailers.

A total of 25 shops from all over the UK have been shortlisted from more than 600 who entered. Its winner will be announced at an event at the Houses of Parliament on November 13.

“Ironically, what makes us innovative is a seemingly old-fashioned trait: botheredness; the fact we’re prepared to go to extra lengths to achieve customer satisfaction and returning footfall,” said founder Peter Allinson.

“When you combine the factors of physical stock, shop layout and customer interaction with our online store, website and the work we put into our newsletters and social media, then you have a company that is thriving across the board.”

Mark Walmsley, Chairman of the Independent Retailers Confederation, said despite all the high-profile closures of larger stores, the organisation firmly believes specialist independent retailers can thrive by delivering a ‘truly unique’ retail experience.

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