Telford & Wrekin Council has given a £10,000 cash boost to help a hampers gift shop set up home in Madeley.
Home of Hampers has launched at Madeley Malls, Russell Square after receiving a business start-up grant through the council’s Pride in Our High Street programme.
Owner Carl Catt is launching the brand new business which he hopes will be popular with shoppers in Madeley and beyond.
The shop will stock a large variety of hampers which are ideal gifts for Christmas, baby showers, birthdays, retirement presents, as well as all year round treats, and the products will be sold online via a new website as well as in the store.
In the UK, the hampers gift market is expected to increase by 7.7% by 2027 and is currently worth £19 billion but most sales are completed online instead of in high street shops.
Carl, who also runs several other businesses, had been searching for a location for his business for some time in Telford and Wrekin before he became aware of the unit’s availability.
He will work closely with other local shops and suppliers in Madeley and Telford and Wrekin to source materials for his hampers and will also stock hampers produced by other retailers in the area.
He has already developed close links with popular Mrs Russell’s Sweets & Treats shop in Madeley – agreeing to stock sweet hampers in his shop.
Carl said: “Most hamper-based businesses are internet based only but we want to reverse that trend and help to repopulate the high street.
“My business will offer that personal touch and help people to build bespoke hampers which are tailored to their needs.
“Over the years, I’ve purchased hampers for people at happy and sad times in their lives but I’ve never been able to build up a relationship with a retailer because all the sales are done online. Hopefully this will help to change that in Madeley.
“There are many potential customers who don’t have access to the internet so our aim at Home of Hampers is to attract these people to our shop and they can see for themselves what we have to offer.”
The £10,000 grant has supported a complete internal fit out of the shop and the business is aiming to attract footfall from shoppers visiting Aldi and Lidl nearby in the town.
Carl added: “Quite simply without the business start-up grant, this wouldn’t have been a commercially viable venture for us and the funding has made a huge difference to the fit out of the shop which we needed to start from scratch because it was an empty shell.
“We’re extremely grateful to Telford & Wrekin Council and the Pride in Our High Street programme for this support and we are really excited about bringing this business to the town.”
Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, Regeneration and the High Street, said: “The opening of Home of Hampers is great news for Madeley and means that another of the town’s empty retail units has been filled by a business with great ambitions.
“This is a prime example of how the Pride in Our High Street programme is not only regenerating and breathing new life into our high streets but also bringing businesses to our towns which put local people first in terms of their shopping needs and requirements – encouraging them to shop locally.
“We’re supporting existing businesses and attracting new ones. From securing a post office and supermarket in Dawley to supporting a Florist in Oakengates and a toy shop in Ironbridge, we’re working in every High Street across the borough.
“I would strongly encourage all businesses interested to check out our support packages.”