As I write this post, we are preparing to shut our York shop for several Winter weeks. The COVID infection rate is rising and 78% of the country can only visit essential shops in person. Is there anything positive to take away from 2020? We'd like to think so. Below, we count down 5 positives we will celebrate this New Year. The Number is 1 is incredibly special!
5. Improving the Shop Environment
Visitors to our York shop from July onwards will have noticed that we used lockdown time to get a full refurb done on our ground floor, including the shop front. At the same time we installed grab rails by our central steps and have portable ramps to facilitate wheelchair access. Although the shop is closing on 2nd Jan 2021 for a Winter break, we very much look forward to welcoming customers back, as soon as footfall and Covid restrictions allow.
4. Re-vamping the York Cat Trail
With the help of a talented York based graphic designer, we re-designed the York Cat Trail leaflet in the first quarter of 2020. As part of our shop refurb we then added leaflet dispensers outside the shop for 24/7 access. The revised leaflet has been very well received and we look forward to further enhancement and expansion of the Trail in 2021.
3. Getting Greener
Thank you for helping us to reduce our carbon footprint whilst actually improving our catalogue offer for online customers. The electronic catalogue has been a huge success. No chance of losing the catalogue or spilling coffee on it. It's there, on your desk 24/7. We do still produce paper catalogues and are very happy to put one in with every order.
We invested catalogue print/post cost savings in a reduced postage charge.(Code BC1 at checkout if you haven't taken advantage yet).
2. Product Innovations
Lockdown in November forced us to be a bit creative with our offer. The result was our mid-December "Mystery Bargain Bundle". This was so popular that we have two more Mystery Bundles going live on 1st Jan 2021. Looking forwards into 2021, we see themed bundles as a great way of making all sorts of new products available to specific cat-loving niche audiences. Watch this space!
1. Supporting our Charities
This is an opportunity for us to say "Thank You" again for the amazing support that you have offered our chosen charities - Cat Chat and International Cat Care. We are delighted to be able to facilitate and administer customer donations via our "brick, flick and click" channels. We know that this service is valued and we all like feeling part of a bigger collective effort to do some good for cats in the UK and worldwide.
We can now confirm that the total raised during 2020 was a (Cat's) whisker short of £25,000. An incredible sum, the vast majority of which is already in the hands of the charities and delivering positive help to cats in the UK and worldwide.