Doesn’t it feel fantastic to be exploring your local high street once again? Given the strange times we have been living in recently, we at Parkman George were extremely lucky to take part in a unique opportunity last month. As you may have heard, we ‘popped up’ in John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham during the final week of September, and what a success it was! With a heavy footfall we gave out hundreds of postcards and had countless valuable conversations with customers (and their pooches!).
So, how did it all start? Thanks to one of our brilliant Instagram followers we heard about an initiative known as The Great British Pop-Up, all the way back at the beginning of lockdown. Managed by The Great British Exchange, The Great British Pop-Up empowers small independent British brands by offering them this opportunity to sell their products in John Lewis & Partners stores across the country. Naturally we jumped at the prospect, and 6 months later Parkman George landed in Cheltenham.
Of course, it was far easier said than done! Preparing for the event took a lot of hard work and late nights. The bespoke beds needed to be collected from storage, pop-up banners created, postcards designed, T-shirts ordered, slideshows produced and so much more. What with Covid-19 precautions, we made sure to have a surplus of visors, masks, disinfectant and as much hand sanitiser as we could manage! There were challenges along the way and times where we weren’t sure if we’d be ready, but it all paid off in the end. In fact, the hardest part may have been taking Frank’s very own bed away from him for our display…he still hasn’t forgiven us for that one! (As you can see from the images, 18 months of wear and The Frank bed is still in pristine condition; now that’s testament to our durability.)
When the big day finally arrived the nerves kicked in, but as soon as we settled in and met our first John Lewis & Partners shoppers, we couldn’t wait for the next seven days. Given that we are an eCommerce business, the opportunity to show customers our gorgeous dog beds in person was an extremely rewarding experience. We chatted non-stop about all of our favourite things; dogs, homes, interior styles and of course, Parkman George. It was fascinating to hear every one of your stories and we are chuffed to have had so many positive conversations and received some fantastic feedback on our products.
The Pop-Up looked amazing, with all four of our luxury models on display, and an abundance of Ivy and Duke blankets and pillows. One thing that customers loved was our flexibility; the fact that we can tailor our beds to meet your style and needs. We thoroughly enjoyed helping them to create a vision for their home, while also offering the ultimate in comfort for their four-legged friends.
Thanks to the impressive design of our beds, our Pop-Up attracted a lot of attention, and not just the human kind. Luckily for us, John Lewis & Partners stores are dog friendly, meaning we were able to meet all kinds of pups who were thrilled to test out our beds. All of our beds were a big hit, in fact some dogs got so comfy they had to be carried home with their brand-new Ivy and Duke blankets in tow! Our very own PG Pack members Lexi, Frank and Dandi even made guest appearances, coming to join the fun and support us on our final day.
Thanks to the fabulously friendly and helpful staff at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham, as well as our contacts at The Great British Exchange, we had a brilliant week. Hannah from the Great British Exchange ensured the John Lewis & Partners systems and ours worked together, Louise and her team from John Lewis & Partners took care of all the operations to make us feel right at home, and we had the queens of events, Sam and Sarah to thank for making us known in-store and getting the word out there about what makes us so special. Everyone at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham made us feel like part of the team; we couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming bunch!
It was certainly a busy and exciting week and it seems to have passed in a flash. We’re now looking forward to even more promising times ahead. Our Pop-Up experience has certainly opened up a lot of doors for us and we can’t wait to see where it will lead us next, so keep your fingers crossed and eyes peeled, and we will share any news as soon as we can.