Page last updated at 07:41 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 08:41 UK
The High Street

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23 OCT 2009
Card at G&T's World of Cards
Address: 89, Shirley High St
Years on the street: Six
Number of staff: Six
Director: Gary Newman
Company service: Six years

Gary Newman has opened two new card shops in the past year so business isn't all bad.

But he says: "Trading has definitely been more difficult, I think we have just managed to switch over our customers. Some of the lower end customers haven't been in but some of the more affluent customers who probably used to spend more money in the independent card shops and places like Clintons have come to us."

He thinks the number of customers coming through the shop door has probably dropped about 5% - but those who are still shopping are spending a bit more.

It's far too early to say we're coming out of recession, he says: "I think we have got another year of difficult trading. I think they (the government) are going to put the brakes on any recovery with taxes and VAT."

26 JAN 2009

Back in January Gary Newman was optimistic: "I'm fairly positive. Because of the type of product and the discounts we offer, we are in the right place for the recession."

OCT 2008

Five years ago, the fruit and veg sellers at number 89 packed up and moved out, making way for G&T's World of Cards.

Director Gary Newman brought in cards priced from 29p to £4, all carrying a 25% discount, as well as gift bags and boxes, bows and ribbons and birth and wedding gifts.

Since opening, the World of Cards has won over locals, he says - building a loyal customer base in a very competitive high street, he says.

Overall, business is going very well and Mr Newman says there are always plans to expand.

The Shirley shop is one of six branches based across southern England.

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