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New gift shop says success is down to offering 'fun' on gloomy high street

The Gifted store on London Street is home to a wide selection of American and Japanese sweets. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The Gifted store on London Street is home to a wide selection of American and Japanese sweets. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A Norfolk-born gift shop chain has attributed its success to providing some fun on the high street amid general gloom.

The Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Gifted has opened in Norwich's London Street - its sixth store - after launching in Castle Mall in 2011.

Founder of the business Aaron Roberts said: "I think it's because we provide something fun on the high street amid all the serious stuff that's going on at the moment."

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Norfolk born-and-bred Mr Roberts had a career in retail before launching his own chain.

The Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

He added: "I think we're doing well in store sales because people come in and it's a fun experience and we have a lot of stuff you don't see anywhere else.

"When you go online you tend to just buy what you're looking for and then leave, but in store we have something that you can just pick up as a treat for yourself or someone else."

He added that having a diverse product line, including recently added Gothic and Manga sections, have increased sales.

Mr Roberts said: "We make sure that you can find something for every member of the family. Often we see people coming in at Christmas and buying all of their gifts because what we have covers friends and family as well as all age ranges."

The Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Gifted's success at Castle Mall over a sustained period of time has bucked the trends of other tenants at the retail hub, with around eight stores closing since summer 2018.

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"Castle Mall has always traded strongly for us. Gifted gives people a reason to go in and we still see it as out 'flagship' store as it were because of it," he added.

The mall is already reaping the rewards of an imminent revamp to the Castle Quarter having secured a £1.5m PureGym and £2m Superbowl alley as residents.

Lauren Hale, shop assistant, at the Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodLauren Hale, shop assistant, at the Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Roberts continued: "People just want something different and we are able to adapt to that and provide it.

"We're coming up to Christmas now which is always our biggest trading period. In Norwich we see the American candy selling well throughout the year but at Christmas everything just flies off the shelves."

Lauren Hale, shop assistant, at the Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodLauren Hale, shop assistant, at the Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood The Gifted store on London Street, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

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