A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…no wait, it’s only in town! Gareth from Diversions Gifts tells us about geekdom, managing a business in a pandemic, and reopening next week (8.30am on Monday)!
Can you introduce your business in 10 words or less?
Pop culture shop with a friendly attitude movies comics etc
How long has your business been running, and what drove you to start it?
Eight years ago we opened as a gift shop with a bit of TV movie merch but gladly changed quickly into geek central (hate the term but wear it proudly).
Where is your business based, and what led you to choose to be based there?
Imperial Arcade; kinda appropriate for a Star Wars fan in the town centre I love the arcade great position and has an indie-shops feel.
What are your most popular items/services? Why do you think this is popular with customers?
Official tee-shirts and we do customs too, Funko pops, local art, you can always get something that you won’t get in Kingsgate!
Do you have any employees?
Just me but special guests at Christmas.
What’s your favourite job/task that you do as part of your business, and why?
Talking movies and comics with my customers who I consider friends and selecting new goodies
What impact has the pandemic/lockdown had on your business? Would you carry on with any of your new ways of working even when things are back to normal?
We’ve adapted to click-n-collect and internet sales are up. Our local customers have embraced this but can’t wait for them to be back in the store having a proper mooch. Click-n-collect will continue for those not ready to shop in person or who prefer things shipped.
Where do you see yourself/your business in 5 years?
We’ve increased our stock range by 50% during this lockdown so continuing to grow ranges. Not planning a Gru-style domination (editor note – gratuitous Despicable Me ref), I’m happy with my little shop of geekness and its great customers.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of starting their own business?
Follow your dreams, be prepared to adapt, and take advice from your customer base.
Anything else you’d like to add?
It’ll be great to see familiar faces through the door, and hopefully lots of new ones too! We have seriously strengthened our ranges including possibly the best range of vintage comics in the area. We have plenty of PPE and sanitiser and are ready to make shopping fun, safe, and as normal as we can.