Gayner up for award
A Hinckley clothing and lingerie shop, which has been family owned for more than 70 years, is on the shortlist of retailers in the running to be named Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2018.
Johnsons first started trading in 1947 on Hinckley’s Castle Street, opened by the parents of Gayner and Jane Johnson.
Over the last several decades, the shop has collected many achievements having won the Drapers Record Lingerie Retailer of the Year Award and being listed as one of the top five lingerie websites by The Daily Telegraph.
Owner Gayner Johnson said she was surprised to receive the call about the nomination.
She said: “I received a telephone call from the organisers – The Independent Retailers Confederation – asking if I would like to enter.
“I had never heard of it before but as they had taken the initiative to invite me to enter, I made the decision to do it.
“As the closing date was imminent our entry only just made it in time.”
The Best Small Shops competition, managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation, celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities.
“I am heavily involved with local business issues whether as past President of the Hinckley Chamber of Trade, Director of the Town Centre Partnership since 2007 helping achieve a Business Improvement District for the town and as a member of the local Crime Prevention Panel,” explains owner Gayner Johnson.
“Johnsons caters for all ages and older customers shopping with us since their younger days have introduced their family to the shop.
“They frequently tell us ‘Please never close down’.”
The shop is now in its third location on Castle Street after gradually introducing womens garments to the store which is now fully stocked with clothing, lingerie, swimwear and nightwear.
Gayner will be attending the competition finals at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday November 13 where she will meet the other 24 entrants across the UK.
“We are proud to be flying the flag for Hinckley and all the lovely independent businesses we have here,” she says. from
“It is also thanks to the lovely customers who support us and the town - those who travel into Hinckley from other places who say they love shopping in our town.”
Gayner Johnson inside Johnsons shop on Hinckley’s Castle Street, the store has been running since 1947. Picture by: John Brightmore.