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Covid 19 Impact – How We Shopped Differently During Lockdown

Covid 19 has had a global impact on how we work, travel, and spend our free time. In retail, traditional shops have been subject to closures during the lockdown phase and this has driven people online to purchase products and services. Here at Farrar & Tanner we implemented safe working policies including social distancing and home working for office teams to cope with demand as online purchases grew.


During lockdown between March and June 2020 we processed three times more orders than last year.

As birthdays and anniversaries happened without big group celebrations, personalised gifts became even more heartfelt as you were able to send the perfect choice direct to your recipient. The pandemic even had an impact on your choice of messages, we saw a number of orders engraved with the word ‘lockdown’!

Some of our favourites include:

“Lockdown Sanity Restorer” on gift boxed wine

“Lockdown Tolerance Award”

“Age and glasses of wine should never be counted, particularly when in lockdown!”

The Biggest Increase in Demand – Garden Tools

With a lot of people spending more time in the garden we saw a huge increase in garden tool sales, that’s thousands of orders for trowels, forks and secateurs working their way through the Royal Mail service! These included orders for Burgon & Ball and Haws products which helped you start to trim your garden into shape and send much loved, practical gifts.


Our Best Selling Department


As restaurants closed across the country we found ourselves cooking more meals at home, which saw an impressive increase in orders  across our Kitchen Knives & Prep department! The best selling products in May and June were in our Knife Block, category which have everything you need for preparing delicious family dinners and lunches for the children.

These sales included brands like Sabatier, Robert Welch and Richardson Sheffield; names synonymous with high quality knives and super sharp blades. Households across the country will now be using these professional level knives at home.



Enjoying Time Together


Towards the end of lockdown, when box sets had been finished and computer games completed, families were looking for new ways to stay entertained and spend time together. This meant gifts of chess and backgammon sets were being chosen to send to family and friends, and for personal use.

We saw an increase in sales of Manopoulos, Italfama and Helena who produce handcrafted wooden classic games in Greece, Turkey and Italy.

These traditional sets have been growing in popularity and our range has grown extensively to meet demand with over 150 chess and backgammon boards now available!


A Lockdown Saviour


To celebrate occasions and ease the tension of lockdown, gift boxed wines and spirits were a popular choice! Sales tripled with over a thousand personalised boxes engraved and dispatched.

A number of companies chose to thank employees with a bottle of wine and it made a fantastic choice for birthdays and anniversaries. Despite not being able to meet in person, gifting a drink which could be enjoyed together over a video call helped bring people together.

As lockdown is eased and life begins to return to how it was, we hope you have enjoyed shopping with us and that we can continue to provide beautifully finished, personalised gifts for future occasions.

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