Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Craft Outlet, Springfields, Spalding

I visited the brand new craft shop that has opened at the Springfields outlet shopping centre in Spalding, Lincolnshire today and was overall pleasantly surprised.

The store is situated right at the bottom of the outlet and could be missed if you're not careful. It is actually nearer to the 'Festival Gardens' and 'Play Barn'. It is a large store that has taken over the space previously used as a Fens visitor centre and as well as the craft shop, there is a cafe.

The large posters in the window display slogans of 'up to 70% off' and the prices definitely reflect this. They had already sold out of a few things when I visited today, after only opening yesterday, so I think it's one of those places that you have to visit every couple of weeks to not miss out on anything...

My initial thoughts on entering the shop were:-
1- "ooh this is a bit like paper mill" (lots of different papers and cards stocked in a pick & mix style)
2- "look at that! look at that! look at that!" (as I spotted all the exciting things)
3- *CALM!* (as I realised that I had raced round the shop twice in the first 5 minutes but hadn't actually looked at anything!)

I'll start with the card-
lots of racks (a la paper mill) with various colours of paper & cardstock. Wide range of printable pearlescent papers, pearlescent card, plain colour card, white card & a range of recycled cardstock in really nice muted colours. There are prices for individual sheets e.g. printable peralescent paper 10p per sheet but it's mostly sold by weight. I asked for an idea of how much it would cost but wasn't given a definitive answer. I ended up buying 15 sheets of the printable pearlescent paper (in a beautiful purple colour) & 1 sheet of plain purple cardstock as a bit of a test and that weighed in at about 100g and cost me £1.02.

They also currently stock a selection of ex-QVC kits (one of which had already sold out) including a large stack of K&Co papers that retailed on QVC for almost £40 and they were selling them for £10. It seems that the QVC stuff will be something that they regularly stock.

There was a wide selection of both wooden backed and clear rubber stamps with some sheets containing around 5 clear stamps for as little as £1.99. There was a small selection of 12x12 papers all at well reduced prices e.g. RRP £1.25, their price 29p plus extra discount if  you bought in bulk. There were also peel-offs, ink pads, embossing powders, K&Co matstacks and toppers all at discounted prices.

They also stock a wide selection of wool in a range of colours as well as general sewing supplies such as needles. There were also some home decoration products such as clocks and boxes that you could customise.

The only negative aspects were the lack of clarity in the pricing of the card/paper (although I'm assuming that the prices quoted per sheet are always more expensive than the actual weight price) and one of the members of staff (I'm assuming the manager) who seemed to think he was Gods gift to crafting and  unlike many helpful craft shop retailers, spoke to me as if I was a bit thick. He gave me a full explanation of the Italian paper printing process, including the fact that the mill runs on hydroelectricity, when I asked the simple (!) question of whether or not they would always have the same card or if the stock/colours would change?

Definitely worth a visit and a welcome addition to the local area. In the interests of blogging(!), I will visit again and keep updating how/when their stock changes. Hopefully lots & often!!!

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