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25 Years Of Calendar Club

Published date: 18 September 2023

Back to Article Listing 25 Years of Calendar Club

Celebrating 25 Years of Calendar Club: A Journey Through Time

For some, the mid-90s might seem like a distant memory, while others may have been too busy having fun to remember much. In that era, virtual pets were all the rage, the first Harry Potter books hit UK shelves, and Bill Clinton's name dominated headlines for different reasons. While TV shows like 'Friends' kept us entertained and bands like Oasis and the Spice Girls ruled the music scene, a unique venture was taking shape in the background.
Genesis of Calendar Club
Meet Gary Beck and Hendrik Vollers, the brains behind Calendar Club. Their journey began in 1991 with the successful establishment of Otter House. The spark for Calendar Club was ignited when they crossed paths with Marc Winkelman, CEO of Calendar Club USA. This encounter led to the inception of Calendar Club UK, a pioneering venture in the world of pop-up retail.
Early Days and Challenges
The early days of Calendar Club were marked by a lack of documentation – a testament to the era when records were scribbled on envelopes and stored on finicky Windows 95 PCs. The first-ever Calendar Club store wasn't in a bustling metropolis but in Swindon, a choice that may have seemed unconventional at the time. Slowly but surely, Calendar Club began to introduce the concept of a store entirely dedicated to calendars, overcoming scepticism and winning over landlords.


The Water Lane Era
The birthplace of Calendar Club was Water Lane in Exeter, a location fondly remembered by veteran of Calendar Club. Its small storage area and chilly hallways remain a (not so) fond memory for some. Yet, amidst these challenges, the spirit of Calendar Club thrived as a dynamic, growing business, with employees bonding over shared experiences among forklifts and picking lines.


Expansions and Triumphs
As the company steadily grew, it expanded its footprint into Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and even the Netherlands. In 2003, Calendar Club ventured into the digital space, launching its own retail website. The company's success earned it accolades such as the 'Short Term Merchant of the Year' at the Sceptre Awards in 2003, 2004, and 2005.


Innovation and Growth
Calendar Club's journey was marked by continuous innovation and expansion into diverse product categories, including mugs, puzzles, books, socks, sweets, and soft toys. The company's Halloween concept, Halloween HQ, became a significant success, and the digital presence was strengthened over the years.


Challenges and Resilience
The year 2020 brought unforeseen challenges, pushing Calendar Club to rely more on online sales. The ability to adapt quickly allowed the business to weather the storm, resulting in record-breaking online sales. The company celebrated its 2,000,000th order in November 2020, a testament to its resilience. On the high-street, we also made changes to help everybody feel safe and protected against a worldwide pandemic.
Looking Ahead
As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we remain a pioneer in pop-up retail, having navigated through various challenges over the years. While technology evolves and new trends emerge, our commitment to providing unique products and experiences remains unchanged. Who knows what the future holds? Perhaps we'll still be jotting down plans on pen and paper in a world dominated by digital apps. One thing is for sure, Calendar Club's legacy is here to stay. Cheers to 25 years of innovation and fun! 🥳📆🎉


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