2015 marks another exciting year for Lawsons with the introduction of a brand new website with a great number of new features including the ability to filter your products by colour, price and brand, read and leave product reviews and save items to your wish list to view at a later date.
We also added haberdashery departments for all our stores, sold real Christmas trees sourced from Dartmoor in Tavistock for the first time and worked with Tavistock College to stock their school uniform, Tavistock also started opening on a Sunday
2016 was the year of the spiralizer and quickly became our top selling kitchen gadget!
In 2017 we worked with King Edwards IV school in Totnes to supply their school uniform and introduced a new china departments across all our stores including brands Denby, Churchill, Royal Doulton, Portmierion and Sophie Conran.
2018 was a year of extreme weather with the Beast from the East giving us snow in March and then having a heat wave in June & July. We started a Plastic Free Campaign and introduced a number of products to help customers move away from using single use plastic and stopped selling ourselves.
2019 the debate around BREXIT loomed large until it was decided by the referendum that we would be leaving the EU trading agreement. We also had a snap election in December this all had the effect to undermine consumer confidence leading to one of the most difficult years of trading seen on British high streets. Lawsons fought back by introducing our fifth version of our website going into partnership with Vertical+. Firstly launching a brand new website www.cake-stands.co.uk in June and then a new www.lawsonshop.co.uk in November.
Flavour Fest has been running in Plymouth for the last 16 years after we joined with the council to provide a regional food festival in Plymouth city centre. Lawsons were a founding sponsor and integral in providing the chef demonstrations at the event. We did not know it then but this would be the last year we would be able to be involved.
2020 COVID 19 came to our shores and on 23rd March along with everyone else we listened to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating the country would enter a national lockdown. The following day we realised that we were classed as an essential retailer and could still open but without any COVID safe protocols in place this became impossible so we decided to operate with our doors shut and took orders over the phone and online. Our website sales grew daily and doubled every week. With garden centres having to close customers quickly realised that we could supply compost, seeds and plant pots. In addition home baking was very popular with everyone who remained at home. On 18th May we were allowed to re-open and on 5th June all shops were allowed to open.
Unfortunately we had to take the sad decision to close our Plymouth shop permanently after 116 years of trading. This was due to the poor sales we had experienced over the last 3 years and the decrease in footfall the city centre was now experiencing meant the shop would not be viable.
Our stores were closed or partially closed for a total of 19 weeks over the year but we were happy we could support our local communities throughout this trying time with home delivery. We would like to pay tribute to all our team who have worked tirelessly, sometimes in difficult circumstances, over the year.
2021 started with another national lockdown which lasted until 12th April and Lawsons continued to provide service and sales where they were allowed. The national roll out of COVID vaccination started and as the country slowly came back to normal so did their shops and there was huge support from local communities to shop local. Online sales remained strong and we saw lots of tourists as people came to the West Country on their holidays.
2022 due to the roll out of the COVID vaccination there were no more lockdowns plus schools returned to normal attendance and businesses came away from working at home. This year the country celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s platinum Jubilee in July and then mourned her death in November. Politically we also had 3 prime ministers! We also saw the start of the Ukraine war which spiked fuel prices combined with strong inflation saw the start of the Cost of Living Crisis as energy prices soared. Lawsons were able to help customers with energy saving tips and supplies such as hot water bottles; LED light bulbs, cost effective heating solutions and draught excluders; plus many people invested in the gadget of the year an air fryer.