An Interview with Paper Tiger

An Interview with Paper Tiger

At Kikkerland, so much of our success over the last 30 years has been built upon working with leading independent retailers from around the world. We’ve always believed that independents are the backbone of retail and so we’re incredibly proud of the relationships we’ve built with them and the shared successes we’ve had over the years. As part of our 30 year anniversary we wanted to put some of these retailers back in the spot light...
Kikkerland Window at Paper Tiger

With two shops located in Edinburgh, Paper Tiger have been serving the fine people of Scotland’s capital for over 40 years. After many years of working closely together we were delighted to partner with them and Scottish Sales Agent, Darran McBride from Easy Agency, in the run up to Father’s Day and together produce a beautiful, striking and – so far - a very successful! window display centered around one of Kikkerland’s traditional strong points – Men’s Gifting.

This project has long been in the planning – going back to before Covid-19 changed everything for us all – so it was especially pleasing for us to finally realize and implement this long term project!
Our UK Sales Manager, Andrew McLellan, recently visited one of their stores and sat down with Paper Tiger’s Managing Director, Michael Apter, for a short Q&A and photo op.

Kikkerland Window at Paper Tiger

Q: Can you tell us a bit about Paper Tiger’s history and backstory? 
A:
Paper Tiger has traded in Edinburgh for just over forty years, and was part of the Studio One group of companies for many years. The business was founded by John Johnson on the principles of good design at fair prices, and that still forms the basis of our buying today. We mainly focus on cards and stationery, but also have an extensive range of gifts for the home. I love chocolate, so we stock quite a lot of that too!

 Q: How have you found the retail landscape ever since reopening from lockdown?
A:
Scotland took a more cautious approach than other nations, and things are cautiously moving back to normal! Our tourists and weekend visits from the locals are really strong. The office workers are beginning to get around to doing a couple of days a week in the city centre, and they are rediscovering the delights of spending their lunch break in the shops and sandwich bars.

Q: How long have you been stocking Kikkerland products?
A:
As long as I can remember. Since the last century?! I remember buying ranges that were displayed on trestle tables at Spring Fair.

Q: Why do you think Kikkerland has always been such a good fit for Paper Tiger?
A: Kikkerland is a core part of our shop range - the products fit into lots of our categories.  They also fulfill John's original brief - we can put really good design on the shop floor at reasonable prices. Customers understand that.

Q: Paper Tiger are famous in Edinburgh for their unique and exciting window displays – can you tell us a bit more about the Fathers Day one?
A: Just Edinburgh?! This display has been long in the planning! We began discussing this before the pandemic, and I am delighted that we have been able to work with the Kikkerland team to produce a really high quality display. It showcases the range and meets our standards of presentation and visual merchandising. 

Q: What does the future hold for Paper Tiger?
A: 
In the immediate future we are looking forward to the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe, I am optimistic that it will be a great success for the participants and audiences, and that retail and hospitality will get a shot in the arm. I have been looking at what we do and how we do it, improving processes, digitalizing the business, and improving our online presence. We are also focused on giving our customers really great choices in our stores and online, and are working hard to ensure the continued success of Paper Tiger for the next forty years! 

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