February 07, 2017
On Saturday 28th January 2017, Tigga Towers opened its warehouse doors for the first time in eight years. Invitations were sent to all previous customers and posted via social media. Neither customers nor the team knew what was coming!
As many of you know, the business lost one of its founders and a master tower craftsman in May 2016. Following a difficult few months as my family grieved, we gradually re-opened the workshops and got back to work. It was what Simon, our father, would have wanted.
In doing so, many creations and prototypes came to light, along with pieces of oak destined for items such as our limited edition round oak beds. Stocktaking spanned two days, we put our heads together and came a rather exciting decision: let our customers have a chance to own pieces of the range with at least a 50% discount.
The workshop team (me included of course!) went into action. Pieces were sanded, oiled and moved to our warehouse. It was also the perfect opportunity to clear end-of-line bedding and seconds that were shop-soiled, had colour variation or a design that simply had not gone into production.
After plenty of social media teasing, homemade cookies (thanks, Mum!) tea, coffee and a warm welcome greeted customers who made the trip down. For those too far away, we opened three telephone lines running side-by-side. We also had two live videos with running commentary on Facebook showing available items.
Many customers wanted an online sale too, but we felt that managing three sales points was a step too far. Several items were limited, it was a unique sample sale and so it was visit or phone only.
Our team of six was ready and nervously waiting. Would anyone make the trip? You bet they did! By 9:30am we had a queue outside the door. More cookies please, Mum... Many friendly, cheerful faces were joking as the phone lines began to ring early. We promised not to start answering until we opened the doors!
At 10am the doors opened and the phone lines went into meltdown: over 75 missed calls on one number alone in 10 minutes. I wasn’t surprised to later count 697 calls to our main line in four hours. No wonder our system crashed several times. But, each time, we got it back up and the team tirelessly answered call after call.
The mania eased a little around 1pm. Despite asking customers not to leave messages, a few had, so we worked through those to see if we could help, then started on missed calls. Many customers were so pleased to hear from us and we heard time and again how it had taken up to an hour to get through. Apologies for that.
We are not Next or M&S but the team did us proud. The magnitude of the response genuinely took us by surprise but we endeavoured to deal with each and every enquiry in a friendly and professional manner.
The 2pm finish deadline came and went and while the doors were officially closed, we spent the next hour calling and making sure orders were picked, packed and ready for shipping.
Lunch break had been well earned! The upload and packing process has begun and within the next week we expect to have all orders on their way safe and sound.
In answer to all curious customers whom we consider our friends, no I’m afraid there is not another one planned. It took eight years and different circumstances to arrive at this one and it was quite unique. Of course, if the need ever arises again, then you will be the first to know.
Is Tigga Towers closing its doors? Absolutely not. We have some extremely exciting plans and our bedding designer is hard at work working putting her ideas into fabulous creations for your cats and dogs: from limited edition colours and seasonal ranges, to some unique new tower ideas later in 2017.
Right, we’d better get back to it as there’s plenty to do and never enough hours in a day. Oh, and don’t forget your cat this Valentine’s Day – the crinkle and catnip heart in our limited edition burgundy is selling out fast!
If you fancy a visit then our next Cat Show is 25th February 2017 – Coventry and Leicester Cat Club, CV31 1XN.
We promise to keep you posted. In the meantime, keep sharing your photos of happy feline and canine friends – we love to see them and hear your stories too!
With love from
Sam & The Tigga Towers Team