Royal Parks appoints retail director and opens first shop

06 Jul 2023 News

Royal Parks first shop at Hyde Park

Royal Parks

The Royal Parks has appointed an interim retail director and opened the charity’s first shop this week in central London.

Caroline Gitsham joined the Royal Parks earlier this year as its first interim retail director to lead on the charity’s initial retail strategy.

The charity has hired a retail manager alongside a mixture of permanent full time and part time roles at its first shop, which opened on 4 July in a newly-renovated boat house by the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.

Longer term, the charity plans to recruit a permanent head of retail and test further retail locations in different parks with a mobile shop unit.

The charity, which split from the government to register as a charity in 2017, also plans to open an online shop next spring.

‘Profits will go towards protecting and enhancing these valuable green spaces’

The Hyde Park shop, for which the charity will also recruit seasonal staff, will sell products including gardening tools, seeds and plants, alongside outdoor and picnic accessories, toys, food gifts, home fragrances, books and clothing 

It will also sell a Royal Parks branded range, including travel mugs, tote bags, prints, cards and calendars.

The charity said its first shop has been fitted out using sustainable and recycled materials, and all packaging will be paper and recyclable.

Royal Parks, which recorded an income of £87.7m in the year to March 2023, did not say how much it expected to generate from its first shop or potential further outlets.

Gitsham said: “We hope that Londoners and people visiting Hyde Park from further afield will enjoy popping into our new shop to browse our seasonal range of high-quality, sustainably-sourced products – and maybe treat themselves to a souvenir of their day or find a thoughtful gift for a friend. 

“Our products are inspired by the wonderful nature and the important heritage of the Royal Parks.

“Profits will go towards protecting and enhancing these valuable green spaces so that visitors now and in the future can continue to enjoy them.”

The shop is currently open daily, 10am to 8pm, with hours varying later in the year.

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