Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The most popular wedding souvenirs in London? Cups

On the stirring spring streets of London in early April, as flowers pop with color and tourist arrive for warmer weather, Ricky Toomey is running a souvenir business.

Business is generally pretty busy around Easter, but this season sales are hopping a little more than normal.

"We're selling a lot more wedding souvenirs over the past week or two," Toomey said.

The increase is in part thanks to Prince William and Kate Middleton's pending wedding, which has brought royal sales to Toomey's street side shop in central London near Big Ben.

"It gets busy all the time here," Toomey said.

From bride and groom masks, to plates, you name it. If it's got the prince and his soon to be princess's faces on it, it's selling as eager tourists and loyal British residents grab the keepsakes.

"The British people still like the royal family, the majority of them, and William is a nice guy," Toomey said.

Of all the items for sale, in true British fashion, tea cups and tea towels are the big movers at Toomey's stand, but he says even the British have limits on where they want the royal family's face to be placed.

"You can buy T-shirts with a poster on the front. I think that's a little strange, walking around with someone's face on your chest, that's not something I would do," Toomey said.

Toomey would know. When it comes to the royal family, his souvenir shop has been a family business for decades. It was started by his grandfather in 1948. Then his father ran it. Toomey took over in 1972, and in that time, his family has seen plenty of royal weddings.

"We were here for Charles and Dianna's wedding and Andrew and Sarah's wedding, and they were very interesting and we worked all night on those weddings," Toomey said.

He says, this time around, he has a pretty good idea of what to expect.

"People start lining the streets putting sleeping bags down and camping out and we stayed open all night. Not so much to take money, but we knew we couldn't get back here the next morning because there will be too many people," Toomey said.

Because of that, Toomey expects that all of the souvenirs he has in stock, including all of those popular cups, will be merrily on their way by the big day.

"We got 1,500. They will be gone. Everything will be gone," Toomey said.


No comments:

Post a Comment