Operating both as a bricks and mortar store and on online business, â€˜Who-ray!â€™, opened July 2010 in Silver Street, Stockton-on-Tees (that’s the North East of England, around 40 miles south of Newcastle) has won the Retail Award in Teesside’s Best New Business Awards.
Now after several invites I finally dropped in on Who-ray! for the first time last week and was impressed to see a wide range of Doctor Who merchandise and collectables, both from the present series and stretching back in time through the Doctor’s previous incarnations; the store stocks other TV/film-related toys, action figures and collectables from Star Wars, Star Trek etc, and a selection of alternative gift choices, including candles, bath bombs, textiles and ranges in both ethnic and retro styles. It really is a great shop, and the proprietors Martin and Brian make you feel welcome.
Nearby stores include a local video games shop and the legendary Stockton Modeller, one of the north’s longest-running model shops.
Who-ray! has attended Newcastle’s Doctor Who convention ‘Dimensions’ as dealers for the past two years, and has plans to host its own mini-convention in Stockton.Â Who-ray! has already had in-store invasions by Daleks, and by Star Wars characters, as part of its commitment to hold charity fundraising events.
Who-ray!’s proprietors, Martin Shipley and Brian Burr, commented:
“Winning this award proves there is a demand for more independent shops â€“ this is the future for High Streets across Britain, offering specialist expertise, personalised customer focus, and a unique shopping experience, which can be lacking in out-of-town retail parks and hypermarkets.
We hope that our success may inspire other fledgling entrepreneurs, who are needed to play a part in the ongoing regeneration of Stockton Town Centre.Â As Doctor Who enthusiasts, we feel that regeneration is something we know all about!”
Well done to Who-ray! – and look forward to more news featuring their great store in the next few days…