IT'S the craze that's
sweeping Britain and the Wirral is going looming mad for it; it's
Loop and Loom. The Loom Bands, simple, multi coloured elastic
bands which can be made into bracelets, are flying out of shops and
retailers at the Wirral's main shopping centre in Birkenhead can't
get stocks fast enough.
At top stationery store Ryman in Pyramids Shopping Centre, store
manager Cheryl Dixon has been amazed at the popularity of the Loop
and Loom mania.
Cheryl, a mum, who has been manager at the store since 2006,
said:- "I've never seen anything like
it. There have been
crazes before but nothing like this.
The first order we had in was all out of the door in 24 hours. We
have ordered in more since then and from the last order, we have two
packs left with a new order due in this morning.
We mostly have the £1 bags which contain 300 bands but in the next
order, we will also be getting the deluxe sets which also include
the looms themselves, there are different ways of threading them
and there are even
YouTube videos showing how to do it.
We've been stocking them since just before the last bank holiday
weekend and it is proving very hard to keep with demand.
They are great for business; our sales have been up by almost 5% for the last few weeks when compared with the same period last
The bands themselves are not expensive but they bring people into
the shop and then they might also pick up other items while they are
here or learn about other things we might stock which they need.
They have been a terrific way of driving more customers into the
I am now making sure that the staff are all wearing them and we have
signs up round the store to say they are in stock."
Ryman isn't the only store that is under siege from Loop and Loomers,
at the nearby Works store, they are also working hard to keep up
with customer demand.
Colin McKenna, Manager of the Works store at Pyramids Shopping
Centre, said:- "They have been extremely popular and I can't
remember a craze like this since Scoobies which were a similar thing
but that was more than a decade ago.
We are having to work really hard on keeping up with demand and it
feels a bit like you cannot get enough of them!
They seem to have this universal appeal; the kids love them, boys
and girls, with many of the lads coming in for colours to reflect
The World Cup; the Brazil colours or other teams they might be
But adults are buying them too and wearing them. I suppose they are
cheap and cheerful and something to get stuck into and make so they
have an entertainment element too."
Derek Millar, Commercial Director for Pyramids Shopping Centre,
said:- "When something takes off there can be no obvious
explanation and it's often something quite simple and inexpensive.
They just need to catch the imagination and off they go and that
seems to be the case with Loop and Loom.
It's amazing that in these days of so many sophisticated electronic
and web based toys and games something as simple as coloured elastic
bands should explode like this."
Last chance to
find our Poet Laureate in Southport
NOW'S your last chance to
be the Southport poetry champion. One poet will represent
Southport in an annual best of UK poetry book; and the closing date
is almost upon us.
Entry is free and, like all the other winners, the Southport winner
gets a free copy of the book. One overall winner also gets £1,000.
"The National Poetry Anthology is designed to encourage new
writers. We picked
over 250 town winners last year but we want the new edition to
include a winner from every town and village in your circulation
area. So far, we haven't had enough entries from the area to achieve
that." said its editor, Peter Quinn.
Send 3 unpublished poems on any subject (up to 25 lines including
blank lines and 160 words each) to United Press Ltd, Admail 3735,
London, EC1B 1JB by the closing date of 30 June 2014. Enclose a
loose stamp if you want a reply. Visit
unitedpress.co.uk , should you want
Becky gets on
her bike to Brazil in a 5,438 mile Ride for Ryder
A St Helens shop manager is
bidding to raise cash for charity by riding 5,438 miles on a donated
exercise cycle; the same as biking to Brazil.
Becky Bethom is heading to Rio in her Ride for Ryder challenge with
the aim of raising at least £543.80 for the UK charity.
26 year old is the newly appointed manager of the Sue Ryder
charity's store in Church Square Shopping Centre in St Helens.
"I wanted to do something to raise funds under the Ride for
Ryder challenge. Then one of our regular
customers offered to donate an exercise bike she and her former
husband, a karate champion, no longer use, and I decided to bike to
Brazil. Though I hadn't realised just how far away it is; it will
certainly help me get in shape for summer! I am determined to
complete the ride and to raise £543.80 as well. I just hope that I
manage to complete it while England are still part of the contest,"
said Becky, who admits to preferring
watching rugby to football.
She is aiming to rope in all the staff and volunteers who work at
the store and raise even more funds for the charity, which provides
compassionate care and support for people with palliative, long term
and end of life needs at home, in hospices and at respite centres.
Church Square Shopping Centre Manager Steven Brogan,
who is juggling managing the shop with looking after her 18 month
old son Charlie said:-
"Becky has given herself a massive challenge and I will be popping
down when I can, to support her.
The Sue Ryder charity does a lot of excellent work across the North
West, and I hope that all our shoppers also get along to the store
to offer their support to Becky as well. I know that our customers
are always very generous when it comes to charity events. I love working in
this store because it's lovely seeing the wide range of people who
come in, whether to donate items or to have a look round. I have
been surprised by the interest in recycling items from younger
people, especially those who prefer not to see items thrown away in
landfill sites, but given new homes.
We are fortunate in that people are happy to donate good quality
items, such as children's clothes from very well known brands.
I know as a mum that they get through a lot of clothes in a day, but
grow out of them so quickly. So it does make sense to buy nearly new;
after all, who knows but you where it was last bought?"
The bike was donated by Val and her former husband Jeff Tabern from
Wavertree, who regularly visit the store.
Former Liverpool Bluecoat design and technology teacher Val, 66,
said:- "I visit the shop in St Helens most weeks to buy broken
jewellery, which is when I heard about Becky's campaign to raise
money for charity. I was more than happy to donate the bike; though
she has taken on a massive challenge.
When I get the old jewellery I re-use the beads and other items in
new pieces of jewellery, which I sell at the craft fair at the
centre, under my company Precious Things. I also donate a percentage
of the money from those sales back to the charity."
Retired Pilkingtons fork lift driver Jeff, 73, said:- "We got
the bike because I like to keep fit - I am a black belt at karate
and used to run a karate club in the town, before I retired. We
mainly now use a treadmill, and this was just taking up space, so
donating it to the shop for this biking challenge was an excellent
way of giving it new life."
Church Square Shopping Centre is open daily and home to a range of
big name stores; such as River Island, BHS, Boots and Superdrug;
along with independent retailers plus the busy St Mary's Market. For
information about what's happening at the Centre, log onto:-