Downer's Calliope Gifts sees strong opening

Former Borders’ boss Philip Downer said his new shop Calliope Gifts had “exceeded expectations” on first day of opening.

Downer opened the 1,000 sq ft gift shop with business partner and former Borders colleague Andy Adamson yesterday (4th February) in Dorking’s St Martin’s Walk shopping centre, to catch passing trade from commuters.

The giftshop carries 400-500 book titles and other gift items such as CDs, DVDs, home and kitchenware. Calliope will also open an online store next month, offering even more book titles. Downer said: “I am very happy with the sales we have achieved yesterday, we have exceeded expectations already on our first day of sales. I think selling books is extremely important, I think it is one of the most important aspects of a civilised society, but I also think it is a strong business opportunity for as many years as I can reasonably look forward.”

The shop is named after the daughter of Greek gods Zeus and Mnemosyne who was the muse of epic poetry.

Downer was Borders UK c.e.o. from January 2008 to November 2009.