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Licensed Gifts



and many more




The widest range of personalised giftware available in the UK

Huge range of licenses allow us to produce the best giftware available

We design, manufacture and distribute all our products

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Max Publishing Ltd, United House, North Road, London N7 9DP. Tel: 020 7700 6740 Fax: 020 7607 6411 Publishers Jacqueline Brown, Warren Lomax and Ian Hyder

Design & Production

This Month


From a gift perspective, when did the public start panicking about Christmas? The answer appears to be Thursday December 21, as stories hit the media about the likes of Amazon struggling to deliver parcels on time and the prediction that Toys R Us was facing closure. According to the analysts, people made a beeline for their local high streets and shopping centres, but was it too little too late, or did independents hear the tills ringing? We spoke to six retailers for their views about the festive season (see Christmas 2017: Was It A Cracker? on pages 27-29) which had to factor in not only pre-Christmas promotions by the multiples, but also the massive discounting we've now come to associate with Black Friday. Our Sounding Off columnist Lesley Dunne too, reveals how Christmas measured up for her shop, Feathering Your Nest in Rayleigh, on page 153. Another of our contributors this month, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi and Bijou in Scotland, doesn't hold back in a frank, raw assessment of being a shop owner in today's challenging times, In an article written with both hindsight and foresight David doesn't pull any punches. But what's American singer-songwriter Kenny Rogers got to do with it? Turn to pages 63-65 to find out. Although none of us have a crystal ball, we also wanted to know what some of the biggest names in the gift industry think 2018 will bring, to include their views on the ongoing Brexit negotiations. See if you agree with their insightful, honest comments on pages 33-35. One thing I do know for certain however, is that we are almost at the closing date for this year's Greats Gift Retailer Awards - January 31 - so with only a matter of days to go, now is the time to send in your entry - or nominate an outstanding retailer or member of staff - if you haven't done so already. There's everything to play for, so either download an entry form by visiting or email directly. (See Calling All Gift Shops... on pages 39-41). What else will have you turning the pages in our bumper preSpring Fair issue? Staying with retail, we go behind the scenes at variety multiple HEMA to hear about an aggressive roll-out of stores this year (see Going Dutch on pages 48-51); we speak to both Steamer Trading's new ceo Mark Saunders, and owner/creative director Ben Philips, to find out why gift-led lifestyle products will be a major focus going forward (see Steaming Ahead on pages 59-61); Brightside designer Rachel Bright tells us what it feels like to be celebrating her 10th anniversary with Really Good (see Always Look On The Bright Side on pages 67-69). We also take a look at the Spring/Summer trends for candles (see Decidedly Decorative on pages 87-91); jewellery and fashion accessories (see Reach For The Stars on pages 71-75); nursery and children's (see Hey Baby! on pages 111-115) and home interiors (see Animal Instinct on page 107). But first, if you're getting ready to go to Spring Fair in February (my case is at the ready!) turn to Spring Is In The Fair on pages 43-47, where both retailers and exhibitors tell us how they will be approaching the show this year. Gift of the Gab's Nic Stone, owner of The Bottle Kiln in West Hallam, also shares his views on making the most of trade shows on page 37. So, as the PG&H team get ready to put their best foot forward, we look forward to seeing you all at the NEC. With every trade show, there's always a frisson of excitement as to where it will lead, so enjoy, and make the most of your time there. Happy reading! Top: PG&H’s Sue Marks and Angie Bryant get ready to welcome guests to last year's Greats Awards. For more about entering The Greats 2018 turn to pages 39-41. Above: Sue Marks (centre) with (right) Henri Davies, independent retail advisor and chairman of The Giftware Association and Lindsey Adam owner of Bonkers in Scotland, at the judging of the Gift of the Year awards (see pages 15).

Cover: Flamingo Bay range from Lesser & Pavey.

Progressive Gifts & Home is published 7 times a year. Subscription: UK; one year £50, two years £85 or three years £110. Overseas; one year £75, two years £125 or three years £165. Please send your cheque to: Progressive Gifts & Home, Max Publishing Ltd, United House, North Road, London N7 9DP. Tel: 020 7700 6740 Fax 020 7609 4222/020 7607 6411 email:

Russell Sutton

Subscriptions enquiries Tel: 020 8943 9541 ISSN 2515-7523

Copyright 2018. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal liability for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for the standing of advertisers nor any organisation mentioned in the text. Views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers.



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MODERN CLASSICS Simplicity & Styling are the keynotes for this elegant collection of highly fragranced candles, diffusers and room sprays, available in ten fragrances each one classy with a modern edge. A new fragrance for Spring 2018, Elderflower & Blush Rose is a soft and fruity scent combining crisp apple, juicy nectarine, rose and jasmine with sparkling elderflower for a refreshing, uplifting scent. Base notes of white musk bring warmth and sophistication.

020 8595 8878 • •

Visit us at Spring Fair Summer House - Hall 8 - C15 C14

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Inside Jakki Brown Editor in Chief






Industry Issue WHAT WILL 2018 BRING?


Sue Marks Editor


London Stationery Show WRITE ON THE MONEY




Spotlight On... Home Interiors ANIMAL INSTINCT





Spotlight On... Spring Fair SPRING IS IN THE FAIR



111-115 Spotlight On... Nursery/Children's HEY BABY! 121-123 Face To Face: Portmeirion BACK TO THE FUTURE

Ian Hyder Publishing Director


Gift Of The Year



154-155 Best Sellers 48-51 Angie Bryant Advertisement Manager




Retailer Face To Face: Steamer Trading STEAMING AHEAD


Retailer Opinion: JP Pozzi TAKING A GAMBLE




Spotlight On... Jewellery/Fashion Accessories REACH FOR THE STARS


On The Road: Sue Brayshaw


Last Word: Rob Sapwell




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Industry News

The Greats 2018

The Greats Sponsors 2018

Last Chance To Enter! Entries and nominations have been coming in by the sackload for The Greats Awards 2018, revealing the cream of gift retail. From the smallest independent gift shops to the larges multiples, visitor attractions and garden centres, there are retail categories to cover the entire gift retail spectrum - and with a closing date of January 31, there's still time to enter or to nominate a retailer that really stands out from the crowd! In addition, don't miss the opportunity to enter exceptional members of staff who go the extra mile into the Best Retail Employee category, as well as to enter the suppliers that provide the best service to the independents. "The Greats Gift Retailer Awards are a fantastic opportunity for gift retailers and gift departments to really shout about how great they are, or for home and gift suppliers to bang the drum on their behalf," enthuses Sue Marks, editor of PG&H, which owns and organises The Greats. "With so much to gain in publicity terms from being shortlisted, it's a 'must enter' rather than a 'should I enter?' decision!" An entry form can be downloaded by visiting Alternatively, entries can be emailed directly to Left: Big smiles from ZSL London Zoo's Chris Webb, commercial manager, and Tracie Nesham, buying and merchandising manager, who are shown with the 2017 Greats Best Museum or Visitor Gift Shop trophy at last year's awards.

A 'Greats' Date For Your Diary The Greats Awards, owned by Max Publishing, will be taking place at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane on Thursday May 17. Everyone in gifts is invited to come to along, with tickets available from events organiser Clare Davies at; tel: 01183 340085. Taking The Greats Gatsby as its theme, The Greats Awards look set to be a fabulous, fun event with plenty of opportunity to network with the great and the good in the gift industry. Visit (See Calling All Gift Shops ... on pages 39-41).

PG&H is delighted to be fanfaring an impressive line-up of Greats 2018 category sponsors who currently include (in alphabetical order): Ascential: Spring Fair and Autumn Fair; Ashleigh & Burwood; Boxer Gifts & Books by Boxer; Christmas & Gift Harrogate; Clarion Events: Home & Gift, Harrogate; Dansk; Gift Republic; Gisela Graham; Joe Davies; London Stationery Show/Manchester Stationery Show; NPW; PG Live; Premier Decorations; Root Candles; The Giftware Association and Yankee Candle.

Plastic Bag Levy PM Theresa May has pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years. Small retailers - employing less than 250 people, to include many gift retailers will be made to charge customers the 5p plastic bag levy for single use carrier bags. Currently, small shops are exempt. Gift and housewares retailers are already responding to the big move to eliminate plastic, with re-usable coffee cups and water bottles boosting sales. Environment secretary Michael Gove has said that he is determined to tackle Britain's throwaway culture which plastic exacerbates. Above: Environment secretary Michael Gove.

Above: The Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.

Searching For New Stationery Talent There's still time for talented stationery designers to enter LaunchPad London, organised by the London Stationery Show, which closes on February 9. Some 12 stands have been reserved at the April show for the LaunchPad competition winners to showcase their ideas and products to visitors and exhibitors. Run for the first time by the London Stationery Show last April, and again by the Manchester Show in October, the LaunchPad initiative has so far showcased 18 new hopefuls. “The two trade shows are currently the only dates in the stationery industry calendar where so many key suppliers and retailers come together, so they are the perfect platform for this type of initiative. We’re looking forward to reviewing all the entries,” comments the London and Manchester stationery shows event manager, Hazel Fieldwick. The London show will feature two previous LaunchPad winners who the show team felt deserved further support: Frankfurt based My Pretty Circus, a wrap and writing company run by Maythe Stavermann, and luxury giftwrap supplier Paper Mirchi, run by Rani Moochhala, who launched her range at the Manchester Stationery Show and was shortlisted for the Gift of the Year 2018 Awards. An entry form can be downloaded by visiting In addition to a free display space at the show, there will also be an opportunity to enter the Stationery Awards 2018. The London Stationery Show takes place at the Business Design Centre in London from April 24-25. (See Write On The Money on page 85) Left: Visitors browse the stands at latest year's London Stationery Show.

Trending At Top Drawer Among the high profile, keynote speakers at London's Top Drawer was Geraldine James, buying manager at Selfridges, who told visitors that surviving at retail in 2018 will be about creating in store ‘stories’ in order to attract additional footfall. Men's gifts had their own concept area highlighting the best in men's accessories and jewellery, complemented by the Men Only trail which extended across all product categories. The Food Emporium was back with 'giftable' foods including seasonal treats and confectionery. Also returning to the show was Spotted, highlighting emerging designers and new talent, with the inaugural Spotted Awards rewarding the leading companies behind original, market ready, commercial products. At PaperFest in the Greetings & Stationery sector, Sadler Jones, The Curious Department and Hotchpotch were announced as the winners of the PaperFest Awards. Above: The PaperFest winners were, from left to right: Sadler Jones, The Curious Department and Hotchpotch.



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HUNDREDS OF GREAT NEW PRODUCTS FROM TRANSOMNIA It’s that time of year again, when most of the people involved in the giftware business head for the outskirts of Birmingham to show off or to view all the new giftware and home accessories ideas for 2018. It’s not quite a Chaucerian pilgrimage, but as those who have done this before will know, there are similarities! Despite the economic doom and gloom propagated by the national press over recent months, giftware retailers are nothing if not resilient, and Transomnia have come up with a collection of new products for 2018 designed to put a smile on their faces as well as setting their tills ringing. Transomnia’s stated aim is to continue to boost the percentage of own-design products in their range each season, and for Spring/Summer 2018 two thirds of the 350+ new products being introduced have been designed inhouse by their talented design team. Among the new collections is a Daisy range that picks up on the ditsy floral trend very much in fashion now, with a wide section of products including both the quirky and the functional, with muted yellow, blue and cream tones that are ideal to create a fresh spring look in store. Complementing this is the Elise range which would be perfect as the core of a fresh summer display, with dainty meadow flowers combined with fun sentiments in metallic gold, creating beautifully giftable accessories.

With all of us hoping for a pleasantly warm (if not quite tropical) summer, Transomnia have significantly enhanced their flamingo range, while also introducing brand new cactus and pineapple collections, all of which tie in perfectly with the ‘Tiki’ trend which is predicted to be very hot this summer. There are heaps of other new additions to the Transomnia collection, plus an enhanced offering of greetings cards, which were introduced last year and have been a great success.

If you’re at the Spring Fair, make sure you visit Transomnia on Stand F04/ G03 at the cutting edge of Hall 7 To find out more, or to arrange for an agent to call, contact or phone the sales team on 01892 703660.

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Industry News

Spring Fair 2018 Focusing On Trends, Present And Future Among the highlights at Spring Fair, which takes places from February 4-8* at the NEC, Birmingham, will be The Atelier, a brand new immersive, interactive feature. It will reveal big-screen videos to show visitors what's new, what's trending now, and what the trends will be in 2019 and 2020, as well as how to make it work for their businesses. The series of exclusive films are based on insights from industry-leading trend forecasters and platforms, WGSN, Pinterest, One Click Retail and Coloro. Four walk-in installations will feature real store interiors using products from Spring Fair exhibitors, curated by the show’s visual merchandiser. “This is one of the most daring and exciting features we have ever launched at Spring Fair," enthuses Spring Fair’s head of content Sophy Searight. "The Atelier will give our audience the confidence that what they’re purchasing at the show will be on-trend in the future. It will also present great examples of how to diversify into new categories and make their businesses more profitable.” Two installations will be created at Home & Gift and Jewellery & Watch, with visitors able to travel through time in Hall 20, where they can learn about home and gift trends through four different room settings. Each one will focus on a different time frames ranging from now until 2020. The Above: Among the trends at Spring Fair. (See Atelier) Atelier in Hall 17 meanwhile, will focus on jewellery and watch products, and will cover trends from 2018-2019 in two displays. Show sectors this year include Gifts and Greetings, Contemporary products, Kitchen & Dining, Christmas, Beauty & Wellbeing, Fashion, Jewellery & Luggage, Toys, Party, Retail Solutions and DIY, featuring over 2500 exhibitors. l Spring Fair's Home sector will comprise two dedicated halls with exhibitors showcasing an array of homeware items. Visit (*The Volume halls will be opening a day earlier).

Kitchen Gifts To Make Their Mark Building on the popularity of housewares as gifts, the Kitchen & Dining sector at Spring Fair will feature a series of live housewares demonstrations and celebrity chef masterclasses that will help retailers inspire their customers. The interactive element of this year's show will also provide retailers with ways to create in store experiences. Right: Jeremy Pang will be among the celebrity chefs delighting audiences at Spring Fair.

John Lewis Takes Five John Lewis' latest five year report has revealed a demand for unique in-store experiences. As well as reviewing the last 12 months, which saw Millennial Pink finding its way into homes and voice activation go mainstream, the company's special five year edition looked back over the extensive changes in the UK, and in retail, since 2013. These included Black Friday replacing Cyber Sunday as the biggest spending day of the year; 50 times more smart home products stocked at the store compared to 2013, and the proportion of visits from mobiles and tablets to increasing from 42% to 64%. Trends that soared in 2017 were unicorns (searches increased 70%), while searches for mermaid-themed products increased 22% on 2016. Millennial Pink dominated colour palettes, with 63,000 searches for 'pink' on since January 2017. Millennials were shown to be driving an appetite for unique shopping experiences, with younger John Lewis customers twice as likely to do a leisure activity or have a beauty treatment while out shopping than more mature customers. "How we shop continues to change at pace," comments Peter Cross, director of customer experience at John Lewis. "Shops now need to combine the very best products with the latest, most immersive experiences." The John Lewis Retail Report is created every year and is based on its shopping data from August 2016 to September 2017. Above: John Lewis recently unveiled its five year retail report.

Morrisons Ups Its Game Showcasing India's Finest

IHGF Delhi Fair will be returning to the India Expo Centre & Mart in New Delhi for the Spring edition, which takes place from February 23-27. The show attracts some 3,000 of India's top manufacturers, exporters and artisan groups, with buyers from around the world sourcing exclusive, handcrafted, handembellished products. Attendees will also be able to access the 900 permanent showrooms situated on all four levels. Organisers the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) confirm that there will be significant expansion across all categories covering a myriad of products that include gifts, home, crafts, jewellery, fashion accessories, home textiles, paper products, floral decorations, Christmas and toys. The Fair will also reveal themed pavilions, affording buyers the opportunity to source directly from artisans and entrepreneurs from the provinces, as well as from established exporters. A designers forum, brand new to the Spring show, will showcase collections from both upcoming and established Indian designers. Visit

Best known as a food retailer, Morrisons has upped its game on the non-food front, launching a massive 1,500 product strong own brand collection that spans stationery, homewares and cookware. Now available in its bricks and mortar stores as well as online, the new collection, developed from scratch over the last 15 months, includes Morrisons’ signature ‘thoughtful details’ – which has proved successful on its Nutmeg clothing range. Above: New from Morrisons own brand collection.

Above: Indian handmade, hand crafted, hand embellished products will be on display at the IHGF Spring show.



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Industry News

GOTY Celebrates 40 Years 2018 Finalists Announced With almost 300 entrants, and over 1,000 products received, the Gift of the Year 2018 competition - which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year - achieved a record breaking entry. The finalists have now been announced across all 15 product categories, with three retail categories still to be unveiled as PG&H went to press. (This year, the Best Independent Retailer category is sponsored by Progressive Gifts & Home). In Contemporary Gift, the finalists were: 10 Things... Loving Tree from Giggle Beaver; Octagon Desk Light from Gingko Electronics; Great British Bee Co Handcare range from Great British Bee Co., and Urban Words from History & Heraldry. Finalists in the Bath, Body and Home Fragrance category were: Animal Shaped Soaps from the Somerset Toiletry Co.; Barber Pro Skin Revival Kit from Beauty Pro; Home Solutions range from Heyland & Whittle and the Great British Bee Co handware range from Great British Bee Co. Wrendale scarves from Wrendale were among the finalists in the Fashion Accessory category, along with Sara Miller Silk Accessories from My Gift Trade and Beau & Elliot Lunch Totes from Navigate. (For the full list of finalists and shortlisted companies turn to page 125). Commented The Giftware Association's chief executive Sarah Ward: "The bigger the competition, the better it is for our industry, bringing suppliers together with retailers. This year has definitely been one of the best entries we've had both in numbers and in variety and quality." PG&H's editor Sue Marks was among the judges present on the 'live' final day which was held at Birmingham's Button Factory in mid January. "There was a wealth of innovation showcased across all categories, reflecting the gift industry's finger on the pulse of today's consumers," she stated. "They are not only looking for something different and design-led, but also useful and affordable. All finalists demonstrated that admirably." Other judges on the 'live' finals day included Maggie Thornton, owner of Alligator Pear in Tadworth; Lindsey Adam, owner of Bonkers in St Andrews and Edinburgh; Heidi Schramli, owner of Retail Detail in Ambleside: Rachel Mewies, buyer for gifts and home at the Stratford Garden Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Nathaniel Mobbs, buyer, The National Gallery Shop, London. The Gift of the Year competition is organised by The Giftware Association.

Organic Growth For Suttons Multi-channel gift retailer The Present Finder has been acquired by Suttons, the seed, plant, gifts and sundries company. "The acquisition of The Present Finder will help us to further develop our Suttons Gifts for Gardeners range, as well as enhancing our all year round gift offer to our charity partnerships," said Suttons’ MD David Robinson. "Present Finder has an excellent track record of finding new and exciting products, and we will be able to enhance their current range of 50 gardening products to their own customers, as well as introducing them to our ranges of seeds and plants. It’s a win win.”

A-Z Danish Retailer Opens Its Doors Danish interior and lifestyle brand Design Letters has opened its first UK branded store in Touchwood, Solihull, showcasing the Copenhagen based company’s diverse range of products. The collection is based on high quality designs which are all available with A-Z letters. "We feel this will be the perfect spot to showcase our distinctive collection of personal design and gift items,” comments Mette Thomsen, founder and creative director of Design Letters. Above: Design Letters’ products include A-Z Black Cups & A-Z White Cups.

Above: The full line-up of judges at the Gift of the Year's 'live' judging day, to include PG&H’s Sue Marks (centre). Left: Judges make their selections.

And The GOTY Winners Are . . . The Gift of the Year winners will be announced on Sunday February 4 at a special event to be held during Spring Fair. Commemorating the competition's 40th year, it will be hosted by impersonator and comedian Rory Bremner, and will be taking place at The Vox. Right: Impersonator Rory Bremner will be compering the GOTY Awards.

Eddingtons Acquires Stow Green Home and gift company Stow Green has been acquired by housewares and homewares company Eddingtons’ portfolio. Key members of the Stow Green team, including the company's founder Gordon Griffith, have joined Eddingtons to spearhead further growth for the brand. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to acquire Stow Green and its 40+ years of delivering great product and great service to a broad base of UK gifting and housewares customers," comments Eddingtons' MD Roger Murphy.

Ulster Weavers Expands Into Retail Ulster Weavers has kick started an ambitious expansion programme recently opening the doors of its first ever eponymous store. Located in The Outlet in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, it sells the company's complete range of homeware and textiles. The shop officially opened its doors on Thursday November 23, offering customers 50% off everything for the first weekend only. The branded outlet boasts 2,200sq ft. and will be Ulster Weavers’ flagship store Above: Inside the new Ulster Weavers store in The Outlet, Banbridge.





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NEW for 2018...



…Now back in stock

125mm Call +44 (0) 20 8998 1781 Email

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Industry News


Ambiente's Expert Advice

John Athwal Receives An OBE Premier Decorations' founder and MD John Athwal received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for his services to business and charity. The honour is a testament to the thriving business John started from scratch almost 30 years ago, and which currently employs up to 250 people at its peak each year. In addition to his outstanding business success and acumen, John, who was voted Asian of the Year in 2010, is also renowned for his philanthropic work, where he is involved with, and donates generously, to charities. They include The Fence Club which raises Above: Premier Decorations' founder and MD John money for sick and disadvantaged children, and Action for Children, Athwal has been honoured in the Queen's New Year honours list. which saw John take part in the CEO Sleepout in 2014 where he slept rough to help to raise awareness of homelessness as well as proceeds for the charity. Commenting on his OBE John says: “Receiving an OBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year's Honours list is a fantastic tribute, and I am overwhelmed to have been recognised and nominated by colleagues and peers. Life has not always been as easy as it is today. Having arrived at the age of eight in the UK in 1961 with my parents, from very humble beginnings in Punjab, I have embraced the opportunities this country has offered me, and it only feels right to give a little something back to society.” He continues: “Professionally, I think that I have achieved most of my ambitions, and receiving this honour really has to cap it all. I will continue to be active in both my business and charitable work, but I also look forward to spending more time in the future with my wife Jito, children and grandchildren.” l Premier Decorations has appeared twice in the Sunday Times Profit track for the fastest growing profitable companies, and also in the International track 200 for the fastest growing exporters.

New Owner For Lagoon

Left: Heather Watherston.

The Lagoon Group, among the UK’s leading supplier of gift-led games and puzzles, is looking forward to an exciting 2018 following its purchase last year by Asia-based Searainbow Group. The acquisition of Lagoon brings the number of Searainbow’s UK-based businesses to three. In 2015, Searainbow acquired one of the UK’s market leaders in educational games, The Green Board Game Company, and in 2016 it purchased Flights of Fancy, award-winning designers of nature-based discovery products and traditional games. Heather Watherston, MD at The Lagoon Group, is to become Searainbow’s Vice President, International with responsibility for all European and North American businesses from March 1. “I am delighted to take on this new role and very much look forward to working with the whole Searainbow team,” enthuses Heather. “It’s a very exciting time, as the Searainbow directors are fully committed to investing in and growing all lines of business. We will continue to run operating units independently, but, as a larger group, there will be shared commercial development opportunities which will allow us to offer customers a bigger, better and more diverse range of own-brand and licensed products.” Searainbow board member Gary Wyatt, founder of Green Board Games, said: “We are thrilled that Heather has accepted this role and with Heather driving the development of our international businesses, we are looking forward to providing all our business partners within the UK, European and North American markets with an expanded selection of great brands. Lagoon will be exhibiting at NY NOW in February, and we hope to have an established presence in America before the close of 2018.”

New Zone At Hong Kong Gifts Fair A brand new zone at this year's Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair will be World of Camping and Outdoor Goods, with other show highlights including product demonstration and launch pad areas, affording opportunities for suppliers to show products to buyers. Elsewhere, thematic zones will feature World of Gift Ideas, Luxury Gifts, Licensed Gifts and Hall of Fine Designs. Other zones at the show will focus on fashion accessories and tech gifts. In addition, talented designers and young entrepreneurs will be featuring their latest innovations in the Startup zone. The show will also be hosting insightful seminars as well as exhibitor and buyer forums covering trends, technology and market insights. The Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair takes place from April 27-30 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Visit Right: Among the eye-catching displays at the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair.

Between February 9-13, Ambiente's brand new Ambiente Academy, situated in Cafe Gold, will be providing practical information for retailers on current market developments and opportunities. Experts will be showing how consumers can be encouraged to make purchases through the way a product line-up is compiled, how the use of language can impact on sales, and how retailers can conduct their own PoS fitness checks. There will also be a new series of talks on the presentation of trends. The new Academy will also be showcasing the latest fashion items, jewellery and accessories, which

will be demonstrated by models twice a day on the catwalk. “The product group Accessories & Jewellery will effectively network the entire lineup and provide stimuli, together with the presentation programme, the fashion show, Next boulevard and Talents, encouraging the audience to emulate what they see,” explains Yvonne Engelmann, head of the Ambiente product groups Giving and Living. Ambiente's partner country this year is The Netherlands. Above: Fashion accessories in the Giving sector at Ambiente.

Asia Specific The Asia Expo and Asian Premium Fair will be opening its doors at London's National Hall, Olympia, from February 1-3, showcasing a full house of Asian suppliers who will be presenting a broad spectrum of gifts, stationery and housewares, as well as toys and games. The supplier roster has increased from North Asia, to include India and Vietnam. Exhibitors include the Paper Art Viet Company from Vietnam; Niida from Japan; Nakamori Co; Bontex from Hong Kong; Rise Chain Industries; Organic Green Inc; Ingbo Binbin Imp. & Exp. Co. A buyer’s sponsorship programme is available for buying professionals attending the show in February. Full details are available when registering online at Above: Among the products on display at The Asia Expo and Asian Premium Fair.





• MADE OF STEEL • MAGNETIC • 78 NAME DESIGNS • 6 GENERIC DESIGNS Come along and see this and our full range of fabulous products

at the Spring Fair Hall 5, A10/B11 Boxer Gifts, Leeds, UK. LS13 4BS

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Industry News

Christmas Winners And Losers


A Roster Of Big Names Take A Hit With Christmas a mixed bag for many gift retailers, (see Feedback on pages 27-29), there was a stark contrast in evidence on the high street. While John Lewis, Next and Poundland all saw bumper sales in the run up to Christmas there was far less Christmas cheer for other high street multiples. p Bookspeed has reinforced its position for Debenhams was among those to take a hit, future growth with Lewis Dawson’s appointment as MD and Matthew Perren with the store's chief executive Sergio becoming operations and finance director. Bucher citing gifts as one of the reasons the These new appointments underpin the multiple performed so badly. Commenting significant growth of Bookspeed which on what he would do differently, he said that the store's gifting ranges needed to be more premium. expanded into additional facilities last year At the time of going to press (mid January), a profit warning has been issued by the retailer, with plans following a rise in sales from around £6m in afoot to cut £10 million in costs. However, although 10 of its stores may close, there is no indication 2015 to just under £9m in 2017. The that any further stores will be shutting their doors. company is expecting sales for this financial year to surpass £10m. House of Fraser too, which also saw disappointing sales over Christmas, will be axing failing stores, Above: Bookspeed's Lewis Dawson (left) and Matthew Perren. and/or reducing the size of others. Marks & Spencer saw sales decrease in its general merchandise division, which includes homewares. p Rainbow Designs has strengthened its Card Factory meanwhile, which sells gifts national account sales team with the as well as cards, saw £193m knocked off its appointments of a two national account value after issuing a second profit warning in managers. Alison Lakin joins Denise Carr. four months causing shares to plunge. Both women will be bringing a Reasons were cited as a weak £pound and wealth of toy and higher wage costs, due to the increase in the nursery industry national minimum wage. experience to the Analysing the Christmas trading period, company. Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the Right: Alison Lakin and British Retail Consortium (BRC) commented: Denise Carr. “There was both light and dark in this year’s p Pam Ballone (right), who Christmas trading period. Growth in spending has spent 20 years in the was in line with the, albeit modest, average for the year. However, the divergence between growth in food and housewares sales of food and non-food has never been so stark. industries, has been “With inflation outpacing income growth, shoppers continued to see more of their spending appointed to handle the power absorbed by essential items, including food, leaving less left over for buying Christmas gifts. That marketing and PR activities made this year’s festive period all the more nail-biting for non-food retailers, many of whom offered for Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electricals deep discounts in the last weeks before Christmas in the hope of something to celebrate at the end of in 2018. The shows will be a year, which has seen, on average, zero growth in non-food sales. These promotions came as a taking place at London's Business Design welcome relief for stretched households, although the late lift in sales came at the expense of margins Centre on June 12-13. for many retailers." She continued: “Retailers who did well in such a challenging environment got both their discounting strategy and omni-channel offerings right. Those Retailers and overseas distributors who could offer and deliver on last minute delivery options did better, boosting can now register for the online non-food sales more than 15% in the seven days before Christmas, a dedicated greeting card show PG week when, until now, shoppers would have had to turn to stores to ensure Live which will be celebrating its gifts made it under the tree in time. With spending likely to remain under 10th anniversary on Tuesday 5 June 5 and Wednesday 6 June at London's Business Design Centre. severe pressure in the next “We have simplified the online registration and it works really well, few years, it’s imperative but for those who prefer to speak to a real life person, there is always that in the forthcoming someone at the other end of the phone. The greeting card industry is a trade negotiations, the people business after all,” adds the show's marketing manager Jacqui Parr. Government does all it can Leading brands exhibiting include Wendy Jones-Blackett, IC&G, to avoid adding new tariffs Paperlink, Gemma, Abacus, Icon Arts, Nigel Quiney and Emotional Rescue, to existing price pressures.” with the expanding Springboard area boasting more newbie publishers

PG Live Registration Is Open

Top: Its gift offer is said to have let Debenhams down over Christmas. Above: House of Fraser will be reducing stores following a disappointing Christmas trading period. Right: Marks & Spencer lost some of its Christmas sparkle.

than ever. Buyers also have the option to register for the show via, through social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+), by email or by phone: +44 (0) 1635 297070. See Countdown To The Big 1-0 on pages 55-57.



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Industry News

That's The Spirit!

NEWS IN BRIEF Below: Bijouled's Award winning Christmas shop window.

Harrogate Gift Shop A Christmas Cracker

Christmas came early for Bijouled in Parliament Street, Harrogate, in the run-up to the festive season. The independent design-led jewellery, gift and fashion accessories store was crowned the overall winner of the highly anticipated Harrogate Christmas Shop Window Competition that was filmed by Channel 5, and shown on December 13 and 14 as part of Harrogate: A Yorkshire Christmas. Bijouled was also named as the winner of the Small Shop category. "We were thrilled to win the competition as we are about to celebrate 10 years of being in Harrogate, so this was a very special window for us," Bijouled's director Georgina Collins told PG&H. "Over 100 shops entered the competition - including Betty's - so we hope our success will also help to spotlight the creativity, determination and originality that independents can bring to the world of retail. After four months of hard work we celebrated with some bubbly, and plan to enter the competition again this year as we always have lots of ideas up our sleeve!" Reflecting the theme of the Spirit of Christmas, Georgina's windows were based on the Charles Dickens quote: 'I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!' The Christmas past photos on Bijouled's memory tree - a highlight in the main window - were sent in from customers. Continues Georgina: "We have been overwhelmed by visitors on the back of the Channel 5 programme. They have come from all over the UK to visit Harrogate and its shops proving that the power of TV is incredible. But what I feel and hope the programme showed is that despite the growth of internet sales, there is still an interest in shop windows, particularly Christmas shop windows, and that a good shop window is fundamental to not only generating sales but also to giving customers a memorable experience that they cannot get from online shopping." The Mayor, Counsellor Anne Jones, presented Georgina with a silver rose bowl trophy, originally presented for the best dressed window in Italian week in 1957.

NY NOW Summer Announces Date Change NY NOW will be opening its doors a little earlier in August 2018. The dates for the summer market have been brought forward to August 12-15, returning NY NOW to its preferred date pattern. In addition, all sections of the show's three comprehensive collections - Home, Lifestyle and Handmade will open and close on the same dates, eliminating the staggered opening and closing pattern of past shows. “We are constantly evaluating dates and time frames to determine the most advantageous pattern for NY NOW to make it the best experience possible for attendees and exhibitors alike," said Randi Mohr, vice president and NY NOW director. "We think that the return to the earlier dates coupled with a Sunday-Wednesday schedule for all collections will do that.” NY NOW's summer show will be taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. Visit l The winter 2018 edition of NY NOW will be taking place from February 3-7 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, featuring three comprehensive collections: Home, Lifestyle and Handmade, which will encompass tens of thousands of products in hundreds of product categories. The Handmade Global Design section of the Handmade collection will open on February 3 and close on February 6 in the River Pavilion. The Home and Lifestyle Collections, as well as the Handmade Designer Maker and Artisan Resource sections of the Handmade collection will open on February 4 and close on February 7. Attendees from all 50 states and nearly 70 countries worldwide are expected. Left: Buyers at NY NOW.

p The Music Gifts Company recently appointed an American distributor for Element the company's men’s gifts range. p April will see Rex embarking on the next stage of its evolution by re-branding dotcomgiftshop with a new name, Rex London, along with a brand new website. The move joins the trade and consumer arms of the business under the Rex London umbrella. p The British Museum's shops will be unveiling their brand new retail collections in support of the upcoming new exhibition Rodin and the art of ancient Greece. Products in the new collections range from designer jewellery to home and fashion accessories. p Amazon was the most popular retailer over Christmas. (Source: Retail Economics) p Elf on the Shelf toys were a big hit this Christmas, reported to be one of the most successful Christmas ranges. Products included a stationery kit for writing letters to Father Christmas, with the founders working on ranges for Christmas 2018. Above: Elf On The Shelf was a Christmas winner.

p Argos (part of Sainsbury's), saw pressure on toy sales over Christmas with the retailer losing out to Amazon. Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe said that while tech, audio and consoles did well, toys were more challenging. p James Daunt, MD of Waterstones, has asked for business rates to be axed, calling the system "unfair" and "unnecessary". He believes that the government should stay with VAT, viewing it as a fairer tax because it taxes online retailers too. Waterstones currently has 297 high street stores in the UK. The company is likely to be sold by its Russian owners this year for over £200m.

A Recipe For Retail Success Former Dragons’ Den contestant Levi Roots, (founder of the Reggae Reggae brand), will be headlining bira’s National Conference on May 10. Sharing his recipe for business success, Levi will kick off the conference line-up of inspirational speakers, where the focus will be on the future of retail. Other keynote speakers will include representatives from Trouva and Vend. The day will be hosted by award winning comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli. Tickets are available from bira. Email Above: Levi Roots will be the keynote speaker at bira's National Conference, in May.



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Christmas 2017:

Was It A Cracker? With Black Friday dominating the headlines in the run-up to Christmas it was anyone's guess how consumers would be spending their festive cash. But as a handful of retailers reveal, it was something of a mixed bag great for some, less so for others.

Sales Records Were Broken "We had a great Christmas on gifts and Candleshop at John Lewis breaking many of our sales records especially in the last week before Christmas because, as we had expected, trade came very late in the season with a full weekend for customers to snap up last minute gifts," says Sara Allbright, buyer Gifts and Candleshop at John Lewis. "Our star performers were board games and jigsaw puzzles which continue to perform, showing that there is still a trend for people to shun tech products for the more collaborative activity of playing a game or spending some mindful time doing a jigsaw." Observes Sara: "In gifts, people are still definitely liking the personal touch with both personalised gifts online trading well, and huge interest in store when personalised experiences were available. Within Candleshop, people have definitely wanted the scent of Christmas with our own brand and branded ranges of Christmas scents both performing particularly well - our collaboration with Neom on their Wellbeing Street Christmas concept at Oxford Street was very well received and looked beautiful.�

December Was A Record Month "People started to shop for Christmas in early October, with huge sales in both keenly priced fashion jewellery, such as crystal wrap bracelets, as well as higher end brands such as Dansk," says Angela Jones, owner of Lily Blue in Hagley. "Other best sellers were Powder and, as always, Katie Loxton. A late contender was Lua - their velvet purses were particularly popular. A late spike in December sales meant we had a record month and the festive quarter as a result was strong overall." As for the average spend, Angela confirms that although the over 70s were showing more caution, many customers spent around ÂŁ30 per transaction during December. She says that the shop's late night shopping events were a great sales booster, enjoyed by young and old. "Plus, the hard work we put into our window displays paid off as they pulled in the new and the curious," Angela confirms. "We were also rewarded this Christmas by winning the Best Dressed Window in Hagley competition. However, greeting cards outstripped all product sectors this year, with high end independent publishers Belly Button and Five Dollar Shake firm favourites. Large cards sold out early, with greeting cards closely followed by jewellery in terms of the most popular products. Although our Home sector was slow this year compared to previous years, personal gifts were more popular by a clear margin." Adds Angela: "Heavy snowfall was also a great sales boost for us as many more people shopped locally. In fact, I could have trebled my woolly hat order and still sold out!" Above: Lily Blue in Hagley.

Below: John Lewis, Oxford Street.

Good But Not Great "We gave Christmas our best shot, but while it was a good Christmas I don't think we will quite reach last year's figures," says Hilary Jones, owner of Let's Go Round Again in Wombourne. "For us, it kicked off in November when we held our shopping evenings which were really well supported and successful for us. The week before Christmas was also very good, but that was to be expected I guess, with confidence in deliveries from internet shopping not as high over the last few days, driving more people onto the high street. Additionally, it was the first time in 18 years that we opened on a Christmas Eve Sunday, and although it was a reasonable day - and gave us the takings we would have on a 'normal' Saturday - it certainly wasn't our usual Christmas Eve. Saturday December 23 felt more like Christmas Eve to us, and was our busiest Christmas trading day." Hilary adds that unicorns, prosecco and gin-related products continued to perform well. "Boxer Gifts were one of our star suppliers. They have some great lines and also have a wonderful approach to doing business. Every time we had a balance order due they contacted us to see if we wanted to add to it, meaning



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Feedback that we didn't have to keep placing carriage paid orders. Their top selling items, such as the grow your own unicorns and starlight bottles, kept coming through - and selling! I wish that more suppliers worked in this way as we ended up doing more business with them than we've done before, meaning it was successful trading for both of us." Continues Hilary: "Ladies scarf sales and costume jewellery definitely slowed down after a long run, but our sterling silver jewellery ranges sold very well. Overall, the average spend was up by about 45% over the Christmas trading period and I think that if I learned any lessons it was to be a little braver with buying higher value items. We sold a jewellery box at £125, as well as a few other higher priced items, which has given me the confidence to look for some more expensive gifts for next Christmas."

Footfall Down, Spend Up "Christmas was OK for us, but footfall was way down which I was a bit surprised by as the weather was so nice," comments Bob England, co-owner of England At Home in Brighton. "However, individual spend was up - overall about the same in store with a small increase online. In addition, the last week was pretty lively. Friday December 22 was the busiest day, although the last two Saturdays were pretty good too. Christmas Eve was busy in the morning then tailed off. Although we had planned to close at 3.30pm we didn’t have the heart to stop serving till just after 4pm. Across the board, all product sectors did well this year, although sales of rollwrap were a bit disappointing, with possibly the Poundshop picking up some of our sales. Once again though, the average spend was higher than last year. If we learned anything, it was which of our suppliers we could rely on to successfully deliver at Christmas." Below: England At Home in Brighton.

Above: Let's Go Round Again in Wombourne.

A Great Final Week

Below: Joco Interiors in Nuneaton.

"Christmas 2017 was a great year for Joco," confirms Jo Williams, owner of Joco Interiors in Nuneaton. "Having moved to a new location in June, this was our first Christmas in the town centre, following a steady rebuilding of our customer base. We had a busy week in November, but then things slowed slightly until the final week when we were extremely busy, with customers snapping up lots of gifts for around £10. We had a great response to most of our ranges - aside from novelty gifts which were a bit disappointing - but the two which stood out were the Harry Potter range from Half Moon Bay and Starlight glow domes from HellmannVersand. Customers couldn't get enough of them and we had to have additional deliveries made in time for Christmas in order to fulfil the demand. People were spending anything from a couple of pounds to over £100 with us, but on average, it was around £15-£20 per customer." Jo adds that due to the new location and the dramatic footfall increase, 2017 was very much a steep learning curve for both herself and the team. "I did anticipate the additional sales, but not to the level they actually reached especially in the final week," she comments. "Therefore storage space will be looked at in readiness for next year, to ensure that we can have the stock on site as the demand for some ranges was far above what was expected. Customers were also tending to look for smaller purchases from the shop, so gifts in the £10-£20 price range were ideal. Some larger pieces did sell but this is definitely something for me to think about when ordering for Christmas 2018."

On A Par With Last Year "In the end we had a good Christmas, trading level with last year, although we did see our best ever day ever fall on Saturday December 23 which definitely was a big milestone," says Claire O'Donnell, owner, The Herbary in Troon. "It kicked off later than normal, but from December 20 through to Christmas Eve there were non-stop queues. Christmas Eve was our best Sunday of the festive period. We were open from mid November and had an event in store every Sunday apart from Christmas Eve which was great, but it was the first time in four years that Christmas Eve wasn’t the best trading day of the year. Our strongest products were scarves, jewellery and handbags with Katie Loxton and Joma still out in front. Higher end products were definitely slower." Claire adds that the average spend was definitely down on previous years. "Or rather it was two-fold," she explains. "Customers were still spending say £100, but instead of buying one or two gifts they were buying five. Or instead of having one customer spending £100 we had four spending £25. It was just as well that footfall was up! If there were any lessons to be learned it was to always have more Katie Loxton and Joma. We repeated a few times mid season and still sold out. Also, socks were a huge hit. We will be looking for another costume jewellery brand and probably less sterling silver jewellery this coming Christmas." Left: A busy day at The Herbary in the run-up to Christmas.



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Industry Issue: Predictions

Rising To The Challenge

What Will 2018 Bring? It would be lovely to have a crystal ball to be able to predict what 2018 holds, but without one, it's down to individuals and businesses to draw their own conclusions as to how move forward. As the Brexit negotiations continue, PG&H sought the views of six well-known names in gifts as to how the landscape looks from the industry's perspective.

Alan Pimm, MD, SIL (below), says that the gift and home industry should continue to prosper as the public are always looking to refresh their homes and keep up with trends. "This follows through into gifting where design and innovation will drive sales," he comments. "Our in-house team of designers are rising to the challenge. We have lots of new and exciting ranges coming through for 2018 and are looking forward to another successful year." On the Brexit front, Alan says that everyone is hoping that the Brexit negotiations are successful and that our exit from the European Union will be a smooth transition and enable us to continue trading with our European neighbours while opening new markets worldwide. "Realistically, it is in neither the EEC or the United Kingdom's interest to have a hard Brexit, as the inter-trade between us is vital to both parties. So I believe that an agreement will be reached to the benefit of both sides after some hard bargaining, and that there will be a protracted transition period to allow this. The damage this could cause to the UK economy is the uncertainty during negotiations and adverse reporting by the media. This could create challenging conditions for retailers. This also affects currency exchange rates and therefore costs. The UK economy is in great shape and it is vital that the media and government continually stress this to give industry and the public confidence to avoid a slowdown in sales."

Above: PM Theresa May is continuing to negotiate with Michel Barnier in Brussels re the Brexit negotiations.

Plenty Of Opportunities "2018 could be a challenging year for retail, but on the other hand, there is an amazing amount of optimism in the air," comments Mike Burgess, MD of Parlane (right). "So what's the reality? Well, inflation is ahead of government forecasts, but let’s get real. We are talking 3%. Is it really going to stop people buying birthday presents? Some of us remember inflation at 20% per annum and we survived. Yes we are losing some independent shops on the high street, but we are also losing some of the multiples. Maybe we were over shopped? "I have lived through many recessions, and the three day week, and we are a lot better off today than in the past. Out of all the industries, the home and gift industry is one of the most resilient. I know I have been in the business for over 50 years, both in retail and in wholesale, but I have survived everything that could go wrong. We are living through an era of enormous change like never before. In the last 10 years, internet sales have grown faster than anyone could have possibly imagined, and yet new shops are still opening, In fact, now is the best time to negotiate a shop lease. Landlords have to be open to offers or leave the property empty and pay the rates."

Mike continues: "There are more self-employed people than for many years. People who have a vision and the passion, people who believe in themselves and who are willing to take a calculated risk and open a new business or expand with a second shop or open up online. Additionally, destination shopping is really taking off with farmers opening organic farm shops. They then add on a café and guess what - yes a gift shop! Surprise surprise, their car parks are full. “I strongly believe that we are still a nation of shopkeepers and as long as we can create a great shopping experience, with the best personal service, consumers will go out of their way to spend their hard earned cash in shops. “As for Brexit, we can only hope that from now on in we have a smooth transition. However, looking at the situation today it is hard to believe that this will be the case. “As an importer and exporter we want the best of both worlds. We need the great British £pound to strengthen against the US dollar, and we need the reverse against the euro. Well we can dream can’t we? We need to stay in the European customs union to make export to Europe a seamless transaction. We need our European friends wanting to do business with the UK and not putting up barriers that will make it too difficult. And we need more good news stories instead of depressing stories from Brussels." Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Industry Issue: Predictions

“My view on Brexit is that no-one, including UK and European politicians, knows what the future holds in terms of the single market and the customs union, or what duties or non-tariff barriers might arise.”

Challenges And Opportunities "I think the general outlook for the gift and home industry in 2018 will be challenging," states Paul Taylor, MD of Wild & Wolf (left). "Consumers are tightening their belts and will probably spend less. Retailers are seeing cost pressure through business rates and wage increases, wholesalers are suffering cost pressure from exchange rates and China cost increases. Consequently, I think the backdrop to 2018 generally will challenge us all on sales growth and margins, and we will all need to be innovative to stay ahead." However, Paul can also see opportunities. "I think there is a shift towards consumers buying less but making it more meaningful," he comments. "That could be more meaningful via the buying experience or more meaningful in terms of product experience. Therefore, the right retail experience, the right brands with a clear message and audience, and the right products will still do well, but we will probably need to work harder to make them stand out, with ever increasing consumer choice and competition. The trend towards e-commerce continues to increase and I expect to see more sales moving online and this channel to growing in importance." Paul adds that with regard to Brexit, his main hope is a steady transition and continued ease in exporting to the EU, with no sudden cliff edge shifts on tariffs or customs requirements in 2019. "With the UK market potentially slowing, we need to maintain access to EU markets," he comments.

Adapt Or Die Thomas O'Brien, senior operations director at Boxer Gifts & Boxer Books (right), says that there are no doubts about 2018 being a tough trading year. "The real consideration is how do we, in the gift trade, deal with these turbulent times? At Boxer our plan is to be more innovative with product as this is what our industry is built on. We’re investing more than ever before in new lines and ideas. We don’t want to be a ‘me too’ company, as second and third to market don’t get the spoils. There has never been a time in the gift trade when playing safe with product yields a winner, and we all need a winner as this is the lifeblood of gift retailing!" Thomas says that as for Brexit, the best outcome will be aligned regulations and free trade. "As an international trading company, anything short of a free trade agreement with Europe is going to cause Boxer to be less profitable. Extra compliance to dual regulations adds costs, and a customs border between the UK and Ireland can only result in extra costs in trading with our closest market. Whatever happens, we will adjust and deal with what is in front of us. Right now there is no point dwelling on things we cannot change or predict. "As we head towards Christmas 2018 and our peak trading season, 'because we always did it that way' will not see the gift trade through. As the much repeated lyric ‘the times they are a changin’ rings true again, we adapt or die. Changes lead to opportunities, and change is happening much quicker than ever before."

A Fair Deal Is Needed "Despite the uncertainties of Brexit, Libra has had a great year," confirms Paul McLaughlin, MD, Libra. "Despite the significant increase in the cost of goods we import, the weaker £pound has led to a substantial increase in export sales. We saw an upturn in international visitors to our showrooms in 2017 and look forward to seeing how this develops in 2018, both in our showrooms and at the forthcoming UK trade exhibitions." Adds Paul: "My view on Brexit is that no-one, including UK and European politicians, knows what the future holds in terms of the single market and the customs union, or what duties or nontariff barriers might arise. If we could see into the future we would probably be retired by now! My main hopes are that European politicians agree to a fair deal with one of its largest trading partners, and don’t try to make an example of Britain in an attempt to stop other countries voting to leave the EU. Also, that our politicians are successful in securing trade deals with countries outside the of the EU as quickly as possible to provide the country with more much needed certainty and optimism."

A Need To Adapt "Brexit has already posed numerous challenges for Gift Republic," points out Sam Wahid, MD, Gift Republic. "We have seen the £pound weaken against the dollar putting out margins under pressure. We also have significant exports to all over the EU so a good trade deal is very important to us. The negotiations must also focus on maintaining enough migrant workers. We run our own warehousing and this year has been the first in more than a decade, where we have struggled to find the staff for the Christmas demand. As a growing business this is a real worry as there are already too few local people to fill our vacancies. "Nevertheless, one of the opportunities that we're looking forward to in 2018 is continuing to increase our year-round sales. Although most gift companies focus heavily on Q4, we have seen an increase in sales across all key gifting occasions. There are real gains to be made for those that can adapt."

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Left: Nic Stone. Below: The Bottle Kiln.



Get With The


Although Nic Stone, MD of The Bottle Kiln in West Hallam, is happy to let his teenagers explain today's new technology and vocabulary, it's a different matter when it comes to staying ahead of the curve in business. Singing the praises of the importance of trade shows, he says that they're a 'must' for discovering the newest trends, the latest products and to get inspired by seminars. But even that's not all...

"One of the many delights of having teenage children is the constant reminders that you are steadily becoming a cultural dinosaur and losing touch with aspects of the modern world. No sooner have you figured out what Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are than you discover they are old hat and 25 new types of social media have come into popular use. Why?? I thought that three was too many! Our kids often have to ‘translate’ things for us so that we know what is going on in a particular song/programme/meme. Whatever a meme is. ‘Get with the beat dad’ they tell me. Eugh! Life is changing so fast that sometimes it just seems like too much like hard work to keep up. Get that fire lit and find me my slippers! At work, however, I take a slightly different view. The industry we are in has become, in so many ways, tied in to other essentially fashionled cultural activities such as clothing, technology, interiors and design that it is vital that we keep up with those changes and understand what they mean to us. It is so easy through inertia for shops to maintain a flavour of

the time that they opened, sometimes even decades later, and yet there are lots of appealing ways to stay in touch with the zeitgeist. My favourite is the trade shows. It amazes me that there are people in the gift industry who hardly attend any. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like to buy there, it is such a rich source of information and inspiration that it is well worth wearing out some shoe leather to get around them. Spring Fair is the obvious one, but at the time of writing we are planning to go to the Furniture Show, Pure and Top Drawer as well. For me if you love this industry, it is hardly work at all but one big opportunity to get ideas, talk to people and step back to

get a sense of what is changing out there, and get the buzz of what is new. Some years it is all new colours and palettes. Another it is materials such as all of the metallics we have seen. Or lifestyle trends - mindfulness, yoga and wellbeing. Or animals - unicorns and flamingos, who knew! Or new ways of scenting our homes, accessorising our clothing or occupying our hands. The sheer resourcefulness of the people who dream up all of these things never ceases to amaze me and adds to the fun and excitement of it all. My advice is to put aside a bit of time when you attend these shows. Increasingly, the organisers make time and space to show off and talk about what's new. Get a sense of the vibe, go to a seminar or two and just walk around. Open your mind to what is going on and have those antennae tuned to the mood music. Read all the magazines. Then try something new. Not wildly off the main track of your shop, but something to keep your collection up-todate. Of course, half of the new things you try fall flat, it happens to us all, but if just a few become popular sellers you will benefit in the end. Getting stuff wrong is the place where we learn and grow the most! Trade shows can seem to some like an unnecessary expense, but I would argue that in the long term they are essential, as without this input of newness, bit by bit you will fall behind and lose that buzz that smart dynamic businesses always have. In my view you need two to three days to really get around Spring Fair. By the same token, I would also make regular time to acquaint yourself with the best of the competition on your high street, large and small, and be very clear what other offers are being made to your customers. Then be honest with yourself about your business, plan some improvements and keep those changes rolling along. If you develop those habits of constant change, you will definitely stay ‘with the beat’ and keep those tills ringing! Then go home, put on your slippers and have a cup of tea. You’ve earned it." PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


Greats A4 Ticket Booking advert 2018.qxp_Layout 1 07/12/2017 11:40 Page 1

The ONLY awards that celebrate gift retailing in the uk lunchtime thursday may 17 7 2018 the grosvenor house ballroom, park lane, london I would like to book………………pl place(s) at £168 per place + VAT With thanks to Claire Coxon and Image Source for supplying images from Claire’s Art Deco range.

I would like………………table(s) of ten at £1680 per table + VAT I would like………………table(s) of twelve at £2016 per place + VAT I enclose a cheque made payable to M Max Publishing Debit my Visa/Mastercard (please delete as necessary) Card No........................................................................................................... Expiry date........................................................................... date..................................................................... Start date.......................................................................... Security code........................................... Address if diff different ffe ff ferent to company address... address....................................................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................. Name................................................................................ Company Address......................................................................................................................................... .............................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Tel............................................................................................................................. T l........................................................................................ Te Fax.................................................................................................................................... email.................................................................................. email.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... All bookings must be accompanied w with payment. We will be unable to refund any cancellations after 1 May. Tickets and invoic invoice will be sent to you once payment has been received. Please return this booking form with payment to: Createvents Ltd, 450, Brook Drive Reading Berkshire RG2 6UU Createven Tel: T l: 01183 340085 or by E-mail: Te 038_GH_February 2018.indd 1

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The Greats 2018

Calling All Gift Shops... As the countdown starts to The Greats Awards 2018, there's still time - just - to tell us why your shop is a winner! Once again, PG&H is on the look-out for those extra special gift retailers, gift departments, lifestyle stores, specialist jewellery shops and garden centres that have really stood out over the past year. The closing date is January 31, 2018, with the winners announced at a glittering Awards lunch at London's Grosvenor House Ballroom on Thursday May 17. Could your gift shop's name be on the trophy this year? With plans for The Greats Awards 2018 now firmly underway, it's all systems go to discover the gift retailers that are a cut above the rest. Following The Greats Awards 2017, winners were fast off the mark to engage with social media as well as their local media to shout about their success. "After winning the Greats Independent Gift Retailer of the Year - South West award, we immediately posted it on Facebook and Twitter so that all of our Daisy Parkers knew," enthuses Emma Paisey, owner of Daisy Park in South Molton, Devon. "We reached well over 6,000 fans on social media, and off the back of this, we were then asked by BBC Radio Devon to give an interview with Gordon Sparks on his morning show about our success and what it would mean to us as a small independent retailer. It was really positive, and was shared on

social media and on BBC iPlayer." Adds Emma: "In addition, the town clerk paid us a visit, and we also had lots of customers popping in to say well done!" Also making the most of social media was The Barn At The Hollies Farm Shop, winner of the Best Non-Specialist Retailer of Gifts category. "We had an awesome response to our Facebook post," enthuses marketing executive Sarah Holland, "and

The Greats Sponsors 2018 The impressive line-up of 2018 Greats Awards sponsors currently include (in alphabetical order): Ascential: Spring Fair and Autumn Fair; Ashleigh & Burwood; Boxer Gifts & Books by Boxer; Christmas & Gift, Harrogate; Clarion Events: Home & Gift, Harrogate; Dansk; Gift Republic; Gisela Graham; Joe Davies; London Stationery Show/Manchester Stationery Show; NPW; PG Live; Premier Decorations; Root Candles; The Giftware Association and Yankee Candle. Above: We won! Last year's winners proudly wave their Greats trophies in the air! Below: Daisy Park hit the headlines.

were very humbled by all the attention our success received as well as the support from our customers. The post reached over 52,000 people's newsfeed, had over 1,000 likes, some 75 comments, and was shared 27 times!" Adds director Ed Cowap: "Winning a Greats Award, coupled with our exposure on social media, made a big difference. We had a fantastic month for trade with a big upsurge in sales. Our success helped to tell people that we're here. We also had lots of support from our suppliers as well as congratulations from customers. It's was good for everyone, especially our staff." At MiMi (hw) in Hartley Wintney, where sales assistant Nicky Leach won the Retail Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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The Greats 2018

Employee of the Year 2017 award, owner Julianne Moore concurred that the response to the shop's success had been amazing. "Customers were popping in, messaging and even calling us to see how we got on," she commented. "Lots of supplier doors also opened with many gift companies wanting us to be stockists of their products. I'll need a larger premises at this rate!" From the Awards' inception in 2003, The Greats has set out to recognise and reward every strand of great gift retailing from the tiniest gift shops in the smallest of villages to major multiples on the high street, garden centres and online retailers. So please tell us about your marketing initiatives,

the rest. Email: An entry form can be downloaded by visiting or by emailing your entry to lThe Greats Awards are owned by Max Publishing, publishers of Progressive Gifts & Home. Below left and right: The Barn at The Hollies Facebook post and comments.

Best Retail Employee Award What could be nicer than rewarding employees who treat your shop as their own and go the extra mile for both you and your customers every day? If you've got that 'special someone', a right hand man or woman working in your gift shop or gift department, now's your chance to nominate them for The Greats Best Employee Award. We want to know more about that person and why he or she stands out. Either download a Greats Best Employee entry form by visiting or email your entry direct to Sue Marks at Right: Last year's Retail Employee of the Year winner was Nicky Leach, sales assistant at MiMi (hw). She is shown receiving her Greats Award from Cleere Scammell (right), the former show director of Home & Gift, Harrogate, category sponsors. Also shown is Awards compere Charlie Baker.

your community involvement, how good you are at display, whether you've expanded or opened a new outlet, what you do online, as well as how you use social media. Retailers are also invited to enter members of staff for the Best Employee Award, and to vote for their top suppliers in the Best Service to the Independent Gift Retailer categories. (Email and tell him why they deserve to win). However, it's not just about selfnomination. We're also looking for suppliers, reps and agents to bang the drum about the gift retailers that they think are a cut about

The Greats Supplier's Award While The Greats is dedicated to recognising and rewarding gift retailers, the awards also set out to highlight those special companies who provide exceptional service for their customers, with three separate awards - gold, silver and bronze - to be won. To nominate your favourite suppliers, visit and download an entry form or e-mail Left: In 2017, Widdop and Co., received the Best Service To The Independent Retailer gold award, which was presented to MD Stuart Illingworth by Simon Boyd, director of category sponsor Progressive Greetings Live.

Honorary Achievement Award David Hicks, founder and MD of Really Good and Soul was named as the winner of the 2017 Greats Honorary Achievement Award. Do you know a very special person who deserves the 2018 Award? If so, we want to know more about the nominee, and his/her wider contribution to the giftware industry. Nominations are completely confidential and can be emailed to Ian Hyder at Right: Last year's winner David Hicks received the prestigious Greats Honorary Achievement Award which was presented to him by category sponsors The Giftware Association's chairman, Henri Davis.

Win A ÂŁ50 Golden Ticket As an extra 'gift', all independent finalists and winners of The Greats 2018 will receive a ÂŁ50 bonus that can be spent against orders placed at the 10th dedicated PG Live greeting card show, organised by Max Exhibitions, which takes place on June 5 and 6 at London's Business Design Centre in Islington. For more information about PG Live 2018, turn to Countdown To The Big 1-0 on pages 55-57.

An Invitation To The Awards Event The winners of The Greats 2018 will be announced at a fabulous Greats Awards lunch being held in the Ballroom at London's Grosvenor House on Thursday May 17. This year, the theme is The Greats Gatsby, so expect plenty of 1920's glitz and glamour! All guests attending the event will also receive a fabulous goody bag bursting with fabulous gifts as a going home present!

How To Buy Tickets To book tickets to The Greats Awards lunch on Thursday May 17 at London's Grosvenor House, contact awards manager Clare Davies at Createvents on 0118 340085 or Previous events have been a sell-out, with a waiting list for tickets, so don't delay!

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Spotlight On... Spring Fair 2018

Spring Is In The Fair Comfy shoes, clothes and a bottle of water at the ready, it's Spring Fair next month, with buyers and exhibitors getting ready to make the most of the show which takes places from February 4-8 at the NEC, Birmingham. So how will they be approaching it?

A Wizard Idea

Start To Finish "We always go to Spring Fair for the whole duration, arriving on Sunday and staying till close of play on Thursday," confirms Ed Cowap, director and coowner of The Barn at The Hollies Farm Shop in Little Budworth. "We don't place orders on the Sunday, but from Monday we are ordering." Ed takes a team of four or more people with him to include The Barn At The Hollies shop manager Angie Rudd, and head of visual merchandising Sean Camm, plus at least two members of staff from The Hollies in Lower Stretton. "We are still there at the end of the show on Thursday, leaving around an hour before it closes." The team doesn't go with a budget in mind. "You don't know what you're going to find, so if we like it we buy it. It also means that we're not limited to certain sectors. We've got the freedom to try things, and there's plenty to buy." Ed's top tip: "Although we do see specific buyers in certain halls, we always like to walk the whole show as there can sometimes be some great products where you least expect them. Over the years, we've found some amazing things that way." Above: The Barn At The Hollies Farm Shop.

Half Moon Bay will be bringing a bit of magic with them to Spring Fair this year, with a large section of their stand dedicated to the Top: In 2017, Spring Fair company's Harry Potter products. "It will be merchandised celebrated its 40th year to resemble Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," confirms at the NEC. marketing assistant Emily Moores. "We’re planning on dedicating the Above: Half Moon Bay's front of the stand to our Harry Potter products, transforming the space Harry Potter collection. to resemble different parts of the Wizarding World and of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As buyers walk around the stand, it will be as if they’re on a magical tour of our very own Harry Potter world, and they can explore the different ranges within the collection in situ. We’ve got an exciting new Varsity style range for example which will be presented in a common room type set up." The company will also be introducing seven new licences for 2018, which will be on show for the first time at Spring Fair, to include Black Panther, Resident Evil, Han Solo and a Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary range, as well as over 300 additions to existing collections to include Game of Thrones, Beauty and the Beast and Doctor Who. Emily's top tip: "Buyers should always keep a good stock of business cards with them as it makes it much quicker for stand staff to get all the information that they need, enabling buyers to get on with the fun bit, which looking at all the wonderful products at the show!"

Be Spontaneous Evelyn and Sandra, co-owners of Mooch in Ealing, will be going to the show for two days, initially visiting their existing suppliers to see what's new. "After that, we define the sectors, with a special focus on men's gifts and candle suppliers," confirms Evelyn. "We do make a list, and try and stay with it in certain halls, but it's easy to get distracted by so many different stands which, in fact, makes us more spontaneous. "We tend to go with the flow," agrees Sandra, "and also never go with a budget in mind. If we like something, and feel it would sell in Mooch, then we Above: Mooch, Ealing. buy it. Where we are cautious though, is in the quantity we buy." Evelyn and Sandra highlight Hall 7 as being one of their favourites. "It's very quirky which is what we really like about it." Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Spring Fair 2018 Something they will be doing differently this year is to make time for seminars. "There are some very interesting ones and we're going to do out best to attend," says Evelyn. Some 18 months after opening the shop, a plus point is being able to have a member of staff standing in for them. "We're now at a stage with the shop where we can visit shows without having to rush off." Evelyn and Sandra's top tips: "Make time, don't rush; go for two days minimum, no matter how small your shop is, and go with an open mind. We've found products that we weren't sure about have ended up being our best sellers. And don't let suppliers talk you into their best sellers as they may not work for your shop! As a professional buyer you have to be honest with companies."

Celebrating 25 Years Ashleigh & Burwood will be celebrating the company's 25th anniversary in 2018, and will be making the most of the important milestone at Spring Fair with a brand new stand layout. "It will have a bar and seating area, with a large video screen continually showing eyecatching product imagery," explains product development manager Anna Borrett. Also making an appearance will be a giant zebra, tying in with Ashleigh & Burwood's new Wild Things I Zee You Baby fragrance. By popular demand, the company will also be bringing back its Sparkling Prosecco lamp fragrance - the first Christmas candle fragrance to sell out in 2017 - complete with a commemorative swing tag encouraging customers to ‘raise a toast to 25 years’.

Go With An Open Mind

“Early in the morning and late afternoon are often good times to spend with key suppliers as their stands are less busy at these times.” All Change "We will again be showing in Hall 8 again as part of The Summerhouse where we will unveil a host of new collections for 2018 with our stand layout changing to reflect these new elements," comments Richard Halliday, commercial director at Dartington. "There will be several new drinkware collections which focus on the latest drinking trends, with specific new stories for gin, whisky and beer lovers, plus extensions to best selling current

Above: John (right) and Andrew Nettleton, chairman and MD of Ashleigh & Burwood respectively, hope customers will be going wild for Wild Things on their new stand at Spring Fair.

Below: Barkers Home, Northallerton.

"I usually visit for three days and take my homewares assistant manager with me for at least one day," confirms Julie Poynton, gifts and homewares buyer, Barkers Home, North Allerton. "The store display team pop down for a day and our lighting buyer attends too. We have our annual stock take at the end of January so we go with an open mind to new fashions and trends and the knowledge of what worked last season. I make an early start, wear comfy footwear, have a cup of Yorkshire tea and then off I go! "I tend to avoid making too many appointments, leaving any I do make till the last day which leaves me free to walk down every aisle in every hall that's applicable to me although not the jewellery halls - so that I don't miss anything. The journey home is great for brainstorming with my colleagues, especially the visual merchandising team and usually kick starts our theme for Easter and Mother's Day." Julie's top tips: "I always take a tablet for photos where permitted, as my phone memory tend to get very full. Plus, after 25 years of attending trade shows, I finally invested in a trolley case for all those brochures. It's the best thing I ever did!"

ranges such as Bar Excellence, Wine and Bar and Glitz. New gift ranges will include handmade crystal Amphora vases and Totem, a new range of home accessories." Richard's top tip: "Early in the morning and late afternoon are often good times to spend with key suppliers as their stands are less busy at these times." Above: The Dartington stand at last year's Spring Fair.

Spring Fair 2018: The Lowdown DATES: 4-8 February 2018. Volume sector opens Feb 3 VENUE: NEC, Birmingham TEL: +44 (0)203 033 2500 WEB: Continued on page 47

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Spotlight On... Spring Fair 2018

Move To The Summerhouse

New Mini-Booth

Having outgrown Hall 4, Stoneglow is moving to the prestigious Summerhouse in Hall 8. "The Summerhouse move is a massive privilege for Stoneglow and perfectly fits in with our brand journey," says account development manager Louise Dooley. "In celebration, we decided to give our stand a facelift. At first it was just going to be a simple lick of paint but we got carried away and ended up with a totally new look, which we are all very excited about. We have added a bold splash of colour which, for us, is very daring since magnolia was our theme for years!" Adds Louise: "The new Summerhouse stand is our largest to date, giving us a fantastic platform to curate our collections of bespoke up-lit display units. To top it off, we have added in 3 metre wall graphics showing some of our amazing product imagery." The company is also kicking off 2018 with four new Above: The new Stoneglow stand in the Summerhouse. collections of candles and diffusers - Potager Garden, Mixology, Day Flower and Night Flower. "All are British designed and made in the UK," confirms Louise. "We have also added in eight new fragrances on current bestselling ranges, along with a facelift on our popular Botanic collection." Louise's top tip: "As Spring Fair is such a large show, visitors need to plan their route. They need to allow themselves time to visit key suppliers and search out newness, allowing at least two days for their visit. Most importantly, they need to wear comfy shoes and a stepometer, as they will want to enjoy a little treat later without the guilt!”

At Wild Things, director Jules Vahraman can't wait to show off the company's new ‘minibooth’ display. "It's a smaller version of our trade show booth, and incorporates a header, a display tree with 108 hooks, and two massive 30w LED bulbs. It’s like a beacon and we are hoping it will attract customers into our customers’ shops like the proverbial moths to the flame!" says Jules.

Manage Your Time Effectively

Below: Rossiters.

"I've been going to Spring Fair for 18 years and go for three days," says Ann-Marie James, director, Rossiters, Bath. "Sometimes it's just me, at other times I go with my buyer Rachel King, or I might also invite members of the sales team, where relevant, to be part of the show if I feel it's beneficial. "We take a good look at the exhibitors listings before we go. We look at our existing suppliers and ensure that we are fully up to date as to where we are with them re stock, and whether we want to do an update with them. In addition, we make a list of the companies we're interested in that are new to us, and where they are at the show as it can be easy to walk past exhibitors. “Rachel and myself walk almost all of the show, as the majority of the halls are relevant to the store. We take a look at the different companies, make notes and go back to those suppliers that we want to know more about, and might want to place an order with. To make the most of our time at the show, Rachel and I often split up to do this, and then debate over dinner as to the whys and wherefores of different companies.” Ann-Marie's top tips: "Don't spend too long on chit chat with suppliers. The day goes by very quickly! Try and allow time to walk around some of the same halls again before you leave, as you may have missed things. Also, manage your time effectively. Don't assume you have lots of it."

Above: The new Wild Things mini-booth features an eye-catching tree display.

Adopt A Logical Strategy Garsons central gifts buying team attend Spring Fair for four days, with the gifts department leaders attending for two days. "Four people attend, two from the gifts buying team and the gifts supervisors from both our Esher and Titchfield sites," confirms Garsons' assistant manager Lauren Bennett. "We like to save our favourite halls for when we get a bit tired, to give us an energy boost. Usually we walk a few halls and then head for contemporary gifts or kitchenware for example. But more than anything, we try to work through the halls logically, to avoid any more walking

than is necessary! The focus is on ensuring we buy the right product for our customers rather than budget at this stage. We look for new and inspiring products from current suppliers as well as up and coming suppliers. Orders are placed once we have returned to our sites, so that we have as much time as possible to walk the halls while at the show. If there is a really good show offer on however, particularly with a new supplier, we would try to place the orders there and then." Adds Lauren: "There is also lots of conferring. We have two quite different customer demographics in our sites, so we discuss which suppliers and products are most suitable for each." Lauren's Top Tip: "Take a small handbag. Carrying a large handbag as well as a stack of catalogues is no fun. A small notebook is key to jot down anything we want to come back to, or to remember the suppliers that we may otherwise forget about when we get home." Above: Garsons, Esher. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Retailer Face To Face: HEMA

Going Dutch If you haven't heard of Dutch variety multiple retailer HEMA yet (pronounced Hay-ma), you soon will. The company, whose motto is 'making the ordinary extraordinary', first came here in 2014, and recently opened a flagship 350 m2 store on London's Tottenham Court Road - it's 65th internationally - and seventh in the UK. "Everything in here is potentially a gift," HEMA's UK country manager Sam Macgregor told PG&H at the store's official opening at the end of November. So what will be driving the retailer's UK expansion plans in 2018? With impulse purchasing the name of the game at HEMA, there's certainly something for everyone, from home, tableware and jewellery to children's, home fragrancing, stationery and greeting cards - and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Internationally, HEMA has been on a roll over the past year, with 25 stores opened in 2017 and a further 35 planned for 2018. Alongside London, cities currently include Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Luxembourg, Lyon, Paris and Madrid. "We opened airside at Stansted airport in 2014, which was a really good brand move in the UK, followed by other travel outlets Euston, Victoria and Birmingham New Street. It's great exposure and the stores have allowed consumers to really start to understand the brand," states HEMA's international director and HEMA management team member Richard Flint. "International expansion is an important part of our growth strategy. We see big opportunities for growth in the UK and especially in London," continues Richard. "Our strategy will primarily focus on

HEMA: The Lowdown

l HEMA's first variety store opened in

Amsterdam in 1926. l In 1984, having opened 500 stores in

The Netherlands, the company expanded into Belgium, France, Spain, Luxembourg and Germany. l HEMA's first UK store was at Victoria station in 2014, which has been followed by stores at Euston station, Birmingham New Street station and Stansted airport (air side). l In addition, HEMA stores have also been opened in Kingston and Bromley.

establishing a presence of several HEMA stores per city, and we are particularly excited by our brand new Tottenham Court Road store, which will now be our flagship in the UK." In charge of the UK side of the business is Sam Macgregor, HEMA's UK country manager, who is also in charge of HEMA'S international stores operation. Her retail career began as an M&S graduate

Above: Candles come in all colours and sizes. Below: HEMA's Sam Macgregor (third from the right) and Richard Flint (second left) are shown at the opening of the flagship HEMA store on Tottenham Court Road. Cutting the tape is the Dutch ambassador Simon Smit. Bottom: The new HEMA store.

trainee 22 years ago where she rose up the ranks to become M&S's youngest female manager in a top 50 store, subsequently moving onto Asda Walmart, and, most recently, bhs. (Co-incidentally, Sam and Richard, who both joined HEMA a year ago, were graduate trainees at M&S at the same time, although they didn't know each other). The HEMA store formula is based on living spaces within the home, organised around 10 themes - He, She, Home, Cook, Eat, Sleep, Kids, Baby, Study and Bath - making it easy for customers to find their way around. Products include gifts, stationery, giftwrap, greeting cards, confectionery and coffee, to mention just a few, as well as beauty and personal care. "All have a certain 'sparkle' for everyday use to make life easier and more fun," explains Sam. "They're aimed at a wide profile of UK consumers, to include Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide



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Retailer Face To Face: HEMA Millennials - university students, those in their first job and young professionals - as well as mums, young couples setting up home, and also more mature customers." Everything - with the exception of a Fuji Instamax camera - is designed in house by the company's team in Amsterdam, in collaboration with Dutch suppliers which are managed by HEMA. While the quirky, bright, colourful products are undeniably affordable, prices are nevertheless mixed. "We offer great quality and clever design at a reasonable, value for money price, as we need to position correctly in the UK," explains Sam. "We're not Poundland, nor do we want to be Paperchase, Scribbler or Kikki.K selling notepads at ÂŁ20. We want to make accessible, design-led product that is available to everyone, and we have done a lot of price research to make sure that we are at the right level for each of our categories in the UK market. We compete in different segments in the UK - as opposed to being an overall shop - with, for example, our stationery products up against WH Smith, Rymans and Paperchase. Therefore, we want to offer products that are available to everyone," she

Left: There's plenty of fun to be found in the Kids 'room'. Below left: Part of the large, downstairs Cook area. Below: A small selection of fashion jewellery.

emphasises. "We're in a very competitive retail market place and we know we have to stand out to make a difference." As for that all important customer experience, Sam says it's about first impressions and how her teams greet customers. "We're a young, bright, fun, funky store, and that makes us stand out. I believe that customers instinctively know that it's a happy store rather than simply a transactional one. Displays, which are designed by our team in The Netherlands, are enticing, with each store adding its own touches."

As a multi-channel retailer, customers can also shop with the store online. "It's all about clicks and bricks," she confirms. "We've delivered a new platform for 2018, and are really excited about our online ability. It's available in all markets, and people can touch the entire catalogue. The stores in The Netherlands are three to four times larger than Tottenham Court Road - for example, they stock apparel and babywear too - so we're very excited about the amount of traffic we will be generating." So what's Sam's view on UK retail at the moment? "It's a very tough market," she states. "If you look at the recent figures, the majority of retailers' trading is down. However, at HEMA we are showing double digit growth and are continuing to see constant growth in Britain. Tottenham Court Road is our largest store to date in the UK, and our plans going forward are to open a further four to five outlets in 2018 across travel, the high street and shopping malls. "2017 has been a fantastic year for us, and, with Crossrail opening early next year, we hope to see our Tottenham Road store go from strength to strength. Also, there's been a shift from West Oxford Street to East Oxford Street, and I'm delighted that we are now in the heart of one of the top streets in the world. We already have plans for expansion next year and realistically, we will be looking to open four to five stores in 2018 which will remain London centric. We're a retail gem that will hopefully grow and grow."

Where Gifts Fit In Sam points out that, realistically, the whole HEMA offer can be classed as gifting, as gifts permeate every 'room'. Examples include a foam retro iPhone 6 and 7 cover that comes with alphabet letters enabling people to make up their own words. "In the run-up to Christmas, our jewellery department offer included an Advent calendar that had a piece of jewellery behind every door," she continues. "In addition, people could put together their own gift hampers giving them an exclusive, special feel." The Study sector of the offer is very much about stationery with a twist. In the Cook room - a massive section on the lower floor - customers will find all the basic products that a good cookshop would stock - kitchenware, food storage, bakeware, cake decoration items, tableware and kitchen textiles - along with more unusual items such as amuse bouche dishes and spoons for example, as well as a whistling kettle. Across the board, sustainability plays a big part in the design. "Our ceo, Tjeerd Jegen, is very focused on this, so, for example, in summer 2017 we introduced bamboo into our some of our ranges to include picnicware," Sam confirms. Packaging is minimal. "We want customers to be able to see the quality and design, as well as to feel and touch our products," confirms Sam.

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new range, new hall, new show...

Spring Fair

February 4th-8th 2018, Stand 8D06

NEW location; Summerhouse hall! NEW Ambiente

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Spotlight On... PG Live 2018

Countdown To The

Big 1-0

Gift retailers can't help but be effusive about dedicated greeting card show PG Live, now celebrating its 10th milestone year and going from strength to strength. Not only do gift indies enjoy finding new suppliers in, for example, the popular start-up Springboard section, they also love the friendly atmosphere and the 'greeting card community' atmosphere that the show generates. Taking place at London's Business Design Centre on Tuesday 5 June and Wednesday 6 June, PG&H caught up with the latest news and views that offer an insightful peek behind the scenes. With greeting cards a strong part of the product mix for many gift retailers, PG Live has become an eagerly awaited show each year, fanfaring not only established names such as Wendy Jones-Blackett, Five Dollar Shake, Belly Button and Glick, but also some of the newest publishers to enter the market place. As the international greetings community comes together for two days of networking, business and fun, visitors are immediately inspired by the wealth of creativity on display unveiled by talented artists and publishers, "This was my first time at PG Live as I normally don’t have help at the shop during early June, but in 2017 I was able to make the trip down," says Jenny Morrison, owner of Top Drawer in St Andrews, Scotland. "I only wish I had been able to attend in previous years because this has to be one of the best trade shows I’ve visited. It was well

It's On Us! Over the past decade, PG Live has become renowned for its friendly service, attention to detail and added extras. In 2018, these will again include free refreshments, free use of the Henry Cole Buyers’ Lounge, a free lunch, a free show catalogue and a goody bag. There's even a fantastic free post-show industry drinks party on Tuesday June 5!

organised from the start, with key card publishers showing - White Cotton Cards and Wendy Jones-Blackett among them. They're two of my own personal favourites, as well as my customers' favourite publishers, companies whose cards we have

Above: "Welcome to PG Live, the show is officially open!" say organisers Max Exhibitions. Left: There are always a host of special promotions and initiatives taking place. Bottom: It's time to party. Exhibitors and visitors are shown at the post-show drinks reception.

stocked for years. Stands were well laid out, there was a lovely free lunch with free refreshments, which all helped to make it a great day!" Continues Jenny: "I had already written my list of the card publishers I wanted to visit and where their stands were located, including some new ones that had caught my eye on the PG Live Instagram feed. I therefore made my way around the show to visit current publishers and pick up their new catalogues, and then went to speak to a few new card publishers to see their cards too. In the end, I placed orders with Always Sparkle, Hotchpotch, Wendy Jones-Blackett, White Cotton Cards, Lola Design, Glick and Widdop and Co. who all had some fantastic new designs. Hotchpotch and Lola Design are new companies for us which have fitted in fantastically well with our current card ranges. In addition, one of our gift suppliers, Widdop and Co., launched their brand new greetings card range at the show which I knew would be popular with my customers. I followed up with other publishers too. There really were so many fabulous cards and publishers to choose from that I was spoilt for choice!" Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... PG Live 2018

PG Live 2018: Show Essentials l l l l

PG Live 2018 takes place on June 5 and June 6 at the Business Design Centre in London. Tel: +44 (0) 1635 297070 Email: Visitor registration:

Greeting Cards: The Lowdown

l The latest GCA Market Report shows that in 2016, the UK public spent more on greeting

cards than ever before, taking the market value up to a value of £1.75 billion. l The report, which covers sales between January - December 2016, is the only research

based on actual retail sales figures, with data confidentially submitted by UK publishers to market analysts Ebiquity. l The total retail value of single cards sales in the UK stood at over £1.526bn in 2016. l Everyday cards are now worth £1.178.8bn, an increase of £28.7m from 2015, with sales of ages, occasions and relations showing the greatest growth to £680.6m. Above left: Busy aisles at last year's show. Left: Widdop and Co. was among the first time exhibitors in 2017. Shown is director Andrew Illingworth.

Also visiting the show for the first time last year was Emma Paisey, owner of Daisy Park in South Molton, Devon. "PG Live was amazing," she enthused. "It was my first time, and I found so many new suppliers. I started with Springboard and worked my way from the top down. I loved meeting the start-up companies who are always so keen to impress!" Other 'first timers' were Evelyn O'Flaherty and Sandra O'Connell, owners of Mooch in Ealing, London. "We were specifically looking for quirky, individual

Did You Know...?

l The UK card industry is acknowledged

to be several years ahead of the rest of the world in terms of design. l The vast majority of greeting cards are still bought in bricks and mortar stores, rather than online, remaining an important, highly-profitable product for all types of retailers, sold in one in six retail outlets. l Outside of the UK, no other country has the same tradition of card sending or card display in the home, with the sending and receiving of cards an important part of Britain's culture. l Consequently, we buy more cards per person than any other nation - around 33 each a year - wit 85% of all cards bought by women.

companies and started on the ground floor and worked our way up. What I loved most about PG Live is that it is compact. We had plenty of time to spend with exhibitors as there was no need to rush." Cathy Frost, owner of Loveone in Ipswich, was back for a second consecutive year. "I especially came to see the publishers in the Springboard section as we're a small, artisan gift shop and I like to feel that I'm supporting start up businesses on their journey," she explained. Meanwhile, Julianne Moore, owner of MiMi (hw) in Hartley Wintney, has made it to PG Live three years in a row. "We loved the show, it's one of the nicest we go to as it's so friendly. It was our third time there, and we were looking for new publishers, especially in men's cards. Springboard was our first port of call and we placed three orders in the first hour with Toasted

“I especially came to see the publishers in the Springboard section as we're a small, artisan gift shop and I like to feel that I'm supporting start up businesses on their journey.”

Crumpet, Sarah Boddy and Proud. Overall, we placed eight orders and acquired five new suppliers into our fold!" As the show gets ready to celebrate its 10th year, organisers Max Exhibitions will again be offering buyers the opportunity to surround themselves with thousands of original designs, fresh products and exclusive show offers from over 250 publishers, artists and designers. In fact, PG Live will be the only trade show of the year for many leading publishers - who will be exhibiting on their own stands to include Hallmark, UK Greetings, Gemma International, Paperlink, IC And G, Words 'n' Wishes, Abacus, Wendy Jones-Blackett, Nigel Quiney, Icon Arts, Emotional Rescue and Grassroots International. “We're so excited to be able to bring the fabulous greeting card community together again for the 10th year,” enthuses joint show director Warren Lomax. “We know how much hard work our exhibitors put into the show and we can't wait to see the amazing new ranges they have been busy creating! We love being able to be work with so many talented and imaginative people - plus, you can be sure we'll have a few extra surprises in store to celebrate our decade of design!” Adds Warren: "It's no exaggeration to say that, as our new tagline reveals, we're proud to offer the greatest collection of greeting card publishers in the world!" Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Retailer Face To Face: Steamer Trading

Steaming Ahead Steamer Trading, a multi-award winning, multiple cookshop and lifestyle retailer, is on a roll, having undergone a major restructuring over the past year. A new ceo - Mark Saunders - is at the helm, with Steamer's owner and former MD Ben Philips taking on the mantle of creative director after 16 years in the top job. What's more, the company is significantly going for expansion on all fronts this year, to include a much bigger focus on gift-led lifestyle products. With a reputation for innovation, and wanting to be the first to market with new products and ideas, PG&H put Mark and Ben into the hot seat to find out what will be defining their giftware offer as the year unfolds. Taking over the company's reins from award winning Ben Philips would be daunting for most people. But with an outstanding retail CV himself, Mark Saunders is definitely relishing the challenge, bringing a wealth of experience and a fresh eye to the business which was founded by Ben's parents, David and Liz, in the mid 1980's. With almost 30 years in retail, spent with international household brands, to include Cath Kidston and Habitat, Mark has clearly got his finger on the pulse, concurring: "I have a lot of experience with brands and family firms, as well as growing businesses

and taking them through the journey of change management." A long time customer of Steamer Trading himself, he was a big admirer and advocate of the brand before he became ceo last July, describing it as "a comprehensive, curated offer of kitchen and lifestyle products which are sold in a welcome environment by store colleagues who have excellent product knowledge. It's this that is very much at the heart of the brand which has a reputation for expertise and innovation. Working with a

Left: Ben Philips. Below: Mark Saunders. Bottom: The first Steamer Trading shop in Alfriston.

brand you can so easily identify with is very rewarding." So where do gifts and lifestyle fit into the product mix? "Every time there is economic uncertainty people will hold back in buying for themselves but will often invest in others with their purchases," comments Mark. "So it's important to constantly remind customers of the gifting potential of Steamer Trading, and how good it feels to treat friends and loved ones, especially when it comes to special occasions such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Easter, Father's Day and, of course, Christmas." In fact, such has been the gift sector's expansion over the past 12 months, that the company's 42 Steamer Trading stores are now stocking significantly more gift-led lines and greeting cards than they did this time last year. "Valentine's Day isn't just about a box of chocolates and roses," Mark points out. "It can also be about cooking your partner their favourite meal, along with a glass of champagne or prosecco. And what could be more special for Mother's Day than a meal cooked especially for mum? Also, men are definitely good for self-purchases. A third of our customers are men who are good at treating themselves, getting very excited about certain categories such as coffee and premium knives." Ben meanwhile, highlights that the company's lifestyle offering has evolved in the same way that the kitchen has evolved to become a central hub for households, going far beyond cooking and eating. "Steamer Trading has always stood for 'serious cookshops with style', hence stocking products that add to the style of the kitchen, whether it's a cushion or a pet bowl. Vases, photo frames, candles and reed Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide














Harmonising the vibrancy of outdoor festivals with vintage Katie Alice style, Festival Folk celebrates the eccentricity of the bohemian lifestyle with a mix-match of colour, product shapes and Scandinavian-inspired prints. Katie has styled this vibrant story on a selection of pressed bamboo products: a natural material that is lightweight and durable, making it perfect for picnics.

Come and see this stunning collection and many others at Spring Fair. Hall 9 Stand G20 - H21, 4th - 8th February Creative House, Corby, NN17 4DU. Tel: +44 (0)1536 207710

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For more info about this range or to order our latest brochure. email:,

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Retailer Face To Face: Steamer Trading diffusers all comfortably fit into the kitchen environment too." Mark adds that, of course, people want newness and innovation when they are looking for gifts. "However, giftware is a very broad church if you consider the amount of products that are routinely given as gifts. They might include a beautiful copper saucepan or a Le Creuset casserole that will last a lifetime," he observes, with Ben adding that the company will also be building on opportunities by giving people different times and reasons for giving. "For example, if you are going round to someone for dinner, it can be much more fun to take a piece of kitchenware, such as a spiraliser, or maybe a corkscrew, a Coravin wine preserver, or a scented candle. Many giftware suppliers would be staggered by the volumes of what we're capable of turning over through our 42 stores. Therefore there really are some great opportunities for suppliers who know what we sell and have got really good, innovative products." Mark adds that this is reflected by best selling candles, books on gin, and numerous party games around prosecco. "However, while gin is still important for 2018, we are

Left: Steamer Trading in Truro, one of 42 outlets. Below left: Sara Miller is among the best selling gift brands. Below right: Glassware taps into the current trends for gin and prosecco.

also going to see the increasing importance of rum too," he highlights. Other gift brands that are getting the tills ringing include Sara Miller, Mojo's candles and reed diffusers, and barware from Viski, with Mark confirming that a lot of the company's products end up as gifts.

Steamer Trading: The Lowdown

l The first Steamer Trading outlet, the former Steamer Inn, was opened in the village of

Alfriston, Sussex, by Ben Philip's parents, Liz and David, in 1985. l Ben took over the business 16 years ago, taking the number of Steamer Trading outlets to 42. l In 2016, Steamer Trading acquired Divertimenti and Kitchens as well as a Cookery School. l Ben received the Excellence in Housewares Honorary Achievement Award in 2017,

presented by Progressive Gifts & Home's sister magazine Progressive Housewares, following in the footsteps of his father who received the award in 2009.

Unsurprisingly in today's retail environment, the company's online sales represent the biggest percentage growth opportunity, already growing three to four times faster than the main part of the business, although Mark believes that it is still relatively undeveloped. With investment in sites, staff and marketing, Steamer's online potential is also enhanced by its database of over 1m customers, with blogging also presenting another big opportunity. Looking to the coming year, the focus will be on achieving the most out of the company's portfolio and letting customers know about it. There will also be continued expansion both in the UK and beyond. "Our ambition is to have more stores, but we have got to get the ones we've got working brilliantly," Mark states. Concurs Ben: "A lot happened in 2016 with the acquisition of Divertimenti, Kitchens and a Cookery School, bringing something wholly different into the business." Store openings in factory outlet villages are also on the horizon. "It's a new channel that will allow us to clear end of lines while keeping our high street stores profitable," Mark explains. In the short term however, both Mark and Ben will be heading off to Spring Fair, having already visited Top Drawer earlier in January. They will also be actively looking to source gifts at Frankfurt's Ambiente in February, Chicago's International Home + Housewares show in March and Exclusively Housewares in June. Internationally, Maison et Object in Paris is back on the agenda, with Mark and Ben also looking at New York's NY NOW as well as gift exhibitions in the Far East. As Mark comments: "Lifestyle gifts are growing significantly for us and it's all to play for." Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


Hall 4 stand C10-D11

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Retailer Opinion: JP Pozzi

Taking A Gamble Playing your trading hand in today's retail environment is not much different to a game of poker, observes independent gift and card retailer David Robertson, who co-owns JP Pozzi in Buckie and Bijou in Elgin, Scotland. Taking an insightful look at the 'win/lose' scenario of being a retailer today, he says it's so much more than simply being able to play your cards right, with David sharing his take on some of the gambles that all retailers will have to take over the coming year. "When I was at uni over years ago I shared a room with a guy who went on to become a very good friend. I have many, many stories of those days, but perhaps the thing that sticks most vividly in my mind was Harry’s love of music - everything from The Eagles to Doris Day, Sinatra and the sweeping country tones of one Kenny Rogers. The Gambler became, and still is, my karaoke tune, and in what has been a difficult few weeks for me recently the song has been kind of stuck in my mind. The song tells the story of a train journey, and a gambler giving a troubled soul some advice. He professes that every gambler knows: ‘You've got to know when to hold 'em Know when to fold 'em Know when to walk away And know when to run You never count your money When you're sittin' at the table There'll be time enough for countin' When the dealin's done Above: David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi and Bijou. Right: The words sung by Kenny Rogers in The Gambler are beginning to have relevance.

That the secret to survivin' Is knowin' what to throw away And knowin' what to keep 'Cause every hand's a winner And every hand's a loser And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep’ As we start 2018, many of you reading this will be questioning what bet you want to lay next. Many indie retailers will have faced a difficult 2017. The drop in footfall, rise in core costs, lack of innovative product (cards being an exception) and the continual rise of

the internet retailer have all squeezed our margins and, in truth, have probably squeezed our spirit even more so. These are difficult cards to deal with. We are all playing with a public that doesn’t know when to buy, as there is always a deal, always a discount. We have a public that is being brainwashed by the internet. Every store assistant these days seems to utter the line ‘you can get it online’, and the stores themselves are shedding buildings and staff at a frightening rate of knots. There are exceptions of course, as there always will be. Niche players, the destination garden centres/themed stores, multiples with better margins, and those who are willing to adapt and change their strategy will survive. However, those in the middle may well have to fold and go out of business, or, if they are lucky, sell out to someone who can make it work. The basic facts are that we can’t all be shiny happy people. I am renowned for telling people how it is, often to my own detriment, and this is how I really feel, so I write it here so that people perhaps realise that they are not alone. Every business, I believe, has a historical arc. This arc charts the history from its beginning through its development, to its successes and, possibly, ultimately its demise. That arc might start with one person and end in a sale to another, or it may end the way it began. But each arc is unique and this is, without doubt, the most interesting part of any business. I am fascinated by why some businesses survive, some fail and some really never amount to much. In some cases, survival and just ‘getting by’ is the name of the game. For a great number of small businesses that is enough, but for me, that struggle or return on investment would simply not be worth it. Most indie retailers are really just middlemen who don’t create or innovate. We Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Retailer Opinion: JP Pozzi simply resell for profit. This is perhaps the most difficult thing to grasp, as this makes us the most vulnerable. Indeed, most high street retailers fall into this category and this is what makes us transparent and at risk to companies selling direct, usually online. Perhaps 2017 didn't see such big retail losers such as BHS, but we have seen bank after bank announce closures from our high streets. So where does that leave us? Well, if you have maybe one or two stores in decent locations that you own, or are not too expensive to rent, with a good regular local trade then you will survive. How much you can actually make is open for debate. But let’s get one thing straight. Each year is going to be more of a struggle. Every April that Living Wage cost is going to rise, and with every day the legislation and staff issues you face will get more complex. So, the interesting question is, of course, how long is too long? At what point should you fold your hand and stop retailing? Will anyone even care? And when does a company become part of the community? I would say rarely. The January 'blues' are often discussed, and it is likely that some among us will lack

Left: The original J P Pozzi was opened 30 years ago by David Robertson's parents, Lynda and James. Below left: Part of Pozzi's gift section. Bottom: The store will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in June.

the fight or funds for another year ahead. January should always be a month of new hope, of wishes and dreams. Most gamblers are eternal optimists but I, like most of you, will wonder what is to come. I must admit that for the first time in my business career I have started to ask myself further questions such as will there still be retail in 10-15-20 years? Will commercial properties hold any real value if city centres continue to face a downturn? Will Alexa or Siri or Echo simply get what we command and continue to bolster the bottom line of Google, Apple or Amazon? Will shops become pretty much obsolete before returning as a cool trend, a bit like vinyl records? Last year we embarked on a massive year of investment and change, taking our core business and upgrading and moving it on to the next level. We took risks and placed bets on physical and stock holding changes. In truth, this was a complete re-

imagination of our original building, with new branding and a new look to all our stores. We invested a huge amount of ourselves to make these buildings a success, never mind the money that went with this to, hopefully, make it a winning hand. Why? Well our arc is actually is 30 years-old this coming June. My parents’ gamble was simple in 1988. Buy what was a very old-fashioned newsagent, turn it round and then sell it, using the money from the sale to retire. This was against massive odds of 15% interest rates! My plan has been to buy and invest heavily in my shop buildings, making them the best I possibly can. In this sense I'm all in, basically hoping that they will be my pension or realise the best price when I do decide to cash out. But selling is not an easy thing. I considered it before the complete reinvention of our stores, but ultimately I am not ready to step away from this gambling table. I may have taken a suspect shuffle of the pack, I may be carrying a few knocks, but I have a lot of fight in me with lots of opportunity to get better at what I am doing. What is my end game? God knows, but what I do know is that I will keep striving because the freedom and satisfaction of the risk is something that is addictive and hard to replicate. Ladies and gentlemen may all your gambles in 2018 pay off handsomely!"

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NEW spring 2018

Come and see our beautiful new range at Spring Fair, Hall 6 Stand J14 - K15 England

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Face To face: Rachel Bright


Below: Rachel Bright working at home. Below middle: A cake tin from the new Brightside Birthday collection which will be launching at Spring Fair.

Really Good's hugely successful Brightside range is based on the optimistic, 'bright side' thinkings of acclaimed artist, writer and children's author Rachel Bright. Celebrating her 10th anniversary with Really Good in 2018, some 5 million Brightside gifts, and over 10 million greeting cards, have been sold, with the hugely popular Man Tin the single best selling item in the company's history. With new gift ranges for Spring including collections focusing on love, birthdays, teachers and mummy-to-be gifts (Rachel has just become a second time mum herself), the very prolific Rachel admits: "All I've ever wanted to do is to think happy thoughts and to send them out into the world." Rachel Bright is a highly successful creative talent who found her way into the gift industry via the greeting card market place. "I can hardly believe we are celebrating a decade of looking on the Brightside!" Rachel exclaims. "In some ways, it feels like only yesterday when I sat in a café in Bristol with David Hicks, MD of Really Good, and he handed me the first ever Brightside card samples which were due to be published the following month. I remember thinking, ‘I can’t believe this is happening'. It was so exciting for me as an artist and writer to see ideas from my head sitting in my hands as something published and real for the first time." Rachel continues: "Thousands of ideas and 10 years later, I think if someone had

"Neither of us realised the extent of what we could do with this idea at the beginning, in terms of building such a large, varied story," Rachel recalls. "Most things on the market were character-led, so a letter-based range didn’t seem to naturally lend itself to gifts, but the Brightside grew truly organically. I’d give David huge lists of ideas and we would brainstorm and choose the best ones together, letting the ideas dictate the next step. This is where he pushed told either one of us on that day what a the boundaries of what I - and his company journey we would go on from there, we were doing at the time, and we tried new wouldn’t have believed it. It has been things no-one else was doing." (See How It incredible in every sense." All Began on page xxx). Initially, Rachel, then a young art Rachel says she remembers talking to student, showed David an initial five David about the Man Tin and thinking that it card designs with David pointing out was worth seeing if people liked it as much that Rachel needed to come up with as they did, "although we could never have a few more to build a range. known that it would be such a hit," says Rachel. "Ultimately, if you are doing something that lights you Emotional Connection up, and makes you laugh, then "One of my most exciting moments was seeing the Brightside teapot," recalls Rachel. "It said ‘liquid other people connect with that. happiness’ on it, and I still use my sample teapot The Brightside was more than from back then in my house today," she confirms. just a card and gift range in my Left: The Brightside teapot. mind. It was a perspective on life Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Face To face: Rachel Bright

How It All Began

made manifest, a way of looking that makes any situation a little happier. Optimism, and finding something to laugh at, is a philosophy I try and live by. So bringing it into my work, and the Brightside, made perfect sense. Plus, I accidentally stumbled on a very happy tribe of brightsiders out there - fellow lovers of life!" Naturally, Rachel loves nothing more than having a theme or story to brainstorm around, and it's often how she and David work best. "For example, we might think about a ‘mummy’ range or a 'man' range. While this seems so ubiquitous now, it wasn’t really a thing when we started," she points out. "The products are based on thinking about what we love to do, and what the people we love, love to do, what would make them smile. We've never, ever thought

Above: Some of the Brightside best selling gift items, to include the original Man Tin that has taken the market by storm.

about it from a ‘what will sell best’ angle first - at least I haven't!" she laughs. "It's all about making fun things that people resonated with. Some of my ideas, such as a Brightside hammock, haven't made it yet I'm still trying to convince David! - while other ideas just fitted in perfectly with what Really Good were exploring in gifts at the time. Often however, Really Good would source a new item based on the fact that we liked the idea so much. We've always tended to let the thinking dictate the doing." Rachel believes that life is about the journey of a dream or ambition unfolding. "And of course, as soon as you get to the top of one mountain your view changes, your

Really Good: 30 Years On One thing that David Hicks, MD of Really Good, is never short of is really good ideas! The company, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017, was founded by David - a former chef, fashion show choreographer and model - who initially sold Right: David Hicks is shown at The photographic greeting cards in the mid '80s, subsequently Greats last May setting up the Really Good Card Company - now known as where he received Really Good - in 1987. the prestigious Always looking to being ahead of the curve, his talents Honorary Achievement include spotting the potential of new genres and designers, Award. with a second company, Soul, launched in1997, to reflect the under '40s. Although Really Good was a greeting card publisher for almost 20 years, David backed a hunch by diversifying into giftware in 2006, subsequently launching the Brightside in 2008. "We did giftware before Brightside came along, so we knew the basics of everything and how to produce a number of things," explains David. "However, the Brightside propelled us to a whole different level and, of course, we still love it. As a result of Brightside, our knowledge has, of course, increased substantially, and we have been able to increase our product depth across all ranges of both Really Good and Soul."

Deciding to take a Masters degree in printmaking at UWE in Bristol turned out to be one of the best decisions of Rachel's life. "I discovered this dusty print room that not many people used, full of old letterpress type and etching machines and print presses and I fell in love," she explains. "It gave me a vehicle for all the 'wordery' that had been swirling in my head for years. I was sitting in my own little world, printing things, little phrases that fell out of my head one day, and ‘you make my heart go boom’ formed on the paper. Someone wandered past me and remarked over my shoulder that it would make a great Valentine's Day card." Continues Rachel: "I'm a naturally proactive person, so the next day, I went into a card shop and looked on the back of a card I liked. I spotted the name of David’s company and spent the next few

days parcelling up ideas and sending them off to him. It was as much about timing as anything. David wanted to take a chance on the ideas and I’m very glad he did. The rest, as they say, is history! Ultimately all the gifts evolved through seeing what people liked, and what ideas we had, and then we began to find ways of telling stories through gifts." Above: A young Rachel trying out her ideas in the print room of UWE in Bristol.

horizons widen and all kinds of new destination ideas flood in! Therefore David and I are already working on new ideas for both the Brightside and others new ranges. It forms part of the whole tapestry of being creative for me, as I also write and illustrate children’s books. Ultimately I have many more stories to tell, and pictures to draw, than I will ever fit into this lifetime, but what a joy to keep doing it for as long as I can. I still count my lucky stars that I get to do something I enjoy so much every day, and 10 years of making myself - and hopefully other people smile is not a bad way to pass the time!" Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Jewellery & Fashion Accessories

Reach For The Stars

Jewellery and fashion accessory suppliers are turning to a varied mix of colour palettes and designs to ensure that what goes into the ears, round the neck and on the wrist reflect the trends this Spring. Look out for big, bold earrings and plenty of stars, say designers. No matter what the economic climate is like, or how the Brexit negotiations are faring, women everywhere - PM Theresa May included - will be looking to add to their jewellery collection with a self-treat, or a gift for a friend, as winter gradually morphs into Spring. With Valentine's Day the next big gifting occasion, Alex Machin, MD at Hot Tomato, says that romance is definitely in the air for fashion accessories over the coming season. "Look out for the prettiest pinks, vintage florals and super-soft tones accented with the fresh and revitalising colours that are normally associated with the promise of Spring," she advises. "Jewellery should be mixed, eclectic and layered, especially with regards to bracelets, expanding the wraparound phenomenon and highlighting this season’s current trend for stripes. Stars continue to shine brightly too, giving our historical love of the heart motif a run for its money!" At PoM, the company's brand new 2018 collection is a celebration of colour, form and

Above: Unusual pink earrings from Hot Tomato. Left: Bracelets from Miss Milly reflect the colour palette for Spring. Below: The signature colour for each birth month are represented in Kit Heath's Mystical Birthstones collection. Bottom left: A timeless jewellery set from PoM.

texture. "We have everything from laid back bohemian styles to bold sculptural geometrics, setting out to re-connect wearers with nature and a simpler, timeless style through our jewellery, scarves, gloves, bags and accessories," says design director Chris Holden. Sarah Watmore, MD of Miss Milly, highlights Spring 2018 as the season of the big, bold earring, with glass, crystal and pearls featuring predominantly in waterfall cascades. "More traditional chandelier and teardrop styles, with enormous hoops and large geometric shapes, will also be making an appearance," confirms Sarah. "We will also giving more prominence to beaded jewellery, with a collection of long necklaces with pastel coloured semi-precious stones and heart and star charms." Looking to the fashion colour palette, she points to bright mint greens and fuchsias, alongside sky blues and dusky pinks. "With these colours in mind, we’ve created some gorgeous combinations to tie in," she adds. Bright colours too, will be evident at Watch This Space, with MD Tora McGowan-Smyth revealing that the company will be looking to zesty colours

for the coming season "We'll be launching a citrus and lime colourway, Tutti Frutti, as well as zesty pinks and oranges with a touch of gold. We will also be featuring Adriatic blues, turquoise and aquas in our new collections." At Kit Heath, the mood is very much about personalisation. "We have seen an increase in demand for personalised jewellery, especially neckwear," says creative director Katie Nickell. "Tactile and meaningful, necklaces sit close to the heart and make them the perfect, emotive gift. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Jewellery & Fashion Accessories Personalisation is something we deem worth investing in and we are looking to launch an engraving service for all our collections. We also know that instant sales are important for retailers and customers alike, proven by the continuous popularity of birthstone jewellery. Our Spring/Summer18 Heritage supplement offers a brand new collection of Mystical Birthstones, each colour crystal symbolising personal virtues associated with individual months." Adds Katie: "Birthstones are easy for retailers to stock while still offering the personalised service that customers want." Sea Gems meanwhile, will once again be launching hundreds of new and diverse additions to its popular jewellery ranges Pure Origins, Celtic Lands and fine enamel. "Our original, British designed silver jewellery brand Pure Origins reflects Cornwall’s natural beauty with oceanic, nature and wildlife designs," comments director Marcus Price. "Shells, leaves, bees, hearts and flowers, as well as new organic shapes, reflect boutique style silver jewellery that expresses individuality, with a story unfolding with each design. From our Beachcomber collection and the natural world, to the whimsical and

romantic, we will be introducing new bold statement organic designs in 2018, with our fine enamel collection introducing a new Nature series of floral and wildlife jewellery." At Joe Davies, its Equilibrium brand has been one of the company's biggest success stories. “We ensure that new innovation and design is at the forefront of every launch, with over 10 brand new jewellery collections launching at Spring Fair," comments buyer Mary Richards. "With mystical still a

Jewellery Trends 2018

l Stars, unicorns, mermaids, flamingos l Personalisation l Birthstones

Socks That Rock Both men and women's socks have really established themselves as very giftable, with a myriad of designs and colours making them a 'go to' gift. "Each year, socks play a greater and more significant role within our business based on design, quality and display," comments David Gee, MD of The Music Gifts Company. "We find both pictorial and words have equal success, and it's always good to offer a choice. As such, we are again planning to extend the range of socks at Spring Fair." Right: The Music Gifts Company sock display includes six pairs of six designs on a rotating display stand.

Left: Equilibrium from Joe Davies features the brand new Unicorn Dreams. Left: Among the new designs from Sea Gems. Below: The kingfisher is among the pieces in Talbot's new Tide collection. Bottom: New leather charm bracelets from Carrie Elspeth.

huge trend, we will be launching our new Unicorn Dreams collection featuring silver plated unicorns with the added twist of sentiment." She adds that there is also a growing presence for hand painted jewellery, with the company launching an Equilibrium hand painted collection, a key feature of their Spring/Summer 2018 range. "Some pieces also incorporate the intricate detail of pave setting," highlights Mary, adding that another new Spring collection will be

Equilibrium Harlequin, featuring pieces with multi-coloured crystals that tap into trend for pretty coloured jewellery with the happy, feelgood factor. Talbots meanwhile, is currently concentrating on expanding the company's Tide jewellery brand, where flamingos, swans and unicorns have been a huge success. "It's been massively popular with our customers, both old and new, with the ranges great for all types of retailers," says buyer Ginny Bryant. "Our unicorns, fairies and angels are the latest hot sellers, with retailers stocking our branded Tide collection of unicorn pendants, earrings and brooches in natural paua, pink, purple and Mother of Pearl, as well as our unicorn key rings, purses and hair accessories. New designs just in include yin yang, kingfisher, woodpecker, tree of life, as well as many more wildlife and sea life designs." With so much choice in the jewellery sector over the coming season, the challenge for gift retailers will be in selecting the pieces that not only recognise the trends in relation to the catwalk, but also, the type of jewellery that will help to make their shop sparkle on the high street. Continued on page 75

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Spotlight On... Jewellery & Fashion Accessories

Shining The Spotlight On Accessories Fashion accessories have become a core product for many gift retailers, with scarves and bags selling by the armful. "At Caroline Gardner, we're seeing sales of fashion accessories soar with independents, whether it’s a metallic clutch adding a bit of sparkle to an outfit, or a bag charm to personalise and give a bit of personality to a handbag," says the company's sales manager Katie Finegan. "We are therefore really moving our accessories forward, and expanding our offer once again for Spring/Summer18. New products include our pom pom clutch bag, our smart, organisational travel wallet and glasses cases, as well as a fun, waterproof bikini bag." Continues Katie: "Many of our accessories have an ‘on the go’, travel related theme aimed at the 21st century girl who wants both function and fashion rolled into one."

Shruit's MD Michaela Davies is predicting a fashion season using soft pastels, matte silver, natural fabrics, and oversized bags, with the company's Spring/Summer 18 fashion ranges dominated by fresh, crisp neutrals across bags and co-ordinating scarves. "Bags feature in the softest pastel shades, some lifted by silver star motifs, while scarves feature funky pompoms, and subtle silver threading, oversized polka dots and geometric designs which all create a classically

Above: Stars will be a big feature for Shruti this Spring. Above right: The best selling flamingo scarf from Wrendale Designs. Below left: Among the striking new collection of fashion accessories from Caroline Gardner. Bottom left: Among the new scarf designs from PoM. Bottom right: Puckator's portable charger features a trendy mermaid design. Right: A selection of bags in Joe Davies' new Spring/Summer Equilibrium fashion accessories range.

understated yet modern fashion collection to suit the season." Adds Michaela: "In addition, flora and fauna are still featuring, with our RHS licensed scarf ranges showcasing some authentic RHS inspired designs, created exclusively by Shruti Designs." At PoM, design director Chris Holden says that Spring will see the company's fashion accessories range blossom, with a selection of scarves and ponchos in an array of colours, patterns and fabrics. "On trend totes, cross body bags, clutches and pouches, in midnight blues, raspberry suedes and leathers, together with metallic prints, will all add a touch of glamour," she highlights. Staying with scarves, Hannah Dale, founder and creative director of Wrendale Designs, says that the company is still seeing a strong demand for all things exotic, with the flamingo and the sloth continuing to do well for the company. "Plus, anything with

a flash of colour has been a winner for us too," confirms Hannah. "In fact, our scarves were our top selling product line last year. They have a lovely soft feel, and come with a gift bag, so they are very giftable and very popular with retailers and their customers alike. We will be introducing new designs in 2018 which will definitely include some more exotic designs alongside our signature patterns which are inspired by the British countryside." Equilibrium scarves and bags have also been winners for Joe Davies. "As with our new jewellery collections, unicorns also feature strongly in our Equilibrium fashion accessories Spring/Summer collection, both in bags and

scarves," comments buyer Mary Richards. "Foiled unicorn scarves and quirky unicorn handbags are just a snapshot of this range!” At Puckator, designer Lauren Billingham reveals that the company will be kick starting the ‘new year, new me’ hype with the hot off the press Gym & Her range of inspiring fitness accessories. "There’s been a real shift in the graphic community towards '80s inspired bold prints and pastel shades, and we have tried to incorporate the classic styling of '80s TV giants such as The Fresh Prince of Bell Air and Saved by the Bell, integrating them with motivational yet humorous slogans. Another hot trend we saw emerging in the last quarter of 2017 was mermaids, along with Kawaii culture which is fast becoming one of our favourite themes for 2018." Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide



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What’s New A selection of jewellery and fashion gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

New Collection Spring sees the launch of our brand new Chakra collection. More than just a gift, the jewellery is designed to look good while also inspiring, promoting and elevating the wellness and ‘balance’ of the wearer. Our new Core collection features everything from natural beads through to pendants and breath-taking sparkling gems. We have added to our best-selling Sentiments range, and our Gift of the Year recognised leather bracelet collection is expanding, with the introduction of chunkier leathers, tantalising new colours and more choice of adorable charms. With such a full, new range, whatever the occasion, we have something to make your customers happy! Carrie Elspeth Tel: 01446 771271 Email: Eye-catching Earrings Miss Milly, the British brand for gorgeous jewellery and Spring Fair: Hall 19 Stand C20-D21 scarves, is kicking off the year with a stunning array of new designs in pastel combinations of lilac, baby pink, soft greys and whites alongside striking magenta, cobalt and bright mint green. The most eye-catching to date, the collection is as reasonably priced as ever, Personalised Watches featuring both bold designs and delicate pieces. Brand new for 2018 are PMC’s on trend Branded packaging and display stands are available, collection of personalised watches. Starting and the full catalogue can be ordered online. from just £24.99 RRP, these stylish Miss Milly timepieces can be engraved with a Tel: 01905 622509 message on the back and are available in Email: designs for him, for her and for children. Options include stunning rose gold designs, Spring Fair: Hall 19 Stand C18 unisex styles as well as football and butterfly variants for children. PMC Tel: 01782 744900 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand E90-F91

British Designed Silver Jewellery Sea Gems, Cornwall, is launching hundreds of new, exciting additions to its jewellery and gift ranges for spring 2018. Original British designed silver jewellery brand Pure Origins reflects Cornwall’s natural beauty with oceanic, nature and wildlife inspired designs. Shells, leaves, bees, hearts and flowers, elegant organic shapes and bold statement pieces form a unique collection of best-selling, affordable jewellery that expresses individuality. Celtic Lands silver range features ancient motifs celebrating our Celtic heritage, ighlighted with semi–precious stones. Fine enamel jewellery ranges Mackintosh, Celtic and nature designs complete this diverse heritage collection. Inspired gift ranges include contemporary pens, compact mirrors, pillboxes, bookmarks and scarf rings. Sea Gems Tel: + 44 (0)1736 335840 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 18 Stand Q06–R07 PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE





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What’s New A selection of jewellery and fashion gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Vibrant Fashion Bags

Pretty Purses We are so loving these pretty purses from Hot Tomato! New this season they come in a glorious selection of ten designs and in two highly practical sizes. As usual, this great little company has its eye on the commercial side of the coin too, and with RRP’s of between £12 and £16 who wouldn’t want to stash their cash in something as pretty as these? Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Email: Spring Fair: Summerhouse Hall 8 Stand A19

Equilibrium fashion accessories from Joe Davies (Spring Fair, Hall 5, Stand D50/E51) have gone from strength to strength, with bags in particular seeing a massive growth. These colourful, handy folding bags are perfect to pop into a handbag. Strong, durable and vibrantly patterned, they're both fashionable and useful. Available in two sizes and retailing from around £4.99, they offer excellent value for money. The Equilibrium collection will be displayed alongside the extensive Joe Davies gift collection on the company's spacious Spring Fair stand. Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand D50/E51

Etched Jewellery The Equilibrium collection from Joe Davies (Spring Fair, Hall 5, Stand D50/E51) has fast become a recognised brand for retailers and customers alike. The affordability and fabulous quality set the collection apart. The stunning new Equilibrium Modern Etched collection is a colourful, chunky range of modern jewellery hot off the catwalk. Co-ordinating necklaces and bracelets in fashionable Spring/Summer colours will enhance your jewellery display while creating a whole new look within your store. Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand D50/E51

Re-Awaken Your Senses PoM's new 2018 collection promises to reawaken all your senses with a celebration of colour, form and texture; from laid back bohemian styles to clean sculptural geometric jewellery, scarves and accessories. They have everything you need to create a visually exciting and financially rewarding start to the year. And with branded packaging, great POS and outstanding customer service, you’ll be starting the year in very safe hands. Peace of Mind Tel: 01225 777749 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 19 Stand F20-G21

Spring Has Sprung Oh my word! Hot Tomato’s new season scarves are achingly beautiful and in colours that will make your heart sing – just what we need after a long, dark winter. Spring has definitely sprung with these elegant digital prints and are a reminder that summer is but a whisper away. We’re feeling the sand between our toes and a skip in our step already! Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Email: Spring Fair: Summerhouse Hall 8 Stand A19



HALL 18 STAND Q06 - R07 SPRING FAIR NEC E: T: +44 (0) 1736 335 840

Spring Fair • 19F20-G21

© All designs protected by Sea Gems Copyright & Design Right

The Walking Stick Specialists




Spring Fair International: 20K10-L11 or contact us for a trade catalogue.

Buy online at or call: 01905 622 509 Buy online at or call: 01905 622 509

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What’s New A selection of jewellery and fashion gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Matching Jewellery Shrieking Violet has a new collection of matching bracelets and chokers. Handmade with real flowers, sterling silver and vegan suede, it’s available in 12 colourful designs. Shrieking Violet is also offering new improved display stands and signs free of charge with orders over £300. Shrieking Violet Tel: 0208 521 9151 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 19 Stand D04

Crystal Stones The Heritage 2018 Spring supplement by Kit Heath features a fresh new array of regionally inspired British designs including Celtic knots, Tree of Life, and the Mystical Birthstones collection. The colourful crystal stones represent and symbolise the spiritual virtues associated with each month, making the necklace and earring set the perfect choice in personalised gifting. Kit Heath Tel: 01271 329123 Email:,

Flamingo Necklace Shrieking Violet have added this kitsch flamingo design necklace to their menagerie. Handmade with pink heather and sterling silver, it’s supplied with an adjustable 16-18in chain and luxury branded gift box. Other animals in the collection include a hummingbird, turtle, dolphin and a seahorse. The heater flamingo necklace has an RRP of £39.99. Shrieking Violet Tel: 0208 521 9151 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 19 Stand D04

Added Radiance Paua Shell Jewellery Talbot Fashions’ Tide brand of inlaid natural paua shell jewellery is extremely popular and it’s not difficult to see why it is so well-loved, as its transcendent quality makes it stand out from any other kind of jewellery on the market. The recently added Kingfisher, Woodpecker and new Tree of Life designs are a huge success, and there are more new designs for 2018. Each piece is supplied gift boxed. With 600 designs to choose from there is something to suit everyone. Talbot Fashions Tel: 01273 776415 Email:

Swarovski crystal and mirror bright metals – the new Radiance range of window ornaments from Wild Things, handmade in Devon. Motifs include hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies and hares, all in different, beautiful colourways. Please see our website or call to request our new catalogue. Wild Things Tel: 01392 211268 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand C61

Something Fishy Window ornaments - designed by Wild Things, and handmade and hand painted exclusively for them. Beautiful saturated colours embellished with24 carat gold paint, and incorporating a Swarovski crystal. The ornaments come individually boxed. These fishes form part of our Marine Fantasy glass range, which includes dolphins and seahorses, all in lovely vivid colours. Wild Things Tel: 01392 211268 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand C61



HALL 18 STAND Q06 - R07 SPRING FAIR NEC E: T: +44 (0) 1736 335 840 © All designs protected by Sea Gems Copyright & Design Right

Spring Fair • 19F20-G21

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What’s New A selection of jewellery and fashion gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Nordic Simplicity Dansk Smykkekunst, Copenhagen: The Spring Summer 2018 collection revolves around our deep devotion to Nordic simplicity – the very essence of our DNA. Our ultimate desire is to introduce a collection that highlights our passion for design and our love to create stunning pieces. We strive to give versatility to every design enabling the woman of today to create her own individual look. Dansk Tel: 0161 653 1586 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 19/20 Stand No: 19F21

Just Charming

Re-Awaken Your Senses Spring is always a time of great excitement, regeneration, new beginnings and fresh ideas. PoM’s new 2018 collection promises to re-awaken all your senses with a celebration of colour, form and texture: laid back bohemian styles to clean sculptural geometric jewellery, scarves and accessories. They have everything you need to create a visually exciting and financially rewarding start to the year. PoM Tel: 01225 777749 Email: Drawer: 480 Spring Fair: 19F20-G21 Pure S30

Hot Tomato has expanded their winning collection of key fobs and handbag charms which caused such a stir when launched at Harrogate last year. Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Spring Fair: Summerhouse Hall 8 Stand A19

Individual Designs Malene Storm, head of creative design at Dansk Smykkekunst, has been delighted by the response to her individual designs of the past few seasons: “With the transition of seasons, and the fluidity of a story, I aim to design in colours and shades that complements the fashion of the season; brand new shapes and styles that effortlessly harmonise with each other.” Dansk Tel: 0161 653 1586 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 19/20 Stand No: 19F21

Easter Gift Ideas Miss Milly is more than gorgeous jewellery. Cast your eye over beautiful scarves in a rainbow of colours with spotty, stripy and sparkly designs among the abstract and florals. And for cuteness appeal and alternative Easter gift ideas, check out the new animal and bird cotton ankle and trainer socks available in multipacks, and the just launched enamelled keyrings. These can also be used as charms, popular for decorating school bags. The full collection is available online now. Miss Milly Tel: 01905 622509 Email: Spring Fair Hall 19, Stand C18

Heart of Hearts Designed and handmade in Devon, Swarovski jewellery hearts and beads inside a mirror finish metal heart shaped frame. Photography cannot do them justice. Come and see them in all their glory on stand B519! Wild Things Gifts Tel: 01392 211268 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand C61 PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


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London Stationery Show

Write On The Money The 2018 London Stationery Show will be taking place from April 24-25 at London's Business Design Centre, reflecting a diverse mix of categories, new features, an impressive speaker line-up, plenty of ‘hands-on’ opportunities for visitors, as well as a bumper exhibitor and brand line-up. Now in its eighth year, event manager Hazel Fieldwick gives PG&H the lowdown on what promises to be the UK’s biggest specialist retail stationery trade show to date. The stationery sector continues to hold its own at retail, making the most of its position as a relatively low cost, high margin range of products that easily fit into different categories, ranging from luxury and design-led fashion items to lifestyle and functional gifts, personal treats and practical essentials. "Everyone loves stationery!" enthuses Hazel Fieldwick, event manager of the London Stationery Show. "We’re completely biased of course, but the reality is that most people use stationery regularly, even in this digital age. Sometimes it's simply to make out a shopping list, but people also need it to write thank you notes, send a birthday card, wrap a gift or keep a personal journal.” This year, the show is on target to top the 145 exhibitors and hundreds of brands seen in 2017. It will also include the industry’s premier stationery New Product awards, along with a Creative Stationery workshop area, and two days of live talks and presentations for retailers. There will also be a new On Trend display area and

Above: Event manager Hazel Fieldwick. Left: Last year's New Product showcase. Below: The interactive workshop area.

new trend tours for visitors, run by trend forecasting agency Scarlet Opus. "Any advantage we can give our exhibitors by revealing trend information and helping them understand how trends manifest in store via merchandising and ranging is key to their ongoing success,” Hazel underlines."Since the show started out in 2011 it has changed tremendously, expanding its mix from office products to encompass retail and design-led stationery. Therefore if suppliers haven’t exhibited or visited for some time, we want them to come along and find out what’s changed as well as more about our plans for 2018."

Her view is that as interest in lifestyle and fashion styles has grown, writing and paper products have proved to be an ideal medium to display the latest colours, designs and licences, as well as benefitting from the ongoing retail trend for personalisation which is attracting a younger generation. "What you write with, who you write for and what you write in and on, is a fashion and lifestyle choice," she comments. "Plus, there is nothing more personal than your own handwriting." By comparison to other products, Hazel points out that buying into the latest licensed, fashion or designer range of stationery offers an inexpensive, but on trend selection for all types of stores. "Coordinated stationery ranges offer good profit margins and they can be merchandised as both a great gift and personal treat at the same time,” she highlights.

London Stationery Show: The Lowdown Dates: Venue: Register:

April 24-25, 2018 Business Design Centre, London Registration is free via the show's website Staying in touch: Twitter @StationeryBytes Facebook @StationeryShowsUK Instagram @StationeryShowsUK

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


BRAND NEW COLLECTION! Launching at this year ’s Spring Fair Visit Hall 4 Stand D40

Come and help us celebrate the launch of our innovative GiftScents collection in Hall 4, Stand D40 at this year’s Spring Fair - you might end up leaving with one of our exclusive show giveaway’s! Experience some of the world’s finest home fragrance products If you fancy a sneak peek vist 086_GH_February 2018.indd 1

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Spotlight On... Candles

Decidedly Decorative Despite the highs and lows of the economy, if there's one product category within the gift sector that has really got the consumer's attention it's candles, with candle lovers constantly on the look-out for products that offer something new and different for their homes - a touch of fragranced luxury at an affordable price. With Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter on their way, fruity, floral and deliciously decadent fragrances are wafting their way onto the shelves, PG&H looked at what will be scenting homes over the coming months, with striking decorated containers a growing trend. As home fragrancing continues to quicken its pace, with more companies than ever a part of this hugely competitive market place - greeting card publishers included the onus is on suppliers to continually up the innovation ante. "Fruit fragrances are certainly fashionable, which is illustrated by both the Baylis & Harding and Di Paloma ranges from our new partners," says Xystos director Tom Sykes. "The Signature collection from Baylis & Harding features scents such as Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit and Midnight Fig & Pomegranate, while Di Paloma is offering products which include Black Cherry Almond and White Grape with aloe." This natural theme is also taken up in the WoodWick Artisan range through candles such as Ebony Woods and Honey Tabac, with the vessels decorative artworks in themselves. Also part of the Xystos portfolio is Village Candle, which features limited editions - Urban Nights and Forest Hike -

Above: Wild Things' Toucan Play That Game candle from Ashleigh & Burwood, which comes in a reusable vessel. Below: The vessels in WoodWick's Artisan collection, distributed by Xystos, are seen as works of art.

which are also synonymous with the great outdoors. Plus, Woods of Windsor’s English Heritage home fragrance collection, inspired by three of English Heritage’s historic English landmarks, also goes back to nature with Tudor Rose, Citrus& Basil, and Sea Spray & Freesia. "Because of the preponderance of candles in the marketplace it’s important to distinguish product through packaging," says Tom. "All our ranges have achieved this through sympathetic and subtle design which reflects the product." As Anna Borrett, product development manager at Ashleigh & Burwood, says: "With the scented candle market booming, candles need to have both style and substance to impress. Candles must not only look amazing - whether that's through paired back styling to easily blend into the home, or, with more decorative statement designs - but must also live up to expectations for quality by delivering a great fragrance experience for the consumer." Continues Anna: "Candles, like any home fragrance item, should transform the home and evoke a mood in the consumer, one that they will want to return to time and time again. All our candles set a standard in terms of their efficacy, and our Spring/Summer 18

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Bolsius UK Ltd. PO Box 635 Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 9JZ United Kingdom

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Spotlight On... Candles candle launches in both Wild Things and the Artistry collections are no exception. In Wild Things, we pair great fragrance delivery with vibrant, on trend designs featuring cacti, wildlife and florals to display within the home." At Stoneglow, accounts development manager Louise Dooley says that sophisticated fragrances, with a decadent touch, are driving fragrances for Spring/Summer 2018, as shown by the company's Luna collection which is finished off in metallic-lined vessels. "For 2018 we've added Ylang Ylang & Amber, a deep oriental scent in a dusty pink and gold vessel. It's chic as well as feminine," highlights Louise.

However, Price's national sales manager Laurence Whiting doesn't think that containers and packaging types will change dramatically. "The last few years have been dominated by pastel colours, whereas 2017 and 2018 has moved towards bolder, brighter options," he comments. "We have always produced more subtle and realistic fragrances as standard, with customers keen to know that the fragrance isn’t too powerful and can be used to scent certain zones of a room, focusing on true-tolife perfumes." Above right: Kringle Candles' Spring collection. Above left: Stoneglow's Luna Ylang Ylang collection. Left: Easter fragrances from Price's. Right: A floral favourite from Best Kept Secrets is Sweet Pea.

More Than A Candle Taking the role of a candle in the home one stage further is Wax Lyrical. "Spring 2018 continues to see premiumisation in the home fragrance market," says the company's MD Joanne Barber. "Consumers want their candles to be luxury items, but it is still important that there is a practical element, which is why we have developed HomeScenter, a collection designed to change the way people fragrance their homes. Each product is infused with odouraze, with unpleasant smells in the home not only masked, but eliminated." She adds that with home fragrance continuing to be a popular 'go to' gifting solution, the company's new GiftScents range is changing the way people are giving the gift of home fragrance through adding a quirky and fun feel to a luxury product. "Plus, our latest Fired Earth addition encompasses bright white packaging - popular not just for Spring 2018, Above: GiftsScents Happy Birthday candle from Wax Lyrical. but all year round – which is another feminine and style driven addition to one of our most successful collaborative collections," highlights Joanne.

Staying with fragrance, Aromatize's MD Marvin Lomax says that consumers will be opting for fresh fragrances as they welcome the new season. "Our new brand, Kringle Candles, offers 24 floral, fresh and fruity fragrances in tall, elegant glass jars, with the bright white wax suiting all home décors." Fragrance-wise, Marvin says that fruits and citrus scents are definitely on the rise, with fruit scents the best sellers in the company's Woodbridge collection. "In addition, our new Kittredge candles feature over 10 fruity fragrances, with brightly coloured wax giving a pop of colour for Spring. Kringle Candles and Kittredge’s two distinct looks set these two brands apart, but the high quality and fantastic scents give them some common ground." Denise Edwards, director, Best Kept Secrets, points out that candle sales hold up well in the Spring, making it the second most important selling season of the year. "Top selling Spring fragrances remain florals, with Sweet Pea, Lavender and Wild Rose leading the charge," she states. "It’s as if we're trying to create that outdoor feel indoors, with a second 'fruity' group - including Watermelon, Raspberry Supreme and Juicy Lime Coconut & Vanilla - reflecting thoughts of summer on the horizon." A third group of candles highlighted by Denise are green notes, to include Best Kept Secrets' Grandiflora, Sugar Plum and Herb Garden. "Candles in tins also remain a strong choice, perhaps because there is a perception that they are a safer option," Denise adds. Continued on page 91

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Candles

Men's Fragrances With Women In Mind

At Joe Davies, head of product development Laura Leigh says that the company has ensured that the Spring trends for candles, both in the home, and in the garden, have been covered. "Our collection includes pineapples, flamingos and cactus, all in fresh pastel colours," she reveals. "With feathers a big trend in the gift market, we have added shaped and embossed feathers in pinks, whites and golds to our candle collections, with all incorporating popular fragrances, trendy shapes and styles." Touching on the ongoing trend for sentiment, Laura adds that it is always a key area in the gift market, with candles no exception. "Our range of pastel candles, with gold foiled wording, makes them very giftable for many occasions such as birthdays, new homes, thank you gifts and so on." Also highlighting the continuing trend for sentiment is La de da! Living's director Dominique Fracasso-Stroud. "Our new

An Alternative Flame "Luminara Living Flame candles have gone from strength to strength in 2017 driven by safety in the home and continued innovation," comments sales and marketing director Paul Travis. "Luminara LED candles now produce as realistic looking flame as real candles, and with the launch of Luminara fragrance diffusing candles there's the fragrance and romance of candles without the risk or worry." Continues Paul: "Another major selling point of Luminara fragrance diffusing candles is that they use natural fragrance developed by a top Paris fragrance house. Best sellers in 2017 were Jasmine & Neroli and Fig & Moss." Right: Luminara's fragrance diffusing candle Fig & Moss.

Of course, candles aren't always bought by women for women. Men too, are increasingly becoming purchasers. "Fragrances for men are very popular at the moment and we are proud to be one of the trend leaders," says Sandy Burns, MD of Sandy Bay. "Our Gentlemen’s Club collection is not only a 'must have' for men who now buy home fragrance products on a regular basis, but the scents appeal to women too." A new launch for the company this Spring is the Retreat collection featuring Sublime, Radiance, Decadence and Heavenly. "We've picked up on the trend for pastels in silky matt finishes for Spring/Summer 18, with matt effect coloured glassware in pastel shades, together with matching packaging, offset with black text," Sandy explains. At Potters Crouch, MD David Brown points to consumers looking to smaller niche brands for a point of difference. "At the same time, there's a growing demand from both men and women for the more ‘masculine’ fragrances," confirms David. "Perfumes containing orris root, tobacco plant, and the little used chypre category are coming to the fore. As perfumers, we have captured the fragrances in our new Roman range of gift boxed glass candle jars." Right: Sandy Bay's Radiance from the company's new Retreat collection.

Above left: Above: New from La De Da! Living for Mother's Day. Right: With Valentine's Day in mind, Portmeirion’s Love home fragrance collection has a very romantic feel. Below: Pineapple designs from the Joe Davies candle collection.

fragrance collection, Sassy Wax, is a range of fun, sentimental fragranced tins that celebrate all occasions. The candles are made here in the UK using soy wax offering high quality at an affordable price." But as Portmeirion's marketing communications manager Sara Dickenson points out: “As the market continues to innovate, candle trends revolve around the whole package - the scent, the look, the packaging and the concept. For example, our Love home fragrance collection encapsulates an oriental potion of red berries, white tea and osmanthus leading to a musk and vetivert base which is very ontrend for Spring/Summer18. Adds Sara: "Love is also presented in striking pastel packaging featuring colourful paint strokes, Continued on page 93

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


W W WoodWick


crackles as it burns™

See the full range at...

Xystos Flame & Fragrance • Bath & Body

The UK’s No.1 Home Fragrance Supplier to the Gift Industry

092_GH_February Gifts Febraury.indd 1 2018.indd 1

4 - 8 Feb 2018 NEC Birmingham

Stand 4H50 - J51 For more info, contact our Customer Service Team Email: or Tel: +44(0)191 499 1570

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Spotlight On... Candles which tap into the ‘Expressive’ trend direction." Recently launched home fragrance brand Hasnett Green meanwhile, has unveiled a new range of UK made scented candle jars, using a blended wax that contains vegetable wax. "It gives a lovely finish to the product but, more importantly, a clean burn and a good fragrance throw," says MD Sultan Khan. With so much choice around, and new suppliers coming on board, it's down to companies to ensure their products have a special USP in order to guarantee them a place on retailers' shelves.

New Kids On The Candle Block Two greeting card publishers have recently expanded their product mix to include candles. "Consumers are increasingly interested in life harmonising with nature and that’s what the Eloise Hall brand is all about," explains founder and MD Eloise Hall. "We use 100% natural ingredients in our scented candles, which are created from the finest essential oils and the highest grade of natural wax. The botanical benefits of our collection will help users reconnect with nature and regain their sense of well-being." Another card publisher, Janie Wilson, launched the company's first range of candles last summer. The range features jars, as well as tins covering different sending occasions. Labels echo the Janie Wilson Gold Leaf card range. Below: The home fragrancing collection from Eloise Hall.

Above: Hasnett Green's new range of candles.

“With so much choice around, and new suppliers coming on board, it's down to companies to ensure their products have a special USP.”

Calming Effect Of Candles For many people, lighting a candle can help to create a mood, with Richard Wood, sales director at Bolsius, confirming that the trend for using fragrances to relax and improve wellbeing is continuing to grow. "Consumers are interested in how aromas alleviate stress, heighten mood and affect alertness, and want to buy products that have both a pleasing aesthetic and psychological benefit," he comments. "Our new Accents range at Bolsius taps in to this wellbeing zeitgeist. Positioned as ‘everyday luxury’, the scented collection allows consumers to create different fragrance moods within the home. Clean and minimal packaging across our candles, diffusers and wax melts range reflects the contemporary interior trends for the upcoming season." Also focusing on the relaxation/wellbeing trend is Wax Lyrical. "Our brand new collection, in collaboration with Silentnight, has been created to enhance that feeling of relaxation and encourage a more restful night's sleep," confirms MD Joanne Barber. Right: Bolsius' Aromatic Magnolia. Inset: Heart & Home's Woodland Spa is a new co-ordinating gift set for Spring.

Also looking to candles that promote a relaxing mood is Heart & Home, with the company noticing the swing in consumer awareness towards more environmentally friendly wax too. "Our distinctive soy wax blend means we are among the frontrunner in this area," says Heart & Home's group marketing and communications manager Jacquie Russo. "New for the Spring season are Woodland Spa - Amber Forest, Calming Aloe and Guardian Angel - the latter being available in a gift set containing a heart shaped wax melt warmer and three melts. Our Spring scents have been designed to take the end user on a journey of tranquil relaxation with key notes of soothing eucalyptus, chamomile and lemon grass, alongside nuances of white patchouli and bergamot." Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


A4 Candle Ad 12.01.18 print.pdf

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What’s New A selection of new fragranced gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Two New Fragrances This season, two brand new fragrances, Sea Salt and Pear Blossom, have been skilfully crafted for Ashleigh & Burwood’s Artistry collection. In the Artistry collection’s signature style, the new additions are paired with in-house designer Philippa Steele’s unique hand-illustrated artwork on the collection’s creative packaging. Sea Salt brings the clean scent of the sea into your home with crisp sea salt and airy aquatic accords that capture the freshness of the English coastline. Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand B10-C11

Glazed Lamp Sets Citrus Burst Soaps A soap enriched with avocado oil and smelling like a bowl of citrus fruits. This soap is fragranced with orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit essential oils. Its rich colour comes from the essential oils, some infused annatto seeds and from ground citrus peel. Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand B33

Celebrating Mums Mother’s Day remains the most purchased for event in the Spring/Summer season. The Lovely, Lovely Mum candles serves to celebrate those special ladies who deserve a treat this March. All of the candles in the Just Because range are fragranced with neroli, citrus and sandalwood and peppered with plenty of sparkle to mark this very special day. Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand B33

New to Ashleigh & Burwood are three new fragrance lamps gift sets featuring new glazed lamps in chic rose gold and uniquely speckled grey and blue. They are housed in colourful limited editions of Ashleigh & Burwood’s chevron packaging in coral, cornflower blue and soft grey, co-ordinated with new fragrances Mango & Nectarine, Summer Rain and White Velvet. Ideal for spreading joy and happiness with friends and family on the key gift-giving occasions of the season. Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand B10-C11

Reed All About It Hassett Green has developed a stylish ceramic diffuser wand as one of the company's fragrance diffuser options, which allows the fragrance to fill the room. It can be left without the need for turning as the ceramic wand does not clog. The company's other 100ml reed diffuser, which uses fibre reed technology, is around 30% more effective than rattan reeds. With both options we cater for key price points, under £10, and the more premium gift at under £25. Contact Tel 07909 539574. Hassett Green Tel: 07909 539574 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand F42

Premium Brand Expands Luminara, the Living Flame wax candle range, expands its premium brand available in leading department stores John Lewis, House of Fraser, Selfridges and throughout the UK in quality independent retailers. Introducing mercury glass Luminara candles complete with 5hr security timer and infrared remote control, with 350hr burn time, presentation boxed in gold and silver finishes and 13cm and 18cm sizes. Mercury glass Luminara innovative design retails from £54.99 to £59.99. We have introduced Living Flame Luminara tealights too, again with infrared remote and 5hr security timer. Luminara Tel: 01622 845995 Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand F40 PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


Best Kept Secrets Ltd Morpeth, NE61 6JT Tel: 01670 512222 Email: Web:

Just Because Candles

P.S. We also have Gin Queen !! Trade Price ÂŁ3.75 + vat

RRP ÂŁ8.99

12 different fun messages for friends, family and special occasions Classic Cotton fragrance with a multi coloured topping and plenty of glitter!! Spring Fair Hall 4 Stand B33 096_GH_February 2018.indd 1

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What’s New A selection of new fragranced gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Gorgeously Fragranced With four new ranges, eight new fragrances and a facelift on our Botanic collection we have lots of newness! Riding on the success of our Occasions collection we have added in another fun candle and diffuser with the gold lettering message reading: And so the Adventure Begins. It's gorgeously fragranced with sweet rose & pink prosecco, a perfect gift to celebrate that new change in a loved one’s life such as a new job, house move, wedding and even a divorce. Our Modern Classic collection is chic and sophisticated, so, for 2018, we've added a soft blush rose packaging beautifully fragranced with elderflower & blush rose, with a soft and fruity scent presented with feminine charm. Stoneglow Candles Tel: 020 8595 8878 Email: Spring Fair: Summerhouse Hall 8; Stand: C15 C14

Looks Good, Smells Good

Essentials For Mum These beautifully presented Handbag Essentials from Di Palomo would make the perfect Mother’s Day present. Available from Xystos, the delightful Black Cherry Almond fragranced package comprises protective hand and nail cream and lip balm, and has an RRP of £8. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: Spring Fair: Stand 4H50-J51

WoodWick continues to lead the flame and fragrance charge for leading distributor Xystos. Director Tom Sykes describes the vessels that make up the stylish WoodWick Artisan Collection as "decorative art works in themselves" as well as being the holders of candles with stunning new fragrances. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: Spring Fair: Stand 4H50-J51

Gifts For Gardeners The bath and body Gardeners Range from Woods of Windsor is ideal for gifting and self-purchase. Available from Xystos, the unisex range comprises a hand wash, hand scrub, hand cream and hand balm/butter. There is also a counter display which holds four hand washes; five hand scrubs; five hand creams and six hand butters, which has a combined retail value of £130.80. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: Spring Fair: Stand 4H50-J51

Best For Beards Beards are proving to be big business for Baylis & Harding. The fashionable hirsute look for young and not-so-young men has seen its Fuzzy Duck Men’s Collection Beard Grooming Kit racking up strong orders, and more big sales are expected for Father’s Day. With a fragrance of cedarwood and wild sage, it comprises a cleansing beard shampoo, revitalising face wash, conditioning beard balm and wooden comb. Available from Xystos with an RRP of £14. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: Spring Fair: Stand 4H50-J51



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What’s New A selection of new fragranced gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Fresh And Fruity Price’s Candles’ best-selling Fresh Air range of odour neutralising products welcomes in a new limited edition Spring fragrance. Grapefruit & Peppermint, fresh and vibrant, also brings subtle tones of neroli and lemon. This vibrant fragrance is available in both glass jars and reed diffusers and are available from February. With an RRP of £5.25 and £13.50 respectively, they will be sure to boost sales! Price’s Candles Tel: 01234 264500 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand E80/F81

Hand Poured Candles Janie Wilson has been creating hand finished greeting cards for 20 years. She has now developed a range of scented candles which are all hand poured in her studio in Yorkshire. She has just launched a range of Mother’s Day tins which co-ordinate with her beautiful range of Mother’s day cards. Janie Wilson Tel: 0113 2566331 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3 Stand T30

The Gift Of Scent Designed to make gift giving even more enjoyable, our innovative GiftScents collection makes buying and giving a special gift even simpler. Inspired by the traditional gift card concept, our GiftScents collection enables customers to choose the occasion, fill in the ‘To’ and ‘From’ sections with a personalised message, and gift an expertly blended, 100% fragranced Wax Lyrical reed diffuser, guaranteed to make anyone’s day... Wax Lyrical Tel: 01229 461111 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand D40 – E41

Simply Gorgeous Sandy Bay’s New Natural Retreat collection is sure to be a future classic. A beautiful, yet simple design, in silky smooth matt glassware, in comes in four pretty colours. The four gorgeous fragrances are designed to transport you to the places of your dreams. Sublime [pictured] is a divine blend of citrusy pomelo, with a floral heart of magnolia, jasmine and vetivert, sitting on a base of patchouli and nutmeg. Sandy Bay London Tel: 01992 579949 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand S33

On Trend Best Of British Brand new for 2018! We’re very excited to introduce our brand new collaborative collection with upcoming British designer Yvonne Ellen. Like us, Yvonne believes that British is best, which is why each piece in her home fragrance collection is created by us, right here in Britain. Between our two brands, we pride ourselves on only the highest quality of products with exceptional attention to detail and finish. Wax Lyrical Tel: 01229 461111 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand D40 – E41

From the creators of best-selling Fresh Air candles and diffusers, 2018 sees Price’s Candles launch a brand new fragrance range. Consisting of 14 initial fragrances, increasing through the year to 20, these candles and diffusers are bright and on trend, with strong, quality fragrances and burn. With RRPs from £4, they also represent great value for money and are sure to bring in new Price’s customers. Price’s Candles Tel: 01234 264500 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand E80/F81



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What’s New A selection of new fragranced gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Gin Queen Candle For fun, Best Kept Secrets has introduced a Gin Queen candle to the exceptionally popular Just Because range. All of the candles in the Just Because range are fragranced with neroli, citrus and sandalwood, and peppered with plenty of sparkle and glitter. 50 hours burn time. Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email:

Spring Fragrances Customers choose different fragrances at different times of year. With Spring well on the way, favourites include fruity and floral. Topping the list: sweet pea, watermelon, and fresh lavender. With so many fragrances to choose from, your customers will always find exactly what’s right for them at Best Kept Secrets. 50 hours burn and sparkly toppings a means great value too. Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email:

Seasonal Scents

Totally Tropical Escape your daily routine, explore the world and follow your dreams with the brand new tropical fragrance collection for summer from Yankee Candle - Just Go. Launching in store and online April 2018, the Just Go collection is the perfect transition from the calm of spring to the exciting anticipation of summer. With scents designed to take consumers to paradise beaches with soft golden sand, or the breath-taking heights of endless mountain ranges stretching into the horizon, the Just Go collection will allow customers to travel with wild abandon and visit the places of their dreams, with just the light of a wick. The four contemporary seasonal fragrances (Coconut Splash, Warm Desert Wind, Tropical Jungle & Misty Mountains) inspired by wild escapes and discovery have been expertly blended and crafted to ignite the senses and are available in all six classic Yankee Candle forms as well as the Scenterpiece Melt Cup. The launch of Just Go will be accompanied by three new accessory collections including the Warm Rustic collection, Champagne Pearl and Tribal Stone. Introducing new and existing shapes and designs across jar shade votive holders and melt warmers, there is also a bespoke range of gift sets available. Offering consumers premium packaging, the Yankee Candle gift sets are perfect for every occasion. Yankee Candle Tel: 0117 316 1200 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand D30-E31

With delicate scents designed to evoke the relaxing fragrances of spring, Enjoy the Simple Things is a beautifully curated collection of elegant, floral and fruity seasonal scents that capture life's simple pleasures. Slow down, enjoy each day as it comes and take a moment to admire the beauty that surrounds us. Yankee Candle invites consumers to put a spring in their step for SS18 with the brand new seasonal collection. The fragrances are available in all six classic Yankee Candle forms as well as the Scenterpiece cup. Sweet Nothings - with notes of cyclamen, lotus blossom and vanilla, this fragrance is warm, soft and sweet - like a special whisper just for you. Sun Drenched Apricot Rose - a full bloom scent of lush, delightful apricot and soft petals. A Calm and Quiet Place - Gentle Jasmine, a whisper of patchouli and warm amber musk come together to create a meditative and balanced fragrance. Rainbow Cookie - an edible, fruity fragrance, reminding you of cookies that are deliciously light and airy, with citrus and peach and sweet vanilla frosting. Yankee Candle Tel: 0117 316 1200 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand D30-E31



Best Kept Secrets Ltd Morpeth, NE61 6JT Tel: 01670 512222 Email: Web:

Love is in the air

Trade Price ÂŁ3.75 + vat

RRP ÂŁ8.99

Four Romantic fun messages for your loved one. Classic Cotton fragrance with a multi coloured topping and plenty of glitter!! Spring Fair Hall 4 Stand B33

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What’s New A selection of new fragranced gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Scent Layering

Day Flower Simplicity and styling are the keynotes for this elegant collection with delicate white floral notes. Encapsulating the soft feminine charm of the soft white blooms in six stunning fragranced candles, diffusers and refills. Stoneglow Candles Tel: 020 8595 8878 Email: Top Drawer: K47 Spring Fair: Summer House Hall 8: C15 C14

Bolsius believe that fragrances are accessories, recommending layering fragrances so that there are seamless scents throughout the home, complementing each other. Reed diffusers are perfect for continual and overall ambience, with the Bolsius Aromatic range available in eight scents: Fresh Linen, Vanilla, Magnolia, French Lavender, Exotic Mango, Sugar & Spice, Wild Cranberry and Baked Apple, in Large Oval Glass and Small Oval Glass candles, 125ml Reed Diffusers, Maxi-Lights, Tealights and Aromatic Wax Melts. Bolsius Tel: 0800 169 5126 Email:

Potager Garden This is a new range from Stoneglow, natural wax candles and diffusers in familiar fragrances of herbs, fruits and vegetables blended together to create an aromatic retreat to the garden. All beautifully presented in colourful gift packaging. Stoneglow Candles Tel: 020 8595 8878 Email: Top Drawer: K47 Spring Fair: Summer House Hall 8: C15 C14

Brand Candlelight Nudged along by our good friend Steve, ‘brand Candlelight’ is finally being launched. Candlelight, one of the strongest companies within the gift sector, has woken up to what it has been missing. Candlelight will launch a range of candles in the Spring which will become one of the largest and strongest candle offers within the UK – this is just the beginning. ‘Brand Candlelight’ - watch this space! Candlelight Tel: 01709 723000 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 stand F40-G81

Mixology A fusion of colour inspired by the revival of the cocktail renaissance. Mouth-watering fragrances to tantalise the senses. Available in four shirks quenching fragrance candles, diffuser and refills. Made in the UK Stoneglow Candles Tel: 020 8595 8878 Email: Top Drawer K47 Spring Fair: Summer House Hall 8: C15 C14



Coming soon Coming soon!


Coming soon! VISIT US AT


4-8 FEBRUARY 2018



4-8 FEBRUARY 2018 HALL 4, STAND 4D90-E91 Bolsius UK Ltd. PO Box 635 Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 9JZ United Kingdom Bolsius UK Ltd. PO Box 635 Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 9JZ United Kingdom

T +44 (0)800 169 5126 F +44 (0)800 169 5127 E I

T +44 (0)800 169 5126

T +44 (0)800 169 5126 Bolsius Ltd. F +44UK(0)800 169 5127 F +44 (0)800 169 5127 PO Box 635 E E Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 9JZ I United Kingdom I

The Clear Favourite

Spring Fair NEC, Hall 8, C11-13 Frankfurt Ambiente Hall 4.0 A31 Tel: 01805 626226 •

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What’s New A selection of new fragranced gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Don't Be Koi Don't be Koi is one of three new brand designs to join the Wild Things collection this season. The fragrance paints a picture of graceful koi gliding between water lilies, while leafy branches trail in the cool ponds of a fragrant water garden. Made with high quality formulations for the best possible fragrance experience, every Wild Things design is available as a luxury scented candle and luxury reed diffuser. Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email:

Reed Diffuser Gift Set

Decorative Diffusers WoodWick’s beautiful Artisan Collection is distributed by Xystos, whose director, Tom Sykes, describes the vessels in the range as ‘decorative art works in themselves’. Apart from stylish candle holders, Artisan also includes two stunning reed diffusers – Sea Salt Magnolia (pictured) and the classic English Lavender. Each has an RRP of £16.99. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email Spring Fair: Stand 4H50-J51

One of two new scents to launch into the Artistry Collection this season, Pear Blossom fragrance tells a story of relaxing on sundappled grass beneath the blossom-laden boughs of pear orchards. Delicious pear gently sweetens the delicate flowering scents of rose and elderflower, deepened by a lush base of green jasmine. The new reed diffuser gift set includes a beautiful glazed ceramic diffuser vessel in speckled grey. Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email:

Giant Pillar Candles Luminara, the Living Flame wax candle range, expands its premium brand which is now available in leading department stores John Lewis, House of Fraser and Selfridges, as well as throughout the UK in quality independent retailers. Introducing Giant Luminara wax pillar candles, complete with 5 hour security timer and infrared remote control in 6 x 6 inch, 6 x 10 inch and 6 x 14 inch, Luminara gives you all the ambience of real candles without the risk or worry. Giant Luminara offers great value for money with RRP’s from £49.99 to £79.99. At the other end of the spectrum is the introduction of Living Flame Luminara tealights. Again, infrared remote and a 5hr security timer brings your votive holders alive. Luminara Candles Tel: 01622 845995 Email: Tel: 01622 845995 Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand F40



w w w.t h e l i b r a c o mp a n y. c o . u k Jan u ar y Fu r n itu re S h ow, N EC Bi rmi ng ham | H al l 3 St and P10, 21s t – 24t h Janua r y S p r in g Fair, N EC B ir m in g ham | H al l 8 St and C 03-C 05, 4t h – 8t h Feb ruar y

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Spotlight On... Home Interiors

Animal Instinct A new year always inspires people to give their homes a makeover, with trendy interior accessories an easy way to give rooms a fresh look and feel. Key trends for 2018 include a huge focus on leafy tropical and exotic animals - reflected in home fragrancing too - but it's not all about loud colours and designs, as PG&H discovered. The green shoots of Spring are always the perfect time to do more than a bit of Spring cleaning. With so many trends around for people to tap into this year, it's time to shake off the old and look to the new, with plenty of exciting concepts lending themselves to a refresh. Parlane has highlighted several key looks for the coming year. "One of our strongest themes in our Spring/Summer 2018 collection is calm serenity and mindfulness," confirms MD Mike Burgess. "It’s characterised by soft, neutral shades, peaceful buddhas, handwoven Vietnamese baskets and boho style cushions and pouffes. We are also launching tropical, lush, green foliage and pretty pink gloriosa sprays and orchid blooms, featuring exotic birds, monkeys and chameleons. These are accompanied by a variety of vases, lanterns and tealight holders in soft shades of green and blush pink." Meadow flowers too, feature strongly in the company's new collections, "plus, there's also a continuing trend for cactus which is high up on our list of favourites for SS18, sitting comfortably alongside all categories of our collection," adds Mike.

Right: Cushions in the Jan Constantine Fiesta range. Left: SIL's new Safar theme features on a collection of storage boxes. Bottom left: Cactus is a Parlane favourite for 2018. Below right: A range of soft grey wall clocks from Shruti. Bottom right: Libra's Gatsby curved sofa.

Staying with the exotic, Keely Tredgold, senior designer at SIL, highlights that one of the big successes of 2017 for the company was the flamingo. "Therefore we’re expanding on that this year, with a whole range of tropical-themed gifts and accessories. Parrots and toucans will be the stars across glassware, table decorations, lights, cushions and cocktail sets, all in big bright colours and with an emphasis on exotic fun. Also looking to distant shores will be our Safari theme, which expands on lots of 2017 trends, particularly cactus and palm leaf, with a hint of the African Savannah," adds Keely. "In addition, we’ll also see an expansion of interest in dreamcatchers where we've built a whole range around this trend, taking the weaving, beads and feathers across wall art, picture frames, fragrance and drinkware." Also focusing on the exotic is British designer Jan Constantine, who feels that interior trends are moving away from the light towards a darker and bolder colour palette, with backdrops in shades of black, moody blue and deep green and grey making huge statements. "However, highlights of metallics, sparkles and shots of high colour lift the mood," she comments. Libra meanwhile, is seeing the steady re-emergence of retro hues on the interior

design scene, with taupe and teal claiming the spotlight, as shown in the company’s Halcyon and Mayfair collections. Paul McLaughlin, MD of Libra, adds that copper and brass have been enjoying a renaissance in recent years, with 2018 no exception. "Our new Savoy collection plays into this trend, using a palette of brass, gold, blue and grey. We can also expect to see a continued nod to the contemporary graphic form, with Platonic featuring a range of geometry inspired occasional furniture, hand-finished in antique gold."

At Shruti Designs, director Michaela Davies says that the company's Spring/Summer18 ranges reflect the continuing minimalist trend, in terms of colours and textures. "Clean lines, simple designs, pale neutrals and Scandi-style are all still very popular," she confirms. "Soft greys, denim blue, flesh pink, navy, and a hint of khaki, all serve to enhance the whites and stone base colours, with the ranges neutral to suit a variety of tastes." Clearly it's a broad spectrum, ultimately down to personal taste and decor, but if one thing's for certain, for many suppliers, it will be all about taking a walk on the wild side! Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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What’s New A selection of new home style gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Monkey Business Casually hanging from plant pots, these gibbon pot hangers easily raise a smile! Following our continued success with these fun accessories, we created a larger version to hang from larger pots. The gibbon design was inspired by our tropical theme for Spring/Summer 2018. See our full collection at Spring Fair. Parlane Tel: 01451 812712 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 8 / Summerhouse / Stand C08-D07

The Buddha Is Back Our Spring/Summer 2018 collection of peaceful Buddhas conjures up a mood of calming serenity and mindfulness. As well as ornamental heads, we have a selection of playful Buddha head planters. Pair these with our hassle-free faux ferns, bamboo or palms for a real showstopping look. See our full collection at Spring Fair. Parlane Tel: 01451 812712 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 8 / Summerhouse / Stand C08-D07

Art Deco Influences British furniture and homewares brand Libra is proud to be introducing its new Halcyon theme at this year’s Spring Fair 2018. Inspired by the decadence of the 1920s Art Deco period, Halcyon features beautifully shaped upholstery and sumptuous velvets. Soft taupe hues are offset beautifully by rich jewel tones, creating an impression of old-school Hollywood glamour. Amidst the Halcyon theme sits the Gatsby collection – a range of contrasting monochromatic shades and sleek silver lines. Metallic materials and eye-catching designs work together in this collection to create a luxurious finish. Libra Tel: 01223 895800 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 8 Stand C03-C05

Clock This Shruti’s new Time & Co. clocks for SS18 come gift-boxed in three sizes and four colourways. A freestanding mantle clock with a 14cms diameter, a wall size with a 29cms diameter, and the ever-popular over-sized feature wall clock at 50cms. Each size is available in neutral contemporary matte colours - Cotswold Blue, Antique White, Slate Grey and Bamboo - to complement the modern home. All in lightweight wood finish, and battery operated. Shruti Tel: 01985 847774 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 7 A30-B31

Pom Pom Soft Furnishings Bringing an element of fun to your home, Shruti’s knitted co-ordinating blankets and cushions feature gorgeous pompoms in the new season’s colours. With a soft woven moss effect, the blankets measure 150x125cms and are available in five neutral contemporary shades Ash, Donkey, Mouse, Sky and White - and are machine washable. Matching removable cushion covers, supplied with inner pads, feature pom poms to the sides, and are 45cm sq. A further colourway, Aqua, is also available. Shruti Tel: 01985 847774 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 7 A30-B31



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Spotlight On... Nursery/Children’s

Hey Baby! With some 696, 271 births in England and Wales in the last year baby gifts will always be a huge gift-led market place, as friends and family look to welcome their very own princes and princesses into the world. And with baby showers becoming the norm, the nursery and children's sector represents a massive market place. PG&H took a peek at what's new for the coming year, revealing how suppliers are tapping into current market trends with both licensed and non-licensed giftware. With the excitement already building around the birth of a new prince or princess in April, nursery and children's products will once again be finding their way into the media, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte sure to receive some 'big brother' and 'big sister' gifts too. There's something very special about buying a gift for a baby or toddler, with many purchasers looking to much loved, traditional character brands as well as gifts that bring back nostalgic memories. "Iconic, everlasting favourites that provide a little nostalgia continue to trend," says Sara Dickenson, marketing and communications manager at Portmeirion Group. "Our The Very Hungry Caterpillar range is an example of this. It’s loved by all generations, from little ones to grandparents, with a fun baking set and flexible placemat joining the collection."

Above: Peter Rabbit continues to be a strong character brand for Enesco. Right: Disney Baby from Rainbow Design. Below left: Portmeirion's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Below right: Personalised books from Signature Gifts.

At Enesco, director of marketing Helen Cottrill confirms: "We are still seeing the strength of character brands, and have had a phenomenal year in 2017 with Beatrix Potter and our Disney brands. Both are strong evergreen licenses with universal appeal to all generations. Therefore, based on this, we are expanding in both areas from decorative figurines, homewares and soft toys, to organic bamboo and money banks." At Rainbow Designs, The Home of Classic Characters, the company will be launching innovative new nursery ranges this

Spring to include two new Disney collections. "Following our successful Classic Winnie-the-Pooh Hundred Acre Wood collection, launched last Autumn, we will be unveiling Disney Baby," reveals Anthony Temple, MD of Rainbow Designs. "This colourful range of character-led developmental toys features Disney’s most iconic characters - Minnie Mouse, Tigger, Dumbo, Winnie-the-Pooh and Mickey Mouse - with the soft toys featuring a variety of activities designed to encourage a baby’s early developmental skills and to promote sensory play." The company will also be bringing to market the Disney Floppy collection, an array of large and small super soft plush toys, comforters and ring rattles staring Disney favourites Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. Kat Whittingham, trade manager at Signature Gifts concurs that in today's age of technology, parents and grandparents are leaning more towards traditional gifts. "People love the idea of seeing a nostalgic character from their childhood and Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


See our full Peter Rabbitâ„¢ Collection SPRING FAIR 4-6 FEB 2018 STAND 5E22 - F23

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Spotlight On... Nursery/Children’s want to pass them on to the next generation. We have a range of licensed books which are presented in branded gift boxes that are selling really well as newborn, christening and first birthday gifts. For example our Winnie-thePooh Birthday book and award winning Peter Rabbit Little guides are perfect for the newborn and nursery market." James Brierly, owner of Elite says that, over the years, the company has seen a huge increase in children’s product - an explosion of feeding sets and cutlery in all manner of designs. "Never before has the retailer had such choice, price point, exclusivity, brands and quality," says James. "We have refreshed our Beatrix Potter and Flower Fairy products for 2018, with an uplift in sales featuring these classic brands." But the nursery/children's market sector isn't all about character products of course, with traditional gifts a massive market place. Comments Julian Hunt, MD of Lesser & Pavey: "Tried and tested ranges are always winners with new parents, grandparents, relatives and friends so why change the format? What we do change consistently though are the designs, keeping pace with modern

Left: Elite's Peter Rabbit book tin. Below: A new baby range from Lesser & Pavey. Below left: Joe Davies' new baby wish box and money box. Bottom right: Widdop's Petit Cheri baby collection which shows the new lines.

parents as well as tradition. Our ranges aim to enhance the magical moment of a new baby in the family while offering quality at affordable prices. Our new baby range is about traditional sayings as well as modern designs, with the range also offering items for christening and naming events." "Children’s nursery gifts are constant, dependable sellers for the gift retailer and

offer a huge sales opportunity if the offer is kept updated with current trends and colour schemes," says Steve Davies, MD of Joe Davies. "For example, we offer a selection of baby shower inspired items which are ideal for this popular new event, with our brand new baby wish boxes incorporating added

What's Trending l “Personalisation of products is not a new offering but it is definitely becoming more prevalent in the nursery plush sector, and we are likely to see further growth in this area in 2018. The opportunity to take a nursery cuddle item - such as a comfort blanket - and personalise it, creates a unique and exclusive keepsake." Anthony Temple, MD, Rainbow Designs l "It has become more and more important that nursery gifts mix and match with home décor. Pink and blue are still key. but soft pastels and creams and, of course, the current massive trend for gold add that extra something when displayed together." Steve Davies, MD, Joe Davies l "Practical personalised gifts such as plastic tableware are becoming increasingly popular, as consumers look beyond the purely decorative for useful gifts that aid in a child’s development. As such, I believe we will see the trend for practicality continue into 2018." Keren Dicken, marketing director, PMC

glamour with the use of gold foiled wording. In addition, our baby fund boxes, a new style of money box, sits alongside the wish boxes creating an eye-catching display. "Overall, nursery gifts have become more fashionable," observes Steve. "Vintage styling, which has heavily influenced home styling over the last few

Seen To Be Green "Children’s gifting is going green," says Laura Driffied, head of marketing at Wild & Wolf. "In 2018, it will be all about products that are sustainable and environmentally friendly." Staying ahead of trends, the company will be adding new lines of toys, playthings and decor to its Petit Collage range this Spring/Summer, an eco-friendly brand with a sustainability ethos. "The company choose materials carefully, from recycled cardboard to FSC-certified wood and soy-based inks, and avoid plastic because they believe that play can and should encourage sustainable thinking," says Laura. Above: Petit Collage from Wild & Wolf is an eco-friendly brand.

years, has been adapted for the nursery producing a soft contemporary feel," says Sue Grant, marketing manager at Widdop and Co. "New product categories such as bunting and light up bottles are making an appearance and adding a fresh new interest to this traditional gifting sector. Petit Cheri, one of our key baby collections, picks up on this trend, combining a chalk paint effect in soft pink and blue with a white limed wood." Continued on page 115

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


come and see us at Spring Fair! Hall 5, 5L37

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Spotlight On... Nursery/Children’s Deva Designs distributes Bunnies by the Bay with Deva's MD Andrew Maddox highlighting two successful areas: the 'complete gift' featuring a baby's first plush gift, a gift book and a gift bag, and plush that also has a second adult appeal. "The plush items are super soft, and it's the little details, such as the velour carrot, that makes them extra special," points out Andrew. "The board books are a new addition to Bunnies by the Bay and have really hit the spot, as with the trendy new grey gift bags too." Adds Andrew: "Last season we launched the flamboyant Mingo the Flamingo and just can't keep him in stock, so we have now brought in Bruce the Moose, with his handsome goatee, as part of the Forest Friends collection, although I really do think most of these are bought as gifts for grownups!" quips Andrew. Also looking to plush with adult appeal is Carte Blanche, which has launched All Creatures, a generic Above: Bunnies by the Bay complete gift set, distributed by Deva Designs. Left: All Creatures is a new plush range from Carte Blanche.

We've Nailed It! For older children, fun products such as NPW's Fingernail Friend range have been enjoying great success, says Jess Moss, head of product development at NPW. "NPW has been partnering with Spanish designer Hector Serrano for many years, and his Fingernail Friends are a clever, unique way to dress kids nails without the hassle of nail polish. They are fast, easy to apply nail stickers that entertain children for hours. With unicorns and mermaids still trending well into 2018, we will be launching a version in both trends, but with a look and feel that is more suited to our younger audience, rather than to the more-trend led ranges we offer to the older market." Continues Jess: "We are also launching an ice cream version with little cone tattoos that adhere to the nail cuticle, making it more of a crafting exercise with a bit more longevity." Meanwhile, also looking to keep children occupied for long period is House of Marbles. "Activity kits and build-your-own models are playing a major part in our children’s range this year," confirms trade marketing and online manager Lauren Woodsford. "Customers love products that provide hours of fun and are educational too, making anything with an activity element hugely popular. For 2018 we have added some exciting build-your-own kits to our range, including a retro Flying Ace aeroplane along with a fun assortment of tiny sets packed with arty activities.”

plush range, featuring 18 animal characters. "All Creatures evokes awareness and feelings that many of us have for animals and creatures," points out creator Paul Haines. "We expect the range to grow as we explore other fascinating creatures and breeds across the continents. There's plenty of scope, with new launches already planned in throughout next year and the year after." As always, when friends and family buy gifts for babies and children, they tend to dig deep, with a myriad of giftware on offer to ensure that there's plenty of choice from a much loved storybook character to something more traditional or trendy. Plus, with a Royal baby on the way, there is sure be lots more to say about nursery gifting in 2018!

Personalised Baby Cards At PMC this Spring, the company will be launching its new personalised baby milestone cards in packs of 24. Explains marketing director Keren Dicken: "Each individual card is personalised with the baby’s name and includes space for a date to be added when a milestone is reached - one week, two weeks, four months, six months etc - as well as their first word, their first steps, and so on. These cards will make an excellent alternative to a traditional baby book." She adds that while remaining popular, traditional themes of blue and pink are being modernised for 2018, to include pastel and chalky tones. "These are applied to product in a gender-neutral way, challenging the perception that pink is exclusively for girls and blue is for boys, and ties in well with our licensed Miffy range, which is a balance of nostalgia and on-trend gifting. The range includes designs that employ gender-neutral pastel tones, as well as bright colours that are suited to both boys and girls." Below: PMC's Miffy cutlery.

Above: NPW’s unicorn Fingernail Friends and cuticle tattoos. Left: House of Marbles' Flying Ace Model aeroplane from the company's Make & Do range.

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


Super Pushe enicor n with L ight & Sou nd

Gift Giving…all wrapped up Ambiente Frankfurt, Germany 9th—13th February 2018 Hall 9.1, C71

International Spring Fair NEC,Birmingham 4th—8th February 2018 Hall 4






Enesco Limited, Head Office & Customer Services, Brunthill Road, Kingstown, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 0EN. Tel: 01228 404022 email: Overseas Customer Services: Tel: +44 1228 404066 email: © GUND 2018. © 2018 Pusheen; Pusheen® Distributed by Enesco. All Rights Reserved. © 2018 Enesco Limited.

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What’s New A selection of childrens gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Jumping For Joy Following the outstanding success of their Childhood Memories collection last year, House of Marbles will be unveiling a host of exciting additions to their best-selling ranges at Spring Fair. The latest arrival is a gorgeous vintage-style Jump Rope set. Packaged in a high quality gift box, it contains an extra-long skipping rope together with classic songs and games for children to enjoy. Looking to be a hit, this entertaining product has been designed to complement the hugely popular Cat’s Cradle and Hopscotch games to make a beautiful in-store display perfect for the independent retailer. Other products launching at the show include colourful dress-up Butterfly Wings and novel glow-in-the-dark Spooky Specs in an assortment of Scary Eye designs! Whether you’re looking for toys, games, novelties or books, there’s an exciting range of affordable products on offer. Make sure you head to the House of Marbles stand E52-F53 to see for yourself. House of Marbles Tel: 01626 835358 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 E52-F53

Animal Crackers Two-In-One Designed to grow with your baby through three stages, the motorised Explore & More Follow Bee Crawl toy challenges and encourages baby to crawl with colourful lights, energetic tunes and sweet buzzing sounds. A new addition to the Explore & More collection, this two-in-one development toy spurs on baby’s motor skills, sensory development and prompts exploration to help baby reach those all-important milestones. Skip Hop Tel: 01582 434250 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand L37

Skip Hop’s Zoo Collection includes a wide range of signature animals so that children can choose their favourite character to keep them company throughout the day. Products include backpacks and raingear to on-the-go, home, mealtime and bath products that promote a toddler’s independence and drive imagination. New Zoo friends Dax Dalmatian and Ferguson Fox are the latest additions to the family and join the existing heroes including Monkey, Owl, Giraffe Unicorn and Butterfly. Skip Hop Tel: 01582 434250 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand L37

Children's Development Toys We have expanded our Peter range to include some beautifully painted development toys. Including bead frames and shape sorters, these toys are great for encouraging motor skills and coordination. Featuring Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck these toys are great for keeping your child entertained while also developing their skills. Orange Tree Toys Tel: 01242 244500 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand E22-F23

Making Beautiful Music Our brand new range based around our favourite crocodile character features a number of exciting new toys such as puzzles, pull alongs and educational toys. This colourful xylophone is sure to be a firm favourite, hand painted in bright colours, and is great for encouraging music making and motor skills. The two drumsticks are perfect for little hands to grasp making it a perfect traditional musical instrument kids are sure to love! Orange Tree Toys Tel: 01242 244500 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand E22-F23



© Disney. Based on the ‘Winnie the Pooh’ works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard.

See us at Spring Fair Hall 5 Stand H21

Introducing a stunning new

Classic Winnie the Pooh collection for infants.

The Home of Classic Characters

ew 19 N for s n Desig 8 201

Come and see us at the Spring Fair 4th-8th February 2018 Stand 5H30-J31

By Intelex Group (UK) Ltd. The world’s leading manufacturer of microwavable soft toys & gifts 01933 679 777

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What’s New A selection of childrens gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Celebrating 15 Years

Classic Winnie-the-Pooh Rainbow Designs, the Home of Classic Characters, has brought to life Disney’s much loved and iconic characters in the beautifully-styled, Classic Winnie-the-Pooh Signature Hundred Acre Wood collection. The innovative collection celebrates the heritage of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in an array of beautiful nursery plush essentials including Ring Rattles, Comfort Blankets and Character Plush toys. Rainbow Designs Tel: 013290227300 Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand H21

Friends of Peter Rabbit Club will be celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2018. Each member of the Friends of Peter Rabbit Club will receive the Timmy Willie Symbol of Membership figurine free of charge when paying their £12 joining fee. All members of the Club will receive a free limited edition Anniversary mug and will also have the opportunity to purchase an exclusive members only figurine, not available to buy to members of the public and non-club members. Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email:

Marvelous Miffy The much-loved classic white bunny, Miffy, has an appeal that spans generations. Recently launched by Rainbow Designs, the Home of Classic Characters, the new Classic Miffy Collection features the adored icon and popular preschool character as a series of plush toys in a style that portrays simplicity and innocence. Rainbow Designs Tel: 013290227300 Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand H21

Pip Plush From Pusheen

Adorable Animals Tickle’s adorable animals are a such a huge hit with the kids that we have had to call in more of their friends to decorate these delightful melamine sets which are guaranteed to make tea time more fun. For more details, visit our website or give us a call. Soul Tel: 01235 537816 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand J14-K15

GUND is introducing Pusheen fans to the latest plush product in its hugely successful collection. For the first time, Pip – a popular secondary character on Pusheen’s blog and Facebook channel – is being brought to life in plush form. The Pip plush is suitable for children aged one year and over, is hand washable and comes with a lenticular hand tag. Pip plush retails with a SRP of £18 and will be a welcome addition to any Pusheen super-fan’s collection. Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email:

Raising Funds For GOSH Enesco is delighted to present the latest items in its Peter Rabbit range, with sales helping to raise vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH). New into the collection is the limited edition Peter Rabbit with Doctor’s Bag, and the Peter Rabbit Doctor’s Bag. For the sale of each Peter Rabbit with Doctor’s Bag plush, Enesco will donate £4.25 to GOSH Charity, and Penguin & Silvergate will donate £1.40. For the sale of each Peter Rabbit Doctor’s Bag, Enesco will donate £1.50 to GOSH Charity, and Penguin & Silvergate will donate £0.35. Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email: PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE D i s c ove r t h e n ew W re n d al e p e t c ol l e c ti on , d e s i g n e d i n Li n c ol n s h i re w i th l ove

SPRING FAIR HALL 3-3A STAND 3S18 i n fo @ w re n d al e d e s i gn s . c o. u k | 0 1 6 52 680253

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Face To Face: Portmeirion Group

To The

Back Future

2018 is going to be something of a major milestone year for Portmeirion Group in more ways than one. For one thing, there are going to be some very high profile activities centring on what would have been Portmeirion's founder Susan WilliamsEllis' 100th birthday this year. For another, 2018 marks the start of a four year strategy plan which will be kicking off at Birmingham's Spring Fair and Frankfurt's Ambiente in February, with exciting new trend-focused collections - to include a serious entry into home fragrancing - across all of the Group's brands. On a tour of the company's showroom in Stoke-on-Trent, Portmeirion Group's sales and marketing director Phil Atherton talked PG&H through the next 12 months.

hen pottery designer Susan WilliamsEllis founded Portmeirion getting close to 60 years ago, she couldn't have possibly envisaged, even in her wildest dreams, that the company would go on to become a premium global brand, with stockists stretching from the company's HQ in Stokeon-Trent to Europe, Russia, America, Latin America, South America, the Far East, the Middle East and beyond. Today, the company boasts four brands Portmeirion, Spode, Royal Worcester and Pimpernel - as well as licensed brands including Sophie Conran, Wrendale Designs and, most recently, Sara Miller London to name just a few. Home fragrance company Wax Lyrical was also acquired in 2016. "To honour Susan's memory, we have introduced a new mix and match tableware collection called Westerly," explains Phil Atherton, who joined Portmeirion Group five


Emotional Connection Interestingly, Phil Atherton first encountered Spode's Blue Italian when he was growing up, little realising that one day, the heritage brand would become a big part of his working life. "My grandparents used to collect it, so it holds very fond memories for me," he highlights. "My grandmother used to keep it in a special cupboard that was part of a dresser, and I always admired it. So working with the brand at Portmeirion has brought back a lot of fond memories!"

Above: Phil Atherton, Portmeirion Group sales and marketing director. Left: Portmeirion's new Westerly collection commemorates and honours Portmeirion's founder Susan Williams-Ellis. Below: Choices, which will be relaunched at Spring Fair.

years ago. "It's a very versatile collection that embodies the trend for relaxed, creative dining, following Susan’s flair for casual entertaining. Most importantly, it's manufactured here at our own factory in Stoke-on-Trent, which is a critical message for our stockists both in the UK and worldwide, and something that Susan would have been delighted about." As the Group looks forward to paying homage to Susan's design heritage, there is another frisson of excitement in the air as a four year growth strategy kicks off. It's centred on growing the business both in the UK and in international markets, with Spring Fair and Ambiente playing a critical part. "A big part of that is our increased presence at Ambiente where we will be re-branding our

stand as Portmeirion Home & Gift, something we did last year with our stores in Street and Bridgend," states Phil. "We will also be taking a much larger stand in a more prominent position in Hall 4, reinforcing our commitment to the trade, with the same being true for Wax Lyrical." In fact, home fragrancing products, manufactured at the Wax Lyrical factory in the Lake District, are set to play a big role in 2018, with candles and reed diffusers aimed at the gift market - introduced across

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Face To Face: Portmeirion Group

Designs Driven By Women For Women With Botanic Garden, designed by Susan Williams-Ellis in the early '70's, still one of Portmeirion's most popular designs worldwide, it's interesting to note that the company's current licensed ceramics designs continue to be driven by women: Sophie Conran, Hannah Dale, founder of Wrendale Designs, and Sara Miller, founder of Sara Miller London. Concurs Phil: "The latest research shows that women make up 85% of customers who purchase ceramics and giftware, so it's interesting to reflect that not only do we have three strong, internationally renowned designers on board, but in house, our head of UK design, and our head of global design are both women too. We do, of course, have many talented men in our design studio - one of whom has been with us since 1984 and was Susan’s apprentice!"

all of the Group's ceramic brands. "It was the main reason we decided to take a much bigger stand," confirms Phil, "as we need to be able to display and market these new collections to their best advantage." The Group, which has quality at its heart, has also invested in reinforcing what each of its brands stand for. Portmeirion, for example, is depicted as both living and enjoying the 'Portmeirion moment'. "It's about being a cool British brand - relaxed and young at heart, enjoying the good times together," points out Phil. Spode meanwhile, stands for heritage and indulgence, while Royal Worcester represents heritage and etiquette. "We have positioned the three brands in very different parts of the market allowing us to cover those that we want to be in," states Phil. "It makes it easy for our customers as well as their customers to understand."

Of course, stockists remain the most critical side of the business, with a big push this year to reinforce and strengthen support. This includes improved PoS, staff training, promotional campaigns and social media interaction and engagement, which includes the company's distributors and partners. There will also be a big commitment to independent stockists to drive footfall over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. "We want to encourage all sectors to incorporate social media into their marketing activities," underlines Phil. "There will therefore be a big social media campaign taking place, and we will also be encouraging 'viewers' to visit our stockists. Plus, there will, of course, be a very big focus on Susan William-Ellis' 100th

Above: Sara Miller London Portmeirion Christmas collection. Above right: The Blue Italian home fragrance collection. Right: The new Spode Maui collection.. Below right: The latest mug designs from Royal Worcester’s Wrendale Designs Portmeirion collection.

anniversary, to include specific customer activities, best window competitions and a communications strategy directed at driving traffic in store." But even that's not all. "We'll also be looking at giving a fresh, new feel to our showroom at our Stoke-on-Trent HQ," confirms Phil, "and there is also a potential collaboration with a premium fashion brand. However, although our traditional ceramic brands remain key to our growth, and are where we are centred, home fragrancing, gift and home will be more of a focus over the coming year, with our products becoming more giftable, and independent gift shops become ever more important to us both in the UK and on a global stage. In the shorter term, we will be bringing out a tight collection to celebrate the Royal Wedding in May, as well as melamine ranges to address dining outdoors this summer."

Brand New For 2018 With Spring Fair and Ambiente getting ready to open their doors, Portmeirion Group will be unveiling a wide array of new collections across all its brands - with some unexpected surprises! For example, Spode's Blue Italian has been re-imagined as Italian Cranberry, (a trend colour for 2018), while a Hawaiian island has influenced the exotic Spode Maui. Under the Pimpernel (placemats and coasters) brand, 10 affordably priced mugs have been launched with gifting in mind, while Botanic Garden Terrace, inspired by Susan Williams-Ellis' renowned Botanic Garden design, offers mugs and trays, as well as a melamine collection. Portmeirion's collection Choices will be re-launched at Spring Fair, with a particularly large bowl collection reflecting the trends in how and what people are currently eating. In licensed ranges, the Sara Miller London Portmeirion collection has cheeky geese and penguins at it heart for Christmas 2018, while the Sophie Conran for Portmeirion collection has been extended with pastel trend colours accenting the core design. At Wrendale Designs under the Royal Worcester brand, a giftable wooden chopping board has designer Hannah Dale's distinctive animal designs burned into the wood.

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Finalists & Shortlisted Following the final 'live' judging in mid January, the Gift of the Year 2018 winners will be revealed at an evening awards ceremony being held at the Vox on Sunday February 4, at the end of the first day of Spring Fair. The companies shortlisted in this year's competition were: SHIRLEY FROST AWARD FOR DESIGN & CRAFT l Kate Sproston Design l Created By The Ridleys l Paper Mirchi - FINALIST l Hello Day l Salveo - FINALIST l Oh So Cherished - FINALIST l ValB’s Wax Jewellery l Allister Malcolm Glass LICENSED PRODUCT l Lagoon - FINALIST l The Monster Factory l Nemesis Now - FINALIST l Paladone Products l Wow Stuff - FINALIST l Gibsons l Apples to Pears - FINALIST l Thumbs Up UK l Portmeirion Group l Enesco l Go Stationery l Fifty One Percent GARDEN & OUTDOOR l Belightful Design Oy l BlossomCo l Jonart Design l Apples to Pears - FINALIST l Fallen Fruits - FINALIST l Gift Republic l i4 d.o.o. l Burgon & Ball l Deco-Pak - FINALIST l Project Maya - FINALIST UNDER £10 l T & G Woodware l Bath House - FINALIST l Sock Academy l Dialectable l Gift Republic - FINALIST l Amber House l GbR Mikail Rosen und Thomas Rosen l The Somerset Toiletry Company - FINALIST l Blue Sky Studios l Two Little Boys l Paladone Products - FINALIST HOT NOVELTY l Burgon & Ball - FINALIST l Ginger Ray l Talking Tables - FINALIST l Widdop and Co. l Paladone Products l Root7 - FINALIST l Thumbs Up UK l Wow Stuff - FINALIST l Natural Products & Worldwide Co l Uberstar BATH, BODY & HOME FRAGRANCE l The Somerset Toiletry Company - FINALIST

l l l l l l l l l

BeautyPro - FINALIST Etta French St Eval Candle Company Heyland & Whittle - FINALIST Chase & Wonder Stoneglow Candles Fellowstead The Great British Bee Co - FINALIST Ashleigh & Burwood

GIFT FOOD l Bonieri l Bakedin l HomeBrewtique l Spice Kitchen - FINALIST l Kimm & Miller (UK) l Blue Rose Gifts & Balloons l Uberstar l The Big Cheese Making Kit - FINALIST l Ross & Ross Food - FINALIST l The Tipsy Tart FASHION ACCESSORY l Navigate - FINALIST l Shrieking Violet l Inspirational by Design T/A Dalaco l Hello Day l Widdop and Co. l Carrie Elspeth l Wrendale Designs - FINALIST l My Gifts Trade - FINALIST l So Cosy CHILDREN’S GIFTS l 7 Days To Go l Edge Ahead Educational Toys l Best Years l Widdop and Co. - FINALIST l Lagoon Trading Company l Ooly - FINALIST l Putanga Innovations l Emma Lawrence Designs - FINALIST l Treat Gifts l Bugglegum Stuff l Lefendarty l Best Years - FINALIST l Believe You Can Designs l From You to Me GREETINGS & STATIONERY COLLECTION l Peace and Blessings - FINALIST l Signature Gifts l Shelli Graham Illustration l Go Stationery - FINALIST l I Am A - FINALIST l Esme Winter l Laura Sherratt Designs l Bubblegum Stuff l Ezen Designs l I Drew This l Katie Leamon l Busy B l Two Little Boys - FINALIST

GENERAL GIFT Sheila Kerr Jewellery IF (that company called) - FINALIST Ginger Ray Leather Guild - FINALIST Sunny By Sue - FINALIST Sass & Belle by RJB Stone My Gifts Trade Cubic Signature Gifts - FINALIST Dunoon Creative Tops Venus Bears Enesco

l l l l l l l l l l l l l

CONTEMPORARY GIFT l Giggle Beaver - FINALIST l The DRH Collection l Root 7 l Bath House l Ohhh Deer l eatsleepdoodle l Burgon & Ball l Talking Tables l Bookspeed l LSA International l Gingko Electronics - FINALIST l Papertrophy l Leather Guild l The Great British Bee Co. - FINALIST l History & Heraldry - FINALIST FESTIVE & OCCASIONAL l The Art File l Talking Tables l D & J Glassware l MAD Beauty l Ross & Ross Food - FINALIST l Paladone Products l Roger La Borde - FINALIST l Ginger Ray - FINALIST l House of Marbles - FINALIST l Two Little Boys l Creative Products KITCHEN & DINING l Ian Snow - FINALIST l Parlane International l New Soda - FINALIST l Cubic l Thumbs Up UK l Root7 l The Little Dog Laughed l Natural Products & Worldwide Co. l Sue Ure Maison - FINALIST l Portmeirion Group UK - FINALIST l Gift Republic HOME l I Drew This - FINALIST l Gift Republic l Cubic l Dartington Crystal - FINALIST l Talking Tables - FINALIST l Martha’s Grandad l Wild & Wolf l Maps International l So Cosy - FINALIST l IF (that company called)

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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See more at: International Spring Fair Birmingham, 4th–8th February Hall 4, 4H80–J81


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See more at: International Spring Fair Birmingham, 4th–8th February Hall 4, 4H80–J81

© GUND 2018. © 2018 Pusheen; Pusheen® Distributed by Enesco. All Rights Reserved. © 2018 Enesco Limited.

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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Green Is The New Black Our newest story Green Dreamer introduces green, ‘the new black’, across solids and through prints. The totally tropical leaf print provides a splash of summer all year round alongside the shimmer and shine of silver metallic. This story has been designed to help us realise those fitness goals and green dreams, whether it be mindfulness, clean eating or staying active. Our new water bottle is perfect for on the go or a session in the gym. Covered in the abstract floral, it can be paired with the tropical leaf weekend bag that can work for the gym or the beach. Stationery has a high shine finish and silver metallic phrasing to keep you motivated and inspired. ‘Dream, plan, do’ with our newest must have multi-tab notebook that will help keep your thoughts and plans organised, focused and on track to meet those fitness goals. Caroline Gardner Tel: 0208 288 9696 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 8 Stand D06

It’s A Dog's Life After finding himself alone in an empty flat following a divorce, artist Rafael Mantesso filled the blank space in his home with cleverly positioned illustrations of his beloved English bull terrier, Jimmy. The drawings attracted the world's attention and luckily for Groovy UK, a partnership was born. The crazy but heart-warming imagery looks just as fun and funky on Groovy’s collection of bags, ceramics and homeware as it does on Rafael’s walls. Groovy UK Tel: +44 (0)116 239 1105 Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand J27

Brand New Groovy UK is enjoying a very exciting period having just signed brand new licenses to include Frida Kahlo, Jimmy The Bull and Mr. Men Frida, celebrated internationally for her unique style, mixing realism with fantasy. Beautiful print and patterns come together on a collection of bags, bathrobes, slippers, ceramics and homeware. The quirky art style and vibrant colours are key trends for this year as Mexican art has a well earned revival. Groovy UK Tel: +44 (0)116 239 1105 Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand J27

Visit The Dark Side Meet A New Superhero The newly introduced Prince T'Challa, Marvel's Black Panther character, first appeared in Captain America: Civil War, but now with his own film launch out this month, Groovy UK has designed a range especially for the new superhero, with an outfit robe in super soft fleece with extraordinary embroidery detail and matching slippers. Robe- RRP: £37, SlippersRRP: £12. Groovy has a wide selection of Marvel character products which include Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Spider-Man. Groovy UK Tel: +44 (0)116 239 1105 Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand J27

With the amazing success of the new Star Wars film The last Jedi, fans will love Groovy’s new addition to the dark side which includes the new Darth Vader sound chip range: a jumpsuit, bathrobe, slippers, Christmas stocking, Darth helmet mood light and Look-ALight. All come with a sinister Darth breathing sound effect! Also in the Star Wars range are the new Death Star 3D string lights and the Darth Vader super soft fleece blanket. Groovy UK Tel: +44 (0)116 239 1105 Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand J27




est: 2004

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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

New Look Figurines Gaeltag are bringing more You Are An Angel figurines to market - with a new look. The core range of 155mm figurines is being increased with four new sentiments aimed at friendship and family bringing the total to 16. In addition, the existing larger 175mm figurines are being increased to a total of five, featuring thoughtful wishes and celebrating key occasions. Range RRP’s start at under £20. For additional information contact: Lorena Golfetto. Gaeltag Keltika Tel: 020 8998 1781 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand DO1

Garden Accessories Mementoes For Life’s Milestones With seven new lines being added to the You Are An Angel figurines range this Spring, there is a design to cover any occasion, including the lovely 'Life is a journey and love is what makes the journey worthwhile' - perfect for gifting at special times including wedding anniversaries. All feature touching sentiments and are available in three sizes - 125mm, 155mm, and 175mm with price points starting at under £20. For additional information contact: Lorena Golfetto. Gaeltag Keltika Tel: 020 8998 1781 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand DO1

Inspired by the current trend for all things mystical, this exquisitely detailed Secret Garden collection from Joe Davies (Spring Fair, Hall 5, Stand D50/E51) is a really cute range of metal fairy garden accessories. The collection incorporates quirky fairy houses, fairy doors and wishing wells to name but a few. This cute collection is just one of many new and exciting ranges that will be on display on the Joe Davies Spring Fair stand. Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand D50/E51

Trendy LED Plaques All things LED continue to dominate the gift market and this modern, trendy Lumiere collection of framed LED plaques from Joe Davies (Spring Fair, Hall 5, Stand D50/E51) really does tick all the right boxes! Up-tothe-minute captions, meeting all the current trends for unicorns, llamas and even pineapples, ensures this funky collection really does have something for everyone. Alongside the Lumiere collection Joe Davies will be exhibiting over 2500 brand new gifts on their extensive Spring Fair stand. Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand D50/E51

Christmas Collections Portmeirion’s revered collaboration with Sara Miller London evolves with two enchanting new designs dedicated to Christmas – Penguin and Geese – as well as a beautiful collection, Celestial, for celebrations. A fabulous flamingo melamine collection for outdoor dining and additions to the much-loved Piccadilly Set also join the range. As you would expect from Sara Miller London Portmeirion, the gift packaging is divine. Portimeirion Tel: 01782 744721 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 9 Stand E20-F21

Commemorative Tableware As Portmeirion honour what would have been the 100th birthday of its founder, Susan Williams-Ellis, it launches Westerly - a mix and match tableware collection made in Portmeirion’s factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England. With stylised sketched designs in a selection of three playful colour palettes, this versatile collection embodies the trend for relaxed and creative mix and match dining. Portimeirion Tel: 01782 744721 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 9 Stand E20-F21 PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

In Black And White

Book About You Signature Gifts are excited to showcase their latest personalised book at Spring Fair. The Book About You is the ultimate personalised book, and is jam packed with fun facts and stats about one person in particular. That’s right, it’s all about you! Clever computer algorithms are used to take the recipient’s birthday and generate a compendium of astonishing facts and interesting trivia that all relate to the recipient. From news headlines and the number one single from the day you were born, to the total weight of food you have eaten in your lifetime, The Book About You will impress with the attention to detail it provides. The personalisation does not stop there however, as the book has room for the recipient’s name and a personalised message on the first page, as well as their name featuring on the very cover of the book in foil embossing. The Book About You is the standout gift for 2018 and is a fascinating, unique product that will be treasured by anyone that receives it. A definite eye catcher should you add it to your catalogue, with the added bonus of drop shipping. Signature Gifts Tel: 01582 464 809 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand D60-E61

With bold geometric shapes and a strong black and white palette, SIL’s new Aztec range will be adding a shade of exotic style to homes in 2018. The collection takes in fabrics, with rugs and cushions in starring roles, as well as wall art featuring beads and thread, wall hangings and decorative picture frames. They’ve even added these attractive and versatile designs onto desktop storage. Come and find out more at SIL’s stand at Spring Fair. SIL Tel: 01992 718033 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stands F10-G11 & Stand E10-F11

Introducing Kate Findlay Wraptious is excited to be at Spring Fair again this year with three new beautiful ranges, plus additions to our established ranges. Kate Findlay for example, is a textile artist and finalist in our 2017 competition, and we are proud to launch her stunning range of Spring hares and owls as cards and cushions. Thanks for continuing to support our artists and British manufacturing. See you at Spring Fair! Wraptious Tel: Phone: 0161 430 2310 Email: Spring Fair : Hall 3 Stand 3T10

Going Global SIL will be going global in 2018 with this striking series of world-map gifts and accessories. Based around a versatile black on neutral design, the travel-themed collection makes great use of blond wood and natural materials. Items include this charming memo board with string and pegs, a tea tray and photo frames. There’s also an oval clock that’s perfect for style-conscious travel lovers and a set of storage boxes that are ideal for mementos. SIL Tel: 01992 718033 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stands F10-G11 & Stand E10-F11

Fun & Funky Temerity Jones have already made a hit with their fun and funky light boxes inspired by retro signs including On Air, Applause and Exit, and now they’re back with more great 'tongue-in-chic' designs. There are signs for Café des Artistes and Tea Room, an exotic phrenology head and hand double-act, and a great play on the optician’s chart that’s bound to draw the eyes. Find them all at the Temerity Jones stand at Spring Fair. Temerity Jones Tel: 01992 807477 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand G40-H41 PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE



Hand made in the UK we are proud to offer our two new product groups. doubled in size for 2018. Hedgehog Haven – our sculptor has perfected the production of the Hedgehogs spines making it unique in the market and Cockapoo Club, the UK’s favourite dog, recreated in incredible detail with different positions and sizes. Both collections start at only £25 retail – visit our stand and see for yourself just how good they are. At the same time don’t forget our award winning Hares, Highland Cattle and much more.

Collect your new catalogue on our stand G52 in Hall 4 or contact us on 01666 577110, HE


Gifts that hit the right note

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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Pretty & Practical Walking stick specialists Classic Canes are launching these pretty yet practical canes at the Spring Fair (20K10-L11). The orthopaedic handles offer comfort and support to arthritis and rheumatism sufferers, allied to a pretty floral pattern so they can be a fashion accessory too. Classic Canes will exhibit its range of over 70 walking sticks, seat sticks and umbrellas at the Fair, ensuring there is a cane for every occasion. Classic Canes Tel +44 (0)1460 75686 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 20 Stand K10-L11

New, New, New

Miniatures Collection Expanded Frith Sculpture are expanding their new Minima collection for 2018. These miniature works of art were introduced only last year and have proved to be high sellers. The collection is being expanded at Spring Fair. All retail at only £25 and include hedgehogs, mice, frogs, birds, highland cattle, pups and hares, providing retailers with bronze finish sculpture at a low ‘pick up’ price. Ideal for presents at times like Easter and Mothers Day. Frith Sculpture Tel: 01666 577110 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand G52

Gifts for Men Christmas 2017 saw the fastest-selling gifts in 22 years. At this year’s Spring Fair, a great selection of new products looks set to sell even quicker. Among the new additions are some very cheeky ranges of socks, mugs and birthday cards. New images include fishing, golf, cycling, rugby and cricket. Who says men are hard to buy for? See both complete ranges on one unique stand at Spring Fair. The Music Gifts Company & Element Men’s Gifts Tel: 01202 57 00 57 Email: / / Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand A85

The importance of Spring Fair to Dartington is reflected every year with a host of new launches. For 2018 there are plenty of fresh ideas across gift, home accessories and tabletop. To cover every drinking taste, Dartington will be unveiling a comprehensive Home Bar selection of glass sets. As well as the exciting new crystal and glass elements for Dartington, the company's Hall 8 stand will also feature many new additions for its other brands: Caithness Glass, Royal Brierley Crystal and John Beswick ceramics. Dartington Tel: 01805 626226 Email: Spring Fair Summerhouse C11- C13

Colourful Patterns A set of three designs on both of Dunoon’s Cairngorm and Lomond shapes. These colourful patterns are made up of expressive colour themed watercolour dashes and are sure to be a favourite. Designed by Caroline Bessey and made in fine bone china in the heart of Staffordshire. Dunoon Tel: 01785 817414 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 9 Stand F18

Arabian Influence Following on from the success of Ishtar, Dubai and Sheikh, David Broadhurst has designed a fabulous, sumptuous range of three mugs on Dunoon’s popular Lomond shape. These continue the theme of Arabian influenced geometric patterns and are mainly in rich red colours enhanced with 22 carat metallic gold. Dunoon Tel: 01785 817414 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 9 Stand F18




All that

GLITTERS The worlds of fashion and interiors have had their sparkle filter set to maximum this season, so to welcome a little glitter in to your life, enter our new collection, perfectly on trend with an abundance of sequins, foils and a rose gold metallic croc. To view the full collection visit

Come to see us % 00 44 (0)20 8799 6333 • 1 Wadsworth Close London UB6 7JF


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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Got It Covered Intelex Group are excited to expand their popular range of Long Hot Water Bottles with swven new cover designs (cream fur, pink fur, grey fur, blue tartan, purple tartan, red spot and red Nordic print). Intelex Tel: 01933 679 777 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand H30-J31

Funky Tins Rachel Ellen Designs has launched 24 exciting new additions to its incredibly successful tin range. These include funky shaped tins, and even tins that feature the company’s trademark flitter! Another format sure to prove popular are zipped tins with a carry handle. The five designs feature themes such as hair accessories and nail polish – attractive, practical and unusual – the perfect gift. Rachel Ellen Tel: 0115 970 0321 Email Spring Fair: Hall 3 Stand R07

Royal Wedding The exclusive Royal Heritage collection consists of photographic products that show Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a loving pose. With Meghan showing off her diamond engagement ring to the world, Lesser & Pavey have captured this in the Royal Wedding collection by featuring a crystal in some of the range. It will be limited in numbers, so it is highly recommended that orders are placed early to avoid disappointment. Lesser & Pavey Tel: 01322 279225 Email Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand D10/E11

Feathered Friends Transomnia’s Feathered Friends range is brand new and already creating a bit of a stir. These fabulous real feather characters are simply wonderful: the ballerina bunnies, princess frogs and hot pink flamingos will not just liven up any display or shop window but will surely bring a smile to customers’ faces as well. Transomnia Tel: 01892 703660 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 7 Stand F04/G03

Feisty Feline

Retro-Themed Transomnia’s new range of retro-themed make-up bags make the perfect gift for the fun-loving girl. With bright 80's colours and pop-art designs, the humorous sentiments are brought to life in these bags that capture one of the hot new trends for Spring/Summer ‘18 Transomnia Tel: 01892 703660 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 7 Stand F04/G03

Puckator has had big success with their recent licensing ventures and they can’t wait to showcase their latest collaboration featuring Simon’s Cat. This spirited feline is featured on an array of products ranging from inspiring water bottles to attitude filled doormats. Boasting one of the most popular animated channels on youtube, this is definitely a range your customers are going to want to subscribe to. Puckator Tel. 0800 011 6969 Email. Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand C10-D11



PALM SPRINGS A modern, exotic resort, Palm Springs is where man-made meets nature – rows of groomed palm trees nestle alongside vibrant flora and fauna. The trend is for Palm Springs glamour, incorporating the ever popular flamingo with tropical leaves and flowers. To view the full collection visit

Come to see us G O S TAT I O NE RY • S T YLE D A ND M A DE IN LO NDO N % 00 44 (0)20 8799 6333 • 1 Wadsworth Close London UB6 7JF


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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

New Floral Jug Wrendale Designs is adding another flower jug to its best-selling tinware collection. The existing Harebells flower jug has been one of the most popular items in the range, so this is a welcome new addition. The flower jugs are printed with light fast inks allowing them to be displayed in the window without fading. The jugs are sold in multiples of six and retail at £20. Wrendale Designs Tel: 01652 680253 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3-3A Stand 3S18

A Flavour Of The Orient Katie Alice introduces a collection to awaken your table with oriental flowers and exotic colour. Eastern Flora ignites delicate and beautiful florals with bold accents and eye-catching contrasts. Turmeric yellow offers vibrant energy alongside emerald green, while cherry pink florals softly pop against turquoise. Delicate branches twist around mugs and climb over into the interior, while pretty scalloped plates see rich florals frame the design and paisley applied like henna. Creative Tops Tel: 01536207710 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 9 Stand G20-H21

It's A Peach Creative Tops is excited to launch new magical James and the Giant Peach tableware as part of their Roald Dahl collection. With sky blue and peach colours, James and the Giant Peach products feature original storybook illustrations of James’ enchanted adventure with his charming insect friends and their flying fruit home across three different styles of mug, a travel mug and a lap tray. Creative Tops Tel: 01536207710 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 9 Stand G20-H21

Wedding Stationery Debut Imagine is a collection of illustrative gifts beautifully decorated with a cold foil finish. With the new addition of wedding stationery, this is the perfect range to get you through the wedding season or help you plan the big day. For more details, visit our website or give us a call. Soul Tel: 01235 537816 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand J14-K15

Retro Style Keeping Bee-sy Ulster Weavers is back again at Spring Fair, Hall 9 stand 9C50-D51, showcasing all three brands including LoveOlli, Story Horse and, of course, our new kitchen textile ranges. These include the already popular, bright and vibrant Beekeeper design, and the stunning, ecologically sound Eden Project ranges. Ulster Weavers Tel: 028 90 329494/01782 987323 Email: sales Spring Fair: Hall 9 Stand C50/D51

At long last, a retro style biscuit tin just like the one our dear nan always had fully stocked. We are delighted with the artwork reproduction and quality of this tin. If you are in need of a biscuit tin where memories, wisdom, good chat and comfort are free to all who lift the lid and inhale deeply, then this could be your lucky day. Featuring an eclectic gathering of furry superstars who are all fully paid up members of the Little Dog Biscuit Club. The Little Dog Laughed Tel: 01332 290605 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3A Stand S10



Fiesta Studios Ltd Home/Gift/Garden Established 1996 Spring Fair 4-8 February 2018 Hall 4 Stand H70/J71 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Over 12,000+ lines to choose from No minimum order Carriage paid £250 (mainland UK) Little & often ordering system Drop ship service on most lines Excellent & friendly customer service

Fiesta Studios Ltd, Unit 11 Lopen Business Park, Mill Lane, Lopen, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5JS Tel: 01460 242464 Email:

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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Animal Instincts Whether they're barking mad about dogs, like to stomp around like elephants or roar with dinosaurs, kids want to be like their favourite animals. We have four wild generic designs and 92 personalised name designs for you to choose from. With these Animal Nose Cups kids will never turn their nose up at a drink again! Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955 595 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5, Stand A10/B11

Mum, You're A Star Brighten up mum's day with this gorgeous Starlight bottle. This particular sentiment will make a great gift for Mother’s Day, showing how much mum means to you this year. This is the perfect gift for a special mum with a touching sentiment on the front of the bottle and lovely star shaped LED's inside. Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955 595 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5, Stand A10/B11

For The Green Fingered

Bespoke Jute Bags Earthbags are eco friendly as they are made by jute plant fibres, selling since 1995 to 57 countries all over the world. Apart from own designs, we are also doing customised manufacturing for various brands and wholesalers in the UK, Europe and USA. Frequent new designs and down to earth prices. Come and meet Anurag Himatsingka at Spring Fair. Looking for sales agents and distributors now. Earthbags Tel: 91-9830021006 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand D78

Dog Wamers Award winning company Wrendale Designs is excited to introduce new additions to their popular pet collection. These beautiful dog coats are fleece lined and fully washable with a contrasting cord trim. In three different sizes, the coats are illustrated with different dog breeds, appropriate to the size of the coat. The coats are supplied in multiples of three. Wrendale Designs Tel: 01652 680253 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3-3A Stand 3S18

As part of it’s new gardening collection, award winning designer Wrendale Designs is delighted to introduce it’s new gardening journal. Packed with beautiful illustrations and lots of ideas and tips, it is structured to make planning and recording a year in the garden as easy and enjoyable as possible. This journal is sure to be a hit with green-fingered Wrendale fans. The journals are supplied in multiples of six. Wrendale Designs Tel: 01652 680253

Licensed Framed Prints Wrendale Designs is delighted to launch a collection of beautifully framed prints by illustrator Sally Swannell, a new licensed addition to the Wrendale's collection. In Sally’s distinctive palette of soft, muted colours, the prints are stylish and contemporary. The prints are available framed in a selection of styles and sizes. Wrendale Designs Tel: 01652 680253 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3-3A Stand 3S18



Fiesta Crafts Ltd - 121 Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey. EN9 1JH




Pocket money price


Book-style games

Glue-free sticky pieces

Great for travel

Tel: 020 8804 0563 -

See us at the shows:

Toy Fair, D2 | Spring Fair, 5M57 | Nuremburg, 1-B09 toyfair ads.indd 10 148_GH_February 2018.indd 1

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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Striking New Subjects

Bright And Beautiful

For Spring Fair, Matt Buckley has sculpted three new pieces which we hope will strike a chord with our stand visitors, and will also continue to strengthen the existing portfolio with exciting, key subjects that are both suitably contemporary and, from a gallery or shop front perspective, bold and striking. We will have our complete range of pieces on display, alongside a new panther/leopard bust, a classic medieval dragon and an elephant bust. Hope to see you there. Edge Sculpture Tel: 01952 884804 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 1 Stand H20

Spring Fair sees the launch of a new range of flat wraps, gift bags and tissue paper from the best-selling Think of Me licensed range which is now into its second year at Glick. The titles include Have the Happiest of Days and Make a Wish. It is a happy, jolly range guaranteed to brighten up any gift wrapping range. The beautiful foiling, multi-coloured handles and vibrant colours give this range that extra zing that’s perfect for the Spring Summer Season. Glick Tel: +44 (0) 1274 655980 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3 Stand R08

RSPCA Collaboration To mark the occasion of their 20th anniversary, the Little Dog Laughed are excited to announce their collaboration with the RSPCA. The animal charity with receive 10% on the wholesale price from all sales of card and gifts from their brand new, It's A Good Sign collection. Creative director Anna Danielle said, "It's exciting to see how much we can raise for this hard working charity and we have high hopes for this collection." Little Dog Laughed Tel: 01332 290605 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3A Stand S10

Best Sellers For 2018 The latest ranges for 2018 are available now. We have extended some of our most popular ranges in Give Love Always plaques, baby gifts, angel pins and our branded character Adorabelle. For 2018 we have new jewellery, keyrings, mirrors and Angel Wings plaques, with inspirational verses available in 12 different designs. The Angel Wings plaques are set to be our biggest seller for 2018. Willow Greetings Tel: 0131 665 6677 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand C31

Unique Unicorns Who doesn’t love a unicorn at the moment? Following the success of the tlat wrap launch in late 2017, a range of bags, tissue and rollwrap have been added to the unicorn range from the very successful Paper Salad license. Neon brights and copper foil give this quirky unicorn a luxury finish. The nicorn is in great company at the Spring Fair launch, with our other launch being a beautiful hummingbird design in Paper Salad’s signature neon colours Glick Tel: +44 (0) 1274 655980 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3 Stand R08

Add A Touch Of Pizazz Nigel Quiney’s beautiful, award winning range Pizazz is currently celebrating over 10 successful years. The range is constantly developing, with regular injections of new designs, and is built on stunning floral watercolour artwork enhanced with flitter. Pizazz continues to exceed our expectations with many of the original designs still among the top performers, and all this at a great value price £1.75. A stylish collection with a touch of Pizazz!! Nigel Quiney Publications Tel: 01799 520200 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3, stand L10/M11 (Cardgains Stand) PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Explore The World Fiesta Studios is adventuring into a new range of decorative globes for Spring/Summer 2018. This stunning new collection will enhance any home or office, and comes in a variety of sizes and colours. The designer bases are made using natural solid woods of walnut, mango and sheesham, along with luxury granite and marble. Fiesta Studios Tel: 01460 242464 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand H70/J71

Inspired By The Natural World Nikki Strange creates beautiful paintings that are at once contemporary and unique. From fruity botanicals to cloudy celestial skies, Nikki is always looking to the natural world for inspiration and colour palettes. The A5 notebook features an ethereal cloudy star design, embellished with gold foiled stars, alongside other formats such as more A5 notebook designs, a weekly planner and a new reminder pad. Go Stationery Tel: 0208 799 6333 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3 Stand L20-M21

Opulent Opium Lavish gold foiling, combined with heady, exotic, and opulent imagery – Opium range shows our successful collaboration with one of Woodmansterne’s best-selling card ranges. This year’s prints include three new designs in Cheetah, Kingfisher and Toucan. Their exceptional foiled covers make them that perfect gift. Go Stationery Tel: 0208 799 6333 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3 Stand L20-M21

Keeping It Natural Natural Kraft paper is the stationery covering of the moment. It has a lovely natural texture and is brilliantly hard wearing too. The covers of this A5 diary and planner are made from super thick Kraft with rounded corners and spiral binding. Pops of colour are provided by blue tabbed dividers while an elastic closer keeps everything neat and tidy. Go Stationery Tel: 0208 799 6333 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3 Stand L20-M21

Mix And Match Jurassic Park Versus The Fairy Kingdom Exciting new designs are coming to the Pomme Pidou collection of money boxes: Tito the new T-rex, Annabel the Unicorn and Daisy the Pug. Annabel will also be available in the smaller PetitPidou size. The current collection of fun and funky animal money boxes include cats, dogs, elephants, giraffes, squirrels, hedgehogs, frogs, chickens, cows, pigs, bears and the ever popular Zorc the dinosaur, is back by popular demand! Fiesta Studios Tel: 01460 242464 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 4 Stand H70/J71



Colourblock is a beautifully crafted stationery range featuring the highest quality materials and finishes in a carefully curated colour palette, designed to endlessly mix and match for a coordinated, fashion forward look. The A5 notebook gives you an intense burst of colour with soft touch laminated covers with an extra matt finish. The front and back lining pages are printed to match the cover, and the look is completed with page edges in the same colour too. Go Stationery Tel: 0208 799 6333 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 3 Stand L20-M21

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What’s New A selection of new gift products launching at Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 4-8 February 2018

Bathing Beauty Treats In addition to Mad Beauty’s great range of licensed cosmetic products, the company will be releasing a number of new bath, body, toiletry and cosmetic items in new artworks, including Llama Queen, Happy Hour, In Bloom and many other concept releases for later in the season. Mad Beauty Tel: + 44 (0) 208 958 0555 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand Q01

Limited Edition Wall Art We are delighted to present a new range of limited edition wall art inspired by our original collection of Edge Sculptures. Each canvas is a numbered, limited edition of only 200 pieces, individually hand signed by Matt Buckley and supplied with a Certificate of Authenticity. Produced using a high quality canvas on a handcrafted 4cm wooden frame, the end result will give any home that true gallery effect and is the perfect accompaniment to our sculptures. Hope to see you there. Edge Sculpture Tel: 01952 884804 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 1 Stand H20

Unique Fashion Accessories At Ladycrow we have been creating fabulous scarves and delightful pewter jewellery since 2004. Focusing on using only the finest of silks, tweeds and cottons from both home and abroad we create scarves in a wide array of colours and designs for the discerning giftware buyer. Our unique pewter jewellery collection continues to be enormously popular and teams beautifully with our range of scarves, all of which can be supplied in our distinctive branded gift boxes. Ladycrow Scotland Tel: 01356 630222 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand K01

Make Travel Fun Again

Licensed Ranges To Expand 2017 was a fantastic year for Mad Beauty’s licensed programmes featuring a wealth of new products in their Never Too Old ranges from Disney and Kellogg’s with additional launches from Slush Puppie and Jelly Belly. In 2018, Mad will be growing all licensed ranges and introducing several new concepts, as well as announcing another major license under this category. Launching this show are more Jelly Belly hand sanitizers. The company is also expanding the range of masks featuring Disney Princesses including face, eye, hair and foot masks. Mad Beauty Tel: + 44 (0) 208 958 0555 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 6 Stand Q01

Travel games are now even better thanks to these new Stickabouts games from Fiesta Crafts. Available in Solitaire, Chinese Chequers, 4 in a Row, Draughts, and Tic Tac Toe, this series of mini, travel sized pocket games are perfect for all types of journeys. Like all our Stickabouts, the game pieces are glue-free stickers that leave no residue, can be reused, and stick straight on to the board, making lost pieces a thing of the past. We design and test our toys to the stringent toy safety standards and take great care to manufacture our products in factories that employ good working practices. For more information on the Fiesta Crafts range contact: Fiesta Crafts Tel: 020 8804 0563 Email: Spring Fair: Hall 5 Stand M57



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A Rollercoaster Christmas

Above: Lesley Dunne. Below: Shop manager Lisa Dean gets into the festive spirit.

As with gifts, Christmas comes in all shapes and sizes, and this year, for Lesley Dunne at Feathering Your Nest, is seems that it was rather oddly shaped. "How was Christmas for you? It's what all the reps and agents will be asking me at Spring Fair, but how do I answer this year? It was an odd one that’s for sure! Some days we were happily rushed off our feet, with customers coming at us thick and fast. On other days, everything moved at a far slower pace. Like most gift retailers, I do some of my Christmas buying in February at Spring Fair, but it's at Home & Gift in Harrogate where I set to work. Autumn Fair is for filling the gaps; various open week visits to valued suppliers helps build the golden quarter. I used to buy a lot more Christmas decorations but find that the garden and DIY centres now offer their customers too many incentives, so I choose one overall theme and hope my customers love it too. This year I was inspired by Shruti Designs and Junction 18’s Moroccan offering featuring lots of beautiful rich jewel colours, with Elves on The Shelf wrapped around various products making the children laugh! In the run up to Christmas, we launched our traditional soiree evening in mid-October which is always well attended. We had it and we sold it! In fact, October is usually the 'just looking' month so I never expect sales to be too high. This year though, was quite a nice surprise and, I thought, a good sign of things to come. How wrong I was! In November, when Santa makes his appearance, sales were OK. We beat the previous year and that was OK; not great, but OK. By early December, we were having some great days, with customers throwing themselves at the counter like lemmings. But often, these were followed by not so good days, where it was clear that Christmas just hadn’t got going. I took a

quick nip up the high street and it was freezing. There were empty pavements and empty shops. I made a couple of calls and it seems it wasn’t just us. Then came the snow on December 10! As Essex woke up to a white Christmassy scene, for me as a retailer, it wasn't a welcome sight. The Guardian reported high street sales were hit by a 21% fall. Roads and pavements were

treacherous which kept customers at home. Footfall for the country fell by 10% that weekend, doubtless boosting online sales. What we also noticed was that customers were watching their pennies and spending cautiously. Everyone is feeling the pinch and worried about the uncertain effects Brexit will have on their purses. Also, chatting with customers while I giftwraped, as always, I asked: ”how’s the Christmas shopping going? Are you winning?” Year on year people come back with, “did some

online but also like to pick up a few different bits and bobs.” This year, the majority came back with: ”I did most of it online!” Customers are looking for bargains, which kicks in in earnest on Black Friday and lasts for six weeks. The online competition is so very much greater than in 1994 when Amazon first appeared selling books and we were all very wary! Plus, on my annual shopping trip to Lakeside in mid-December to shop for our teenager, every shop had huge red sale banners, some with up to 60% off. Back in the day, if a shop had a sale before Christmas, it was seen as a sign that things were not good. Now it’s the norm, but sadly, these big players are taking it away from we independents but eating into their own margins. They have made Christmas into a bargain basement. I wonder where it will lead to for us smaller retailers as we cannot compete by making these cuts in our margins. However, I did make a few, small unscheduled reductions early December as it seems the norm and what customers expect. So where did we finish up? Our free gift wrapping service and on hand, super friendly staff come into their own when the men come out to shop! It didn’t save the day though - we were very fractionally under last year’s figure. However, in 2016 we had an astounding golden quarter and year, so it was a huge mountain to climb. Lessons learned are that we will be going back online. We did it about eight years ago and found it wasn't worth the effort. However, Mr D needs something to keep him busy during his retirement! We'll keep an eye on those orders, little and often. Lastly, we'll keep doing what we're doing and do it even better. Great customer service will always give you an edge. We'll also be getting some sale items out during last the quarter, as a token. And we'll be praying for no snow!" PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


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Best Sellers Progressive Gifts & Home asked a selection of retailers about the products which have been flying off their shelves this month. Karen Ebers, owner, Something Special, Edenbridge A large gift shop on a high street CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

East of India: home and gift accessories

Not a day goes by where we don't sell either porcelain coasters or stars, guardian angels, butterflies or hanging hearts. A broad range that has something for everyone.

Churchill China: mugs

Fragranced Giftware

Heart & Home: scented votives; Nigel Quiney: scented candle tins

A popular, affordable gift that's generally combined with a votive holder. Competitively priced and new to the market at Christmas.


Frank Ross: paua shell; Little Box earrings; Joe Davies: Equilibrium

Nicely boxed giving added value as a gift purchase.

Katie Loxton: Perfect Pouches; Jewelcity: scarves

An on trend, 'must have' product. Supplied with individual gift bags.

Greeting Cards

Is It Art: charity cello packs

The retailer chooses a local charity to benefit from the proceeds.



Is there a better supplier in this field? I don't think so!

Other Hot Hits

Widdop And Co: pens;

Our best sellers are Harvey Makin touch pens at the lower price, and Stratton pens at the higher price.

Fashion Accessories

The sentiment range does especially well for us.

A vast range at unbelievable prices.

Julianne Moore, owner, MiMi (hw), Hartley Wintney A large gift shop on a high street CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

Heaven Sends: Christmas decorations; Coach House and Parlane

These outsold other brands two to one. The lanterns performed really well, appearing in our top 10 every week throughout November and December.

Home Fragrancing

Illumens: across the board;

This was our top seller in fragranced gifts. The ranges appeared in our top 5 throughout December and hit the top spot in October and November.

Bath House: gin and prosecco


Joma: carded bracelets

We also did well with Joma's Olia and Star necklaces.

Fashion Accessories

Kris Ana: reversible tote bags; Miss Shorthair: scarves

These proved very popular for gifts, with customers treating themselves as well. As always, there was a wide choice of styles and designs.

Greeting Cards


The Ling charity Christmas cards saw increased sales.



We also saw increased sales with our wrap from Artebene.

Other Hot Hits

Adini: across the board

The ranges sold out days after hitting the floor.



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Aga Gabrysiak, co-owner, Highworth Emporium, Highworth A large market town gift shop on a high street CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

Wrendale Designs: mugs and tins;

Wrendale Designs own and licensed products did extremely well for us over Christmas. Tree decorations were among our best sellers, along with ornaments and fun items such as Christmas sunglasses in Christmas pudding and Christmas tree shapes.

Gisela Graham: across the board

Fragranced Giftware

History & Heraldry: Heart & Home; Scentiment UK: Light Up Your Life candles

All Christmas gift sets and winter accessories sold really well. They were nicely packaged and sensibly priced. These candles, made in the UK, were a great seller over Christmas. They have a personal message for mum, friend, sister etc.


Joe Davies: Equilibrium; D&X London: across the board

The Christmas boxed brooches and necklaces worked particularly well. Great fashion jewellery that's affordably priced, unique, and popular all year round.

Fashion Accessories

Radford Accessories: across the board

We had fantastic sales of winter scarves, hats and gloves, especially blanket scarves.

Greeting Cards

Nigel Quiney

Pizazz has proved to be a very strong range.



A popular seller all year round with a great choice of rollwrap, bags, bows, tags and wrapping accessories.

Other Hot Hits

House of Marbles: children's

The company offered a very good selection of stocking fillers and Christmas games. Big items sold extremely well over Christmas to include unicorns, Pom Pom and Odette the Ostrich.

Jellycat: large plush

Thelma Drabick, owner, Melbury Gallery, Dorchester and Sherborne Large gift shops on the high street CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

Arty Farty: mugs;

Beautifully made ceramics that are very tactile. The collection features glassware in gorgeous colours.

Jo Downs: fused glassware

Fragranced Giftware

Heaven Scent: candles; Ashleigh & Burwood: The Scented Home reed diffusers

Plant wax candles made with essentials oils. Moroccan Spice and Bluebell Wood are among our best sellers.


Suzie Blue: contemporary; Siren Silver: sterling silver

Big, colourful statement jewellery that attracts the eye. Gemstones in beautiful settings.

Fashion Accessories

Kapre: scarves; 100 Stars: across the board

Mostly wool scarves from India. I sell loads every year. Everything flies out of the shop.

Greeting Cards

Heather Martin

Fun, sparkly cards which our customers love.


Global Enterprise

This is probably the best range we do. The colours are exquisite and we sell both wrap and bags.

Other Hot Hits

Mama B: tops and tunics

You put a top on and want to hug yourself! Customers always buy two!



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Best Sellers

What better testimonial for products than those of your fellow retailers. Here's all the information you need to get in touch and start stocking!

PARLANE T: 01451 812700 E: W:

WRENDALE T: 01652 680253 E: W:

NIGEL QUNIEY T: 01799 520200 E: W:

HEART & HOME T: 01709 730700 E: W:

JOE DAVIES T: 0161 975 6300 E: W:

NIGEL QUNIEY T: 01799 520200 E: W:

BATH HOUSE T: 015396 21992 E:

GLICK T: +44 (0) 1274 655980 E: W:

ASHLEIGH & BURWOOD T: 01932 267060 E: W: Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


158_New Grid 15/01/2018 11:40 Page 2


Sue Brayshaw

Below: Retailers will soon be trawling the aisles at Spring Fair.

Gift agent Sue Brayshaw represents quality gift and stationery ranges, as well as children’s and nursery brands, covering Northumberland, the North East, Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire areas. Here she takes a look back at the run-up to Christmas, as well as giving her predictions for the Spring seasons.

"Cash was clearly not being splashed about in 2017," states Sue. "Price points representing value for money were very important, and suppliers who implemented large price raises as a result of a fall in the £pound suffered the most. Retailers are still feeling the pinch, with high street rent and rate rises continuing to make things more difficult for independents to thrive. In the run up to Christmas, my customers were initially cautious with their buying and stock levels, much more so than the previous year. However, those who embraced innovative new ranges and proven selling lines enjoyed strong sales, particularly

where they found creative ways to present and promote products." As for the first quarter of 2018, Sue says that she has seen forward buying decline for gifts over the past couple of years in terms of the Spring seasons. "One main reason is that the suppliers are so much more efficient in ensuring


Rob Sapwell Rob Sapwell, head of the gift sector at Spring Fair, has worked on the show for eight years, having previously started his career in print media, subsequently joining a corporate online recruitment media company. "Spring Fair is the longest I have ever worked for one company. I love the brand as well as the trade," he enthuses. Three words that best describe you? "Kind, thoughtful, loud." Is there a quirky fact we don't know about you? "Apparently 'Sharon’ from EastEnders babysat me a couple of times when I was young. She was friends with my cousin and it was before she made it ‘big’ in showbiz." What was your first job? "A paperround. I had four of them.” What was the best piece of business advice you've ever received? “People buy from people.” What business advice would you give to someone else today? "Nothing beats 158

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

old fashioned hard graft. Work hard and you will be rewarded. Simple." What are you currently reading? "I only really read non-fiction. I’m currently reading Tom Petty’s autobiography (for the third time) by Warren Zanes."

stock is available and in good quantities. Therefore there is less urgency for retailers to have to start looking so early. Also, many retailers use January to have their sales and to clear out old stock. It means that they are not interested in taking in any more until they have Christmas out of the way, and have completed their annual stock checks. Many also have large bills to pay in early January due to last minute re-stocking. In addition, retailers are increasingly closing up for a couple of weeks to take a break early in the new year." Looking ahead to the next few weeks, Sue points to January always being an exciting month. "I know what new ranges and products are being launched by my principals, so I can look further ahead than my customers can at this time. Plus, with six UK trade shows in January, followed by Spring Fair at the beginning of February, the mood is always optimistic, with the first quarter of the year extremely positive." Adds Sue: "Following good Christmas sales, and after cautious buying in the final quarter of 2017, retailers need to restock and will be looking for innovative new products to fill their shops."

What's your favourite film? "Goodfella’s." What are your favourite TV programmes? "Narco’s, Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, which was the best TV show ever in my opinion." Where's your favourite place to go on holiday? "Ko Samui in Thailand or Los Angeles." What time do you get up and how do you start your day? "I set the alarm for 6.10am and take my son to nursery for 7.30am. I’m in the office for 8.55am." What time do you go to bed, and how do you end your day? "10pm on a school night, usually after watching something on Netflix/Sky Atlantic/Sky Arts or BBC Four." How do you like to relax? "Spending time with my two young kids. I have a four year old son and a 10 month old daughter." Which one item would you take to a desert island? "My iPhone - no contest!" Left: Ko Samui is one of Rob's favourite holiday destinations.

IBC_GH_February 2018_Layout 1 17/01/2018 10:34 Page 159



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Modern Etched equilibrium


4- 8 FEB 2018 NEC Birmingham Hall 5 Stand D50-E51

Joe Davies will introduce over 500 new Equilibrium® lines for Spring & Summer at Spring Fair. Everything is available in our trademark ‘Little & Often’ quantities with minimum orders of just £100.

Equilibrium® the UK’s Hottest Jewellery Range Tel: 0161 975 6300 Fax: 0161 975 6301 Email: f: joedaviesgiftware

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Progressive Gifts & Home - February 2018  
Progressive Gifts & Home - February 2018