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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 Subscribe to Progressive Gifts from £60 (UK) to £90 (International). You can organise this quickly and easily online at our secure site: For assistance, please email maxsubscriptions@marketingreinforcem or call 0207 700 6740.

This Month


What an exciting time we’ve had here at the Progressive Gifts & Home offices these past few weeks! The Greats Gift Retailer Awards 2019 have, of course, been the star in the firmament, a joyous explosion of passion and professionalism, as gift retailers and gift departments up and down the country poured out their hearts in their ‘joy to read’ entries, telling us why their shop’s name should be on a Greats trophy this May. Incredibly, the standard gets higher every year, despite such an increasingly tough retail sector and so many external factors that constantly rock the boat. We therefore heartily applaud the fabulous gift shops who made it through to this year’s final. If you haven’t caught up with who these exceptional finalists are, then we invite you to meet them on pages 6 and 7. As if all that excitement wasn’t enough for one issue, we have also been fascinated by the findings of the latest annual PG&H Retail Barometer, a micro analysis of how independent gift retail was in the previous year. While other retail analysis looks at the bigger retail picture, we put independent gift retail under the microscope. How did retailers fare in 2018? Turn to Bucking The Trend on pages 24-27. The results may surprise you! Elsewhere in this issue, we look at why Made in Britain is continuing to go from strength to strength (see Britain Rules, OK on pages 45-49), shine a spotlight on social stationery in the run up to the Stationery Show London and National Stationery Week (turn to Taking Note on pages 31-35) and take a look at gifts for the green fingered (see pages 70-71). Plus, with Father’s Day homing into view on June 16, we take the hard work out of finding gifts for men that go beyond the prosaic (turn to Manning Up on pages 59-63). Additionally, we meet the delightful Bake Off judge Prue Leith to hear about her latest venture into licensing (see Sunshine On Leith on page 29). And even that’s not all. If you want to see into the future of retail, you’ll get a glimpse of where it’s heading by reading Talking Heads on pages 39-41. PG&H was in the front row at last month’s powerful Retail Week Live conference, where over 150 top level retailers discussed the new technology revolution that’s taking place. It makes for a fascinating read, so be sure to get a head start on the new retail era that’s unfolding. It’s quite an issue, and we hope you enjoy turning the pages. Happy reading! Above: Bake Off’s Prue Leith tells Sue about her latest business venture in the world of licensing. Turn to page 29. Above left: Cheers! Sue met up with gift retailers Maxine and Robert Towl of Lokaroma in Launceston at the Joe Davies centenary party. See page 15.

Cover: The Urban Botanics range by Stoneglow Candles.

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: Copyright 2019. 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.



Greats A4 Ticket Booking advert 2019.qxp_Layout 1 01/04/2019 12:52 Page 1

The ONLY awards that celebrate gift retailing in the uk TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE lunchtime Wednesday May 15th 2019 the grosvenor house ballroom, park lane, london I would like to book………………place(s) at £168 per place + VAT 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 Max Publishing Debit my Visa/Mastercard (please delete as necessary) Card No.........................................................................................................Expiry date............................ Start date................................ Security code...........................................

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Inside 6-7

The Greats 2019




24-27 Retail Barometer 2018 BUCKING THE TREND Jakki Brown Editor in Chief


Face To Face: Prue Leith SUNSHINE ON LEITH

31-35 Spotlight On... Stationery TAKING NOTE

56-57 In Profile: Lesser & Pavey INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

39-41 Industry Issue: Retail Week Live TALKING HEADS Sue Marks Editor

59-63 Spotlight On... Men’s Gifts MANNING UP 69


70-71 Spotlight On... Gifts For Gardeners GIFTS FOR THE GREEN FINGERED


Ian Hyder Publishing Director



Angie Bryant Advertisement Manager

A Global Perspective: Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair A FOCUS ON WELLNESS

45-49 Spotlight On... Made In Britain BRITAIN RULES, OK 55

A Global Perspective: Ambiente 2019 A FLAVOUR OF INDIA 75

A Global Perspective: Christmasworld, Frankfurt ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE


A Global Perspective: Showcase Ireland, Dublin EXPORT IRELAND


86-87 Best Sellers 90

Behind The Counter: Jayde Seren, Brocante, St. Ives




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The Greats 2019 Finalists

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GREATS 2019 FINALISTS After a nail-biting few months, The Greats 2019 finalists have at last been confirmed, revealing the passionate gift retailers and gift departments who really get behind their shops, their products, their displays, their websites, their marketing, their social media, their communities and their local charities. The winners will be announced at a glittering event on Wednesday Mary 15 – themed Take A Walk On The Wild Side - held in the Ballroom of the Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane and we’d love to you be there. Turn to page 9 to find out how you can be a part of the most spectacular date on the industry’s calendar. (All finalists are listed in alphabetical order)

Independent Gift Retailer Of The Year Midlands & Wales

Retail Employee Of The Year 2019

l l l l l l

l Mark Alexander, retail manager, National Memorial

Arboretum, Alrewas Louise Franco, shop manager, The Present, Barnet Marion Johnstone, sales assistant, Spirito, Glasgow Linda Tandy, manager, Joco Interiors, Nuneaton Marjory Wilson, head of customer services/store manager, Between The Lines, Farnham l Beverly Yates, shop manager, Maddisons, Harborne l l l l

Independent Gift Retailer Of The Year London (Inside M25) l l l l l

Caxton, Temple Fortune Giftbox, Uxbridge Lily King, Willesden Green MAP Gift Shop, Holloway The Present, Barnet

Independent Gift Retailer Of The Year Home Counties, South & South East l l l l l l

Arrowsmiths, Broadstairs Bert’s Homestore, Brighton and Hove Etcetera, Hitchin No 14, Ampthill Papillon Living, Brighton Threads Gift Shop, Harpenden

Independent Gift Retailer Of The Year East Anglia l l l l l l 6

Cloudnine Gift Shop, Market Deeping Daisy Lanes, Rayleigh EmZo, Bacton Little Boat Gifts, Brightlingsea Loft & Spires, Bury St Edmunds Myriad & Mundfords, Mundford

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

Bentleys, Stourport, and Maddison, Harborne The Celtic Company, Welshpool Chi Chi Gifts & Interiors, Lickey Joco Interiors, Nuneaton Mooch Gifts and Home, Bewdley and Stourport Nest, Stoneygate

Independent Gift Retailer Of The Year North & Northern Ireland l l l l l l

The Bottom Drawer, Portadown Hand Picked by Henrietta, Chapel-En-Le-Frith and Poynton The Lion Gallery, Penrith Pure Inspiration, Ramsey Williams of Audlem, Audlem Within Reason, Sheffield

Independent Gift Retailer Of The Year South West l l l l l l

Brocante, Fowey, Mevagissey and St Ives Daisy Park, South Molton Jo Amor, Tiverton Number 36, Penzance Paprika, Bath and Chippenham Soukous, Bristol

Independent Gift Retailer Of The Year Scotland l l l l l l

Baxter’s of Stranraer and Gallery 34, Stanraer The Lion’s Paw, Renfrewshire Orsay, Oban Papyrus, Glasgow Ruby Red, Milngavie Spirito, Glasgow

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The Greats 2019 Finalists

Best Newcomer - South & Wales

Best Garden Centre Retailer Of Gifts

l l l l l l

l l l l l l

Barefoot Living, Burnham Market Highworth Emporium, Highworth Huus, Halesworth Josies Interiors, Bideford Maybugs Gifts and Home, Hailsham Sunshine And Snow, Bideford

Bents Garden & Home, Glazebury Burford Garden Centre, Burford Garsons, Esher and Titchfield Longacres, Bagshot The Otter Nursery, Ottery St Mary Woodcote Green, Wallington

Best Newcomer - Midlands, North & Scotland

Best Museum Or Visitor Attraction Gift Shop

l l l l l l

l l l l l l

The Hummingbird at Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Kemps General Store, Malton Kimora Fashion & Lifestyle, Barrowford Magenta Trends, Annesley Woodhouse Mooch on St Giles Street and Mooch, Bell, Northampton Walter and May, York

Best Specialist Multiple Gift Retailer (4 Or More Shops) l l l l l l

Between The Lines House of Cards The Lemon Tree Menkind National Trust Vinegar Hill

Blenheim Palace, Blenheim Imperial War Museum, London and Manchester National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas Sledmere House Gift Shop, Sledmere Royal Opera House, London V&A, London

Best In-Store Or Window Display l l l l l l

Brit Maison, Cockfosters Chi Chi Interiors, Lickey Highworth Emporium, Highworth Lulu Loves, Stubbington Pure Inspiration, Ramsey Soukous, Bristol

Best Online Or Mail Order Gift Retailer Best Department Store Retailer Of Gifts l l l l l

Daniels of Windsor Fenwick Group, Newcastle John Lewis (51 stores) One Forty, Cranleigh Selfridges, Oxford Street, Birmingham and Manchester

l l l l l l

Firebox JD Williams Oliver Bonas The Present Finder Prezzybox ZSL

Best Non-Specialist Retailer Of Gifts

Best Retailer Initiative

l l l l l l

Feathering Your Nest, Rayleigh - For its Angels Wings window/initiative Hand Picked By Henrietta, Chapel En Frith and Poynton For its Henrietta Selfie Saturday promotion Josies Interiors, Bideford - For its Happy Home Makers Loyalty Club promotion Oliver Bonas - For its collaboration with UK Youth Mooch Gifts and Home, Bewdley - For spearheading a 2 hour parking initiative campaign and a Festive Trail Swagger, Chipping Sodbury - For its Swag Bag initiative

The Baobab, Reading Gower Gallery, Mumbles Hartley Coffee House and Farm Shop, Cranbrook House UK (7 shops) Oliver Bonas (85 shops) Papilio at Heritage, Thornbury

Best Lifestyle And Homewares Retailer Of Gifts l l l l l l

The Emporium Interiors, Clitheroe House & Garden at Snape Maltings, Snape Love Thy Interiors, Thirsk (2 shops) The Java Store, Norwich Orange Tree, Topsham Treehouse, Aberdeenshire (3 shops)

Best Gift Retailer Of Jewellery & Fashion Accessories l l l l l l

Bijouled, Harrogate Melbury Gallery, Sherborne and Dorchester MiMi (hw), Hartley Wintney The Nancy Smillie Shop, Glasgow The Silver Shop, Bath Uno, Mumbles

Best Service To The Independent Gift Retailer l l l l l l l l l l

Ashleigh & Burwood East of India Enesco Gisela Graham History & Heraldry Joe Davies Lesser & Pavey Nemesis Now Parlane Widdop and Co

Honorary Achievement Award No finalists are revealed for this special award. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Industry News

‘Greats’ Excitement The Greats 2019 Gift Retailer Finalists Enjoy Their Success Whoops of joy, dancing round the office and happy tears were just some of the many ways that this year’s Greats 2019 finalists reacted to the exciting news that they had made the finals of The Greats 2019 Gift Retailer Awards. (See Congratulations To The Greats Finalists on pages 6 and 7). “OMG I've just burst out crying! I'm so happy!” exclaimed Jo Williams, owner of Joco Interiors in Nuneaton, on hearing the news. “Now I’m bouncing around like Tigger!” At Mooch on St Giles Street and Mooch, Bell, in Northampton, Rachel and Paul Roberts exclaimed: “Awesome! This has made our day - we’re so thrilled. Dances round the office! We can’t wait to tell the team. They’re going to be chuffed to bits!” In London’s Covent Garden, Rob Perry, manager of the Royal Opera House’s Gift Shop, was “absolutely thrilled!” while over in North London, Louise Rolfe, owner of The Present Shop in Barnet, enthused: “We are absolutely over the moon. What an honour! We love our shop and it is so exciting to be recognised in this way.” Also delighted to see their shops make the shortlist were Jon May and Luke Jacks at Mooch Gifts and Home who have stores in Bewdley and Stourport on Severn: “Such exciting news, this has certainly brightened up our day!” Jon told PG&H. Meanwhile, at The Baobab in Reading, owner Rachel Loubser too, was overjoyed. “What fantastic news! I can’t stop smiling!” Another gift retailer speaking from the heart was North & Northern Ireland finalist Judy Evans, owner of Williams of Audlem: “OMG! I’m so thrilled to be one of The Greats finalists this year. I feel like exploding with pure joy and have been busy telling all my regular customers our fabulous news. I'm grinning like a Cheshire cat - well, we are in Cheshire after all!” At Magenta Trends in Annelesey Woodhouse, a finalist in the Best Newcomer Midlands, North and Scotland category, director Jeanine Laurent was similarly ecstatic. “Over the moon is an understatement!” she stated. The winners of the Greats Gift Retailer Awards 2019 will be announced at London’s glittering Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, on Wednesday May 15, with all strands of the gift industry invited to share in this very special day for gift retail. Tickets to the event are available from event organiser Clare Hollick e:; tel: 01183 340085. To read more about being at the hottest ticket on the gift industry’s calendar, visit

Record Numbers Enter The Greats An exceptional number of entries were received for this year’s Greats Gift Retailer Awards 2019 making the competition a record breaker. “Despite everything we read and hear about retail, this year’s entrants showed that they have taken on board the challenges, and by sheer entrepreneurship, passion and hard work, are rising above them,” commented Sue Marks, editor of Progressive Gifts & Home. Taking ‘Take A Walk On The Wild Side’ as its theme, The Greats Awards event is set to be a lavish, fun networking afternoon for the great and the good in gift retail, providing an opportunity for everyone to get together and let their hair down. The winners will be announced at London’s glittering Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, on Wednesday May 15. Tickets to the event are available from event organiser Clare Hollick email:; tel: 01183 340085. Visit The Greats Awards are owned by Max Publishing and Progressive Gifts & Home magazine. Top: The winners of The Greats Awards 2019 will be announced at The Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane on May 15. Below: Guests at last year’s Greats Gift Retailer Awards lunch.

Above: We’ve made it to the finals! It’s a thumbs up from Joco Interiors’ owner Jo Williams (back), shop supervisor Debbie Carey (centre) and Linda Tandy, shop manager, who is also a finalist in the Retail Employee of the Year category. Left: Greats finalist Judy Evans, director of Williams of Audlem, says it all with a card.

Greats Sponsors 2019 An impressive line-up of Greats Awards 2019 sponsors include (in alphabetical order): A Gift From The Gods; Boxer Gifts and Boxer Books; Candlelight;; Gift Republic; Gisela Graham; Harrogate Christmas & Gift; Hot Tomato; Joe Davies; Premier Decorations; Progressive Gifts & Home; Progressive Greetings Live; Spring Fair/Autumn Fair and The Giftware Association.

Enesco’s Charity Of The Year Staff at Enesco, based in Carlisle, have chosen Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice, as their charity of the year, with employees aiming to raise as much money as they can over the next 12 months. Fundraising activities will include raffles and bake sales in-house, and will also see employees taking part in sporting events such as The Colour Run. Members of the Enesco team will also be participating in events organised by the Hospice, and will additionally have the opportunity to volunteer at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw during normal working hours, as part of Enesco’s corporate social responsibility programme.

IFLScience’s UK Gift Partner The licensing programme for social media giant IFLScience is beginning to take shape in the UK with Licensing Link securing Half Moon Bay within the publishing and gifting category. The company will be releasing a series of four mini book and gift sets predominately for the UK gifting market but will also have the international distribution rights.




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Industry News

PG&H Retail Barometer Latest survey findings reveal that gift indies fared well in 2018 According to the findings of this year’s Progressive Gifts & Home Retail Barometer, it seems that the majority of independent gift retailers bucked the trend in 2018, holding their own in the face of external challenges and Brexit uncertainty. Encouragingly, 80% of independent gift retailers surveyed reported that Christmas 2018 was a really good one. More good news to come out of the survey was that some 85% of gift indies’ customers paid by cash/debit card last year (up from 70% in 2017). Promoting their store and engaging with customers was on the up, with social media proving its worth on this front. Almost all respondents confirmed that they used Facebook with two thirds engaging with Instagram and half using Twitter, an increase on the previous year. Also on the ‘up’ was sourcing sustainable environmentally-friendly products, with 86% of respondents confirming that this was very important to them. Other product categories that stood tall in 2018, (compared to the previous year), were craft products (up 27%); children’s clothing/accessories (up 19%); gift stationery/journals (up 18%), toys and games (up 13%), tableware and kitchen gifts (up 12%) and fashion accessories (up 11%). Looking ahead to trade this year, most respondents said that they felt confident. Some 78% of those surveyed said that they felt that their business would see marginal or significant growth Above: How gift indies or remain about the same. responded to the question: For the full findings of the PG&H Retail Barometer turn to pages 24-27. how was Christmas 2018?

KitchenCraft’s New Brand Structure KitchenCraft’s new brand structure was unveiled at Spring Fair and Ambiente, where new brands such as Maxwell & Williams, Chef’n, Rabbit and London Pottery were presented under the KitchenCraft name. Additionally, in a significant move, Creative Tops and the brands they currently manage - to include Katie Alice, V&A, Mikasa and La Cafetiere - will also now come under the KitchenCraft umbrella. Although the name Creative Tops will be retired as a trading name, it will instead be used as a brand name, coming from KitchenCraft, and re-focusing on its strengths in surface pattern design across gifts, tablemats, coasters and small tabletop collections.

Regional Award For Spirito Having won a raft of gift retail awards in 2018, Greats 2019 finalist Spirito has continued its winning streak, as winner of the Best Gift Shop in Glasgow in Scotland’s Business Awards for the second consecutive year. “Winning this award was a lovely and unexpected surprise,” Spirito’s owner Denise Laird told PG&H. “The fact that we were nominated and voted for by our lovely customers made it all the more special.” The Glasgow regional awards are part of Scotland’s Business Awards, with all regional winners going through to a grand final in May, where the overall ‘Best in Scotland’ titles will be awarded. Businesses are nominated by customers, and the judging process includes mystery shoppers and secret visits to the finalists by the judging panel, as well as public a vote on the Awards website. Above: Spirito’s owner Denise Laird, (centre), is pictured with staff members Marion Johnstone (left) and Katie McKnight at the Glasgow regional business awards, where the shop won the Best Gift Shop in Glasgow award for the second year running.

US Partner For Wild & Wolf Above: Matthew Canwell, managing director of KitchenCraft.

Expert Advice On How To ‘Survive & Thrive’ For lifestyle and concept store Huus in Halesworth - a Greats Awards 2019 Gift Retailer finalist in the Best Newcomer South & Wales category - winning a free consultation from trend forecasters Scarlet Opus at last year’s Exclusively Housewares show has inspired the way that owners Jane and Ron Dekker are approaching their business this year. The competition, run in collaboration with trend forecasters Scarlet Opus, saw Jane and Ron benefit from the company’s expert advice on customer experience and service; merchandising; expanding the shop’s ranges to complement existing styling; social media and approach to trade shows. Asked for three top tips gained from the Scarlet Opus visit and recommendations, the couple highlighted: regularly stepping back from the business and getting input from fresh eyes about the in store experience; to keep innovating; and to keep strengthening the bricks and mortar customer experience and advice in order to help to differentiate their shop from online stores. Huus, which specialises in gifts, contemporary home accessories and furniture - inspired by Northern European design - is based in Halesworth in Suffolk. The store first opened its doors in 2017. Left: The exterior of Huus, Halesworth, which used to be an HSBC bank.

Wild & Wolf has a new US partnership with Draper James, a Southern-inspired lifestyle brand launched by actress Reese Witherspoon four years ago. Under the new partnership, Wild & Wolf will create products across a broad range of categories including stationery, lunchware, drinkware, travel accessories and gardening products. The product design and development will be managed in house by Wild & Wolf’s licence brand team who are based in Bath. The range will be available solely within the US retail market following an initial exclusive launch in US retailer Paper Source. Above: A lunch tote from the new Wild & Wolf licensing tie-up with the US’s Draper James features the brand’s signature gingham check pattern.



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Industry News

Mother’s Day Rings Up Sales

UK Candle Economy Worth £1.9bn Annually

Independent Gift Shops Feel The Love

According to a recent report published by Vend, the number of candle stockists has doubled in the past two years, with Britons buying an average of six candles per year at £7.40 a time, resulting in a collective annual spend of £1.9 billion. The findings show that independent businesses confirmed a significant increase in candle sales, selling 71% more than they did in 2016, and 33% more than a year ago. The report compared sales of candles in independent stores from 2016 – 2018. “Our data reveals that candle sales are giving independent gift shops in the UK a much-needed boost,” commented Vend’s UK country manager Higor Torchia. “As consumer hunger for unique products, and unique in store experiences grows, it’s smaller retailers that are best placed to cater to these trends. It’s all part of the wider ‘cherish’ and ‘chore’ trend in retail.”

With Mother’s Day the biggest gift giving occasion after Christmas, gift shops reported that sales were buoyant. “The previous week saw stronger lifts than expected with our customers shopping across the range,” Samantha Williams, Oliver Bonas’ head of buying for Home & Gift, told PG&H. “As usual, categories like hair bands, scarves, candles and bath and body ranges were incredibly popular. This year, we are also saw a strong reaction to our faux plants and plant pot ranges Above: Oliver Bonas’ faux which we featured in our windows.” plant pot collection was a According to Romy Abraham, owner of Loft & Spires in Bury St Mother’s Day winner. Below: The Mother’s Day Edmunds, it was obvious that a card, a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates were not going to be enough this year. “Many of our customers display at Loft & Spires. came in to buy items which their mothers had either put aside for them to buy, or to choose from a list that their mothers had made.” As usual, fragrance items such as candles, room diffusers and body and bath products continued to be the fast sellers, “but this year, there seemed to be a movement towards purchasing gifts for mums which would last, rather than fresh flowers and chocolates. Even our sales on artificial flowers significantly increased in the run up, with customers asking for everlasting bouquets for them to gift. In terms of homewares, the more artistic and decorative items were the best sellers. Customers were really searching for the more unusual gift/keepsake for their mothers.” Romy added: “Products we sell which support charities were also a favourite for Mother’s Day, along with diverse variety of jewellery, handbags and casual ladies clothing. However, what was really impressive was the pure volume of purchases made by ladies for their own use mums treating themselves!” At Williams of Audlem in Cheshire, director Judy Evans explained: “as soon as Valentine's Day finished, we put in a fresh window display for Mother's Day, with a strong emphasis of female gifts for all age ranges. In store, we also constructed a special Mother's Day gift section, by our main service counter, to catch the eye. We also brought in some heavily female-orientated products, from one of our new suppliers, Half Moon Bay, which we used to revamp our Mother's Day display, and give it a fresh, vibrant look. In the run-up to Mother’s Day itself, we posted our store's top suggestions for Mother's Day gifts on social media, and also used our local community website to promote our Mother's Day offering in store. The products sold extremely well, and helped to create a wider interest in our store, and our other gift ranges in general.” At The Present in Barnet, owner Louise Rolfe confirmed that Mother’s Day gradually built up and really kicked off on Monday March 25th, with increased takings. “We had our Mother’s Day display up straight after Valentine’s for customers to browse and get ideas, and they returned to actually purchase,” she stated. “Sales gradually rose throughout the last week, with Friday and Saturday extremely busy requiring extra staff. We are also open on Sundays, and had lots of ‘last minuters’ popping in, so we increased sales on the actual day too. As usual, scarves, jewellery, toiletries and candles were the ‘go to’ gifts.”

Below: Sales of candles are continuing to go from strength to strength for independent gift retailers.

Bira Applauds New High Street Report

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Carte Blanche Greetings’ Me to You brand partnered with Tesco to create a competition, which ran in 400 stores, with one lucky customer standing to win a £1,000 shopping spree. “We were delighted that Tesco recognised the synergy between the Me to You brand and this special occasion, allowing our product portfolio to own the Mother’s Day space in store, offering customers a one stop solution for their Mother’s Day gifting and the ability to shop across categories for the brand they love,” commented Carte Blanche’s marketing manager Grace Elphinstone. The competition was hosted online and was promoted across all of Me to You’s Mother’s Day gifting and Mother’s Day cards across the Carte Blanche stable of brands.

Outdated, unfair business rates were again flagged up in a report published in February by the House of Commons’ Housing, Communities and Local Government committee, with the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) responding positively to the findings. Bira’s ceo, Andrew Goodacre, said that the Committee’s report into the future of high streets and town centres, would be welcome news to independent retailers. With recommendations for rates reform, based on the suggestions put forward by Bira, and increased investment in town centres, the Association said that business owners will be pleased to know that retail is still prominent in the vision for the future. “We are continuing our campaign on rates and will be responding to the new inquiry looking specifically at rates reform,” Andrew confirmed. In addition, Bira has recommended that retailers contact their local authority for each of their premises, to establish how their local authority or council intends to implement the rates discounts.

Above: Me To You ran a Mother’s Day competition with Tesco.

Above: Andrew Goodacre, ceo of Bira.

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Industry News

PG Live 2019 Unveils Its Line-Up Dedicated Greeting Card Show Prepares For Its Biggest Buzz Yet With greeting cards becoming increasingly important for gift shops, dedicated greeting card show PG Live 2019, taking place at London’s Business Design Centre from Tuesday June 4 - Wednesday June 5, has revealed an impressive line-up for this year's show. An enviable exhibitor list features over 230 established publishers, renowned artists and up-and-coming designers from around the globe. “The bar has been raised following last year's incredible show and we know our exhibitors will rise to the occasion,” commented joint show director Warren Lomax. “We love being able to be work with so many talented people and we can't wait to see their amazing new ranges!” Adding extra sparkle, the focused, compact show has attracted a number of exclusive exhibitors, such as UKG, Hallmark, Paperlink, Wendy Jones-Blackett and ICG, who won’t be showing anywhere else throughout 2019 on a dedicated stand. Other leading names exhibiting include Paper Salad, The Art File, Woodmansterne, Belly Button Designs, Carte Blanche, Five Dollar Shake and Danilo, who will all be presenting fresh product and inspiring portfolios for all occasions. Brand new publishers, such as Crumble and Core, Purple Tree Designs and Some Ink Nice, will be making their show debut in the Springboard section, while up-and-coming names to include Deckled Edge, Pabuku and Toasted Crumpet will be among those making a welcome return to the exhibition. The two day show sits at the very heart of the vibrant and creative greeting card community and gives major buyers, independent retailers and international distributors the perfect opportunity to bolster their portfolios for the coming year. PG Live also offers free refreshments, a complimentary lunch and a free drinks party after the show on Tuesday. Additionally, a host of attention-grabbing highlights, competitions and special offers will also ensure that PG Live is the most exciting trade show to visit this year. Register now to book your free ticket and to receive your copy of the Show Preview. Visit

‘High Fiving’ Fashion Accessory Awards Entries are now open for the fifth BTAA Fashion Accessory of the Year Awards, with organisations The Giftware Association and the BTAA setting out to make the Awards event the biggest and best yet. With an added ‘live’ judging day, an awards ceremony and a celebratory dinner on the Sunday of Autumn Fair September 1 - the event is undergoing a complete makeover. This year’s categories feature: Fashion Accessory; Fashion Handbag; Fashion Jewellery; Luggage & Travel; Made in Britain and Small Leather Goods. Explains the GA’s Chris Workman: “anyone can enter the competition, whether they are a member of the BTAA or not. Companies can nominate a product for as many categories as they like, or enter the same category with as many products as they choose.” Above: Mala Leather was the winner of the BTAA 2018’s Fashion Handbag category.

Above: Visitors and exhibitors at last year’s PG Live.

Celebrating 100 Years It was celebrations all round at Spring Fair when Steve Davies, managing director of Joe Davies, popped the champagne corks for customers, industry friends and colleagues, at a 100th year anniversary party held on the company’s stand. “We’re thrilled and so proud,” managing director Steve Davies told guests. “Thank you for all your tremendous support over the years.” Other companies celebrating milestone anniversaries at the show included Gibson Games which celebrated 100 years, Wild Things which celebrated 35 years, and Carrie Elspeth which launched 20 years ago. Founder and creative director Carrie Shapiro told PG&H: “Our strength and durability has been achieved by staying true to my original vision, as well as supporting my local community through making the jewellery in Wales.” It was also champagne and anniversary cake all round for trade organisation Cardgains which celebrated its 30th anniversary on the first day of the show. Above: The Joe Davies team got together for a photo before their guests arrived. Left: The commemorative 100 years cake.

Spring Brochure Unveiled By Candlelight A new Spring brochure from Candlelight features over 400 new products, as well as the latest additions to the company’s own brand candle collection, to include new candle and reed diffuser concepts. “Our designers have pulled out all the stops to bring out a collection of truly authentic, quality gifts with attractive contemporary packaging to match,” comments Candlelight’s sales director Debbie Isles. “It’s a year since we first launched our own brand range and we continue to help retailers to maximise their sales through on trend gifts and homewares.”

Above: Candlelight’s new Lips & Kisses range which is featured in the company’s Spring brochure.

Wedgwood Honours The Past A show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May will be among the special events helping to celebrate Wedgwood’s 260th anniversary this year. The Wedgwood Garden, designed by award-winning UK designer Jo Thompson, reflects the entrepreneurial, innovative and creative spirit of the company’s founder Josiah Wedgwood (1730 - 1795). “We are extremely proud to be marking our 260th year with this magnificent garden,” says Christian Bachler, Wedgwood’s senior vice president. “Jo has spent a considerable length of time exploring the many strands of our rich history and will be bringing them together with an original arrangement of space and dynamic planting. The plans look inspiring, and we are excited to see the final result.” The RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place from May 21-25. Above: A statue of Josiah Wedgwood greets visitors to the company’s Visitor Centre at Barlaston, Stoke on Trent.



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Industry News

Brexit Knocks Members’ Confidence, Says GA Survey Companies Fear How Their Businesses Will Be Affected

Below: Sarah Ward, ceo Of The Giftware Association, (right), is shown with Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the Greeting Card Association, outside the Bank of England.

The Giftware Association’s ceo Sarah Wards reveals that companies are worried about the future following a Genesis meeting at the end of March, held at the Bank of England, to discuss the threats and opportunities to SMEs in today social and political environment. “It’s an incredibly proud moment when you get to stand up in front of a committee to present The Giftware Association’s members’ views,” highlighted Sarah. “It’s sometimes the only chance that these government initiates get to touch upon real data and opinions from the UK’s many SMEs. They learn a huge amount from what we present, and it also gives me an opportunity to learn what is happening in other industries that can affect the giftware world.” Prior to the meeting, The Giftware Association sent a survey out to its members to collate members views. The general snapshot of the companies who participated was that there was a very real fear of how Brexit will affect them and their businesses. The results painted a picture of an industry that is worried about the future, with ‘confidence being significantly lower than the previous six months’ by a massive 71%, and a similar result in ‘lower expected business growth’ at 54% compared to the previous six months. As a direct correlation to Brexit, 52% of members surveyed expected the export environment to stay flat, probably while in the transition stage, where the government and the EU will be working towards a hopefully shared goal. The one opinion that was shared by the majority is that the cost of exporting and business will rise, and that the smaller the company the more they will suffer. Currently, there are 5.7m SMEs in the UK which account for over 99% of private sector firms and 60% of total UK private sector employment. SMEs also account for 73% of all net private sector job creation in the UK, creating some 2m jobs since 2010. With SMEs essentially the backbone of industry in the UK, discussions at the meeting significantly focused on Brexit and what will happen afterwards and how an SME can prepare. To request a copy of the survey, visit

GA Members Day Re-Locates To Nottingham The Nottinghamshire Golf Club has been announced as the venue for The Giftware Association’s Members Day on June 18, which historically takes place at the Association’s Birmingham HQ. “This year, we have a lovely event space overlooking the golf course, so we are hoping for nice weather,” comments the GA’s PR and marketing manager Chris Workman. He continued, “we are still in talks with speakers but hope to announce the line up very soon.” The Association has also released a full events calendar for the first half of 2019. “We’re really excited to have some super events in place with some great speakers covering topics such as Pitching To Retailers, Social Media, Business Planning and more,” Chris highlights.

Milan’s HOMI Becomes An Annual Event Following this year’s HOMI, which took place in Milan at the end of January, it has been announced that show is changing from being a bi-annual event to an annual event which will be held in January, starting next year. The organisers highlight that for the home furnishing, accessories, tableware and kitchenware sectors, the first few months of the year represent the most important period for the launch of new collections, with January the key month to maximise the different synergies for exhibitors and international buyers.

In another change around, HOMI Fashion&Jewels will move from a satellite event to new trade show exhibition in its own right, dedicated to the bijoux and fashion accessory sector. The show will make its debut in September and will run simultaneously alongside Milan’s fashion industry events in September and February. Additionally, HOMI Outdoor, an annual event with a specific focus on the outdoors, will take place each year in September. This is a new HOMI exhibition offering a complete overview of furnishings, accessories and decorations. The two new formats will make their debut from September 13-16, 2019. Above: Baci was among the exhibitors at HOMI in January.

Chicago Show Renamed Gift of the Year Video Launches The Giftware Association, organisers of the Gift of the Year competition, has launched a video - Bold, Brave, Brilliant, British - celebrating the companies that were successful this year, as well as previous winners and finalists. “We’re really proud of the video and will be using it to promote the awards to a wider audience, while also keeping up the momentum of Above: The Gift of the Year 2019 this year’s success,” commented The Giftware Association’s PR and winners were announced at special marketing manager Chris Workman. awards evening held during Spring Fair. Among the companies featured are Big Potato Games (winner of the 2019 Hot Novelty category) and Paper Mirchi (winner of the Design & Craft category). Also interviewed was Blue Eyed Sun’s managing director Jeremy Corner - currently The Giftware Association’s chairman whose company is a past Gift of the Year winner.

To better reflect societal trends, the International Housewares Association (IHA) has announced that in 2020, it is changing the name of The International Home + Housewares Show to The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market. The platform was created to align with consumer trends that are shifting from functional home design to a focus on aspirational lifestyles. Visit The new The Inspired Home Show takes place from March 14-17, 2020. Above: The International Home + Housewares Show is changing its name for 2020.



Famous for its great energy, artistic vibe and friendly atmosphere, PG Live 2019 is your chance to explore new designs and exclusive show offers from more than 230 publishers, artists and designers.

THE GREATEST COLLECTION OF GREETING CARDS IN THE WORLD “I really enjoy attending PG Live as it’s a great space to catch up with all our current suppliers. It’s one of my favourite shows as it’s so easy to navigate and you’re guaranteed to always bump into a friendly face!”

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Industry News

The B&LLAs 2019 Finalists Revealed A Clutch Of Nominations For Sara Miller London The finalists in the product, property and retail categories for the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2019 have been confirmed, with Sara Miller London shortlisted in four categories: Best Brand Licensed Gifting Product or Range; Best Brand Licensed Fashion Accessories or Lifestyle Product or Range; Best Brand Licensed Health & Beauty Product or Range, and Best Licensed Fashion or Talent Brand. The B&LLAs (organised by PG&H’s owners, Max Publishing) give a platform for nonentertainment properties to be celebrated, to include lifestyle brands, as well as corporate, food and drink, heritage, fashion and talent. The Best Brand Licensed Gifting Product or Range finalists are: Emma Bridgewater Flasks from Chilly’s Bottles; The Happy News Range from Blueprint Collections; Joules Stationery and Gifting Collection from Portico Designs; Keith Haring Collection from Moleskine; Nando’s Gift Range from Kimm & Miller; The National Gallery Delicious Art Range for Boots from IG Design Group; Pringles Stationery Range from Maped Helix and Sara Miller London Christmas Collection from Portmeirion. In the Best Brand Licensed Homewares Product or Range, the finalists are: ELLE Decoration Bathrooms from Bathstore; FatFace Soft Furnishings from Ashley Wilde Group; I Like Birds Homewares Range from My Gifts Trade; Oasis Fabrics and Wallpaper Collection from Clarke & Clarke; Nadiya Hussain Make Life Colourful Range from BlissHome; V&A Furniture Collection from Sofa Workshop and the Yvonne Ellen Tabletop Collection from Fifty One Percent. Other B&LLA product categories include Best Brand Licensed Health & Beauty Product or Range; Best Brand Licensed Adult Apparel Product or Range; Best Brand Licensed Food or Beverage Product or Range Best Brand Licensed Children’s Product or Range; Best Brand Licensed Consumer Hard Goods Products or Range; and The Inspired Innovation Brand Licensed Product or Range. Winners of all the B&LLAs categories will be unveiled at a lavish afternoon event at The Dorchester Hotel on Thursday April 25. For tickets contact Clare at Createvents on or call 0118 334 0085.

The Licensing Awards Are Open For Entries The UK Licensing Awards 2019 (organised by PG&H’s owners Max Publishing) are now officially open for entries with entry and nomination forms for all the awards categories available to download. The Awards categories cover all aspects of the UK licensing industry and are free to enter, with a new category introduced to the Property section - Best Gaming Licensed Property. In addition, for the fourth year, the LIMA Rising Star Award will be affiliated to The Licensing Awards 2019. The closing date for entering the licensed product awards categories is Friday May 31, 2019, with entries judged by an extensive panel of retail buyers from leading high street names. Online and downloadable nomination forms for the Retailer Awards, Property Awards, Licensed Retail Marketing Initiative, Licensed Promotions Campaign and Honorary Achievement Award are also available to download from the website. The deadline date for the Property Awards is Friday June 28, 2019, where the entries will be validated by retailers and licensees. Once again, the headline sponsor is Brand Licensing Europe (BLE), with the awards officially supported by LIMA. The Licensing Awards 2019 will be taking place in The Great Room at London’s Grosvenor House on Tuesday, September 10. Over 1,400 retailers, licensees and industry suppliers will be attending. Tickets are available from Createvents on 01183 340085 or email

Stationery Show London’s LaunchPad Winners Announced Eight stationery suppliers - Stib Pencils, Bloom Your Message, CardsHit, Brahman Design, Vent for Change, J+A London, handy Spelling and Boss Bird - have been announced as the winners of Stationery Show London’s LaunchPad competition. Each one will receive a free exhibition stand at the show - taking place at London’s Business Design Centre on April 30 and May 1 - to showcase their products and ideas. Left: Vent’s Ideas collection. Visit:

New Exclusively Gift Voucher Buyers attending the Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical shows in June, who are members of the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), will have an extra reason to visit this year. The Association has launched a major new voucher initiative - Exclusively Gift - in collaboration with both shows, which will be taking place at London’s Business Design Centre on June 11 and 12. The voucher will entitle Bira members to exchange an Exclusively Gift voucher to receive £100 off an order placed at either show, based on a minimum value of £300 (net of VAT). In advance of the shows, the vouchers will be sent to Bira Direct members who have registered to attend, with the voucher accepted by exhibitors participating in the initiative. Below: Bira members will be receiving a £100 Exclusively Gift voucher to spend at Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical in June.

Sunday Times International Track 200 Paladone was listed in the Sunday Times’ International Track 200, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest growing overseas sales. “We were absolutely delighted to feature on the list again this year,” Paladone’s commercial director Yann Le Bouedec told PG&H. “Our growth is down

to the great quality of products that we are creating and their fast rates of sales at retail. It’s truly a team effort and the award belongs to the whole Paladone team.” The company, which received a £13m investment from private equity firm LDC last April, saw international sales grow by 53.46%, hitting £20.3m in 2018. Strong overseas markets for the company currently include Europe, Australasia and North America. The Sunday Times league table has been produced for the tenth year by Fast Track which researches Britain’s top performing private companies. Above: Paladone’s Icons collection.



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Industry News

Portmeirion Group Confirms Record Growth, Record Profits Profits Increase For The 10th Consecutive Year

Below: Portmeirion Group’s HQ in Stoke on Trent.

Portmeirion Group recently announced its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2018, with the company enjoying its tenth consecutive year of record Group revenue which increased by 5.7% to £89.6 million (2017: £84.8 million). There was strong progress across the key markets of the UK, the US and South Korea. The home fragrance division (acquired in 2016) delivered sales growth of 11.1%, while online sales grew 24.4% over the prior year. Successful new product launches included Sara Miller London under the Portmeirion brand, line extensions in Portmeirion’s Botanic Garden collection and Wrendale Designs’ products under Royal Worcester. “We are delighted to be reporting a tenth consecutive year of record revenue and another record profit before taxation,” commented non-executive chairman Dick Steele. “Our strategy and core values remain unchanged. We are focused on driving profitable sales growth through new product introduction, developing our markets, investing behind our brands and enhancing our operational capabilities and efficiency supported with complementary strategic acquisitions. We look forward into 2019 with confidence and, at this very early stage of the year, expect trading to be in line with expectations for the full year.” Angela Luger was appointed as a non-executive director on 1 March 2019.

PEOPLE p In the run up to the re-edited Spring Fair 2020, Charlie Cracknell (right) has been appointed as the show’s new portfolio director, a position he will be taking up this month. His role will be to assist in shaping the strategic direction of the show. p The Great British Card Company is launching into gifts, with the company recruiting Katy Golden to head up the new division. Katy, who has 20 years’ experience in the retail sector, both in stationery and gifts, latterly as online category manager (stationery and gift) at WHSmith, takes up the brand new role of head of gifts.

Portmeirion Group Unveils Two Brand-Led Campaigns

A Pioneer Retires

Portmeirion Group recently held a two-in-one event to promote two brand- led campaigns: the findings of Portmeirion’s Get Together campaign research, along with Spode’s inclusive brand campaign that celebrates Spode’s past, present and future. “This year, we’re focusing on the consumer to pull sales through retailers, our trade customers,” Sara Dickenson, the Group’s marketing communications manager told PG&H. “Obviously we will be educating our customers as well, but the main objective is to engage with our end consumers, old, existing and new, to expose what our brands mean and how they fit in with their lives.” The company will be creating point of sale for retailers, with consumers also able use the hashtag #GetTogether to see products, to include being able to view them on Pinterest. “Everything is being pulled together to encourage people to shop in store,” emphasises Sara. Spode meanwhile, is commemorating its long-standing presence in the ceramics industry with the launch of an inclusive brand campaign - #Spode DNA - ahead of the brand’s 250th anniversary in 2020. Visit; /#SpodeDNA.

David Metcalfe, a familiar face at Spring Fair and Autumn Fair for the past 50 years, retired in February. After a long and distinguished career in the gift industry, to include being the man credited with taking Spring Fair from strength to strength, David bowed out after attending his 50th Spring Fair. Under David’s leadership, Spring Fair grew from five Halls to 20, with Autumn Fair launching in 1991. “When I first came into this business in 1969 I was in awe of the lofty hierarchy of the industry,” he told PG&H. “Eventually I became chairman of the Giftware Association in its 50th year, and later president of the British Jewellery and Giftware Federation, now the British Allied Trades Federation. It was the pinnacle of my career.” Having retired from full time work in 2007, David continued as a consultant to Spring Fair and Autumn Fair until this February, and has now given up work entirely. “I have been incredibly fortunate to be guided by an unseen hand into an industry I’ve loved, and I’ve met some wonderful people who have become lifelong friends. This year's Spring Fair was an emotional one for me. It was a door closing. However, another one is sure to open. It always does!” stated David.

Left: Two of Portmeirion’s lithographers, Gail Barlow (left) and Sam Jepson (far left), showed visitors how to apply transfers at the company’s recent brand campaign event.

Hungry Caterpillar Licence For Signature Gifts Signature Gifts will be launching a debut range of personalised, licensed gifts to mark the 50th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The company joins a raft of new licensees that include Licensed to Charm, which will be producing a special range of The Very Hungry Caterpillar jewellery for babies, children and women, including christening gifts. Signature Gifts joins an impressive raft of established licensees launching new ranges for the anniversary. Among them is Above: The Very Hungry Caterpillar is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a Rainbow Designs, which recently launched a new Tiny and raft of new licensees to include gift suppliers. Very Hungry Caterpillar collection of infant toys.

Above: David Metcalfe is shown at February’s Spring Fair.



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Industry News

Re-Edit For Spring Fair 2020 It’s All Change At Next Year’s Show

NEWS IN BRIEF Below: The re-edited Spring Fair 2020 hall plan.

Ahead of February’s Spring Fair, (February 2-6, NEC, 2020), organisers ITE have announced that Spring Fair 2020 will see the first major re-edit of the show in eight years. The exhibition, now in its 69th year, will have a renewed look and feel, which, ITE say, will reinvigorate the way buyers source products and connect with exhibitors. Celebrating both the Gifts and Home & Living sectors will remain a fundamental element of the show. “This is a transformational moment for Spring Fair, and we are so excited to unveil the 2020 reedit,” comments managing director Julie Driscoll. “Following our recent acquisition by the ITE Group, we’ve invested heavily in both Spring and Autumn Fair, and this is just one indication of how that investment will deliver for both exhibitors and visitors.” She continues: “The re-edit, which redrafts the NEC’s show floor into two sourcing destinations - Gifts in the Piazza, and Home & Living in the Atrium - will make it much easier for buyers to source complementary products and, in turn, generate more new customers for exhibitors. The introduction of new product categories and sector names will create fresh inspiration for both exhibitors and visitors.“ The recently launched Product Match app will remain a key feature of Spring Fair’s efforts to maximise opportunities for product inspiration throughout the halls. Visit

What’s Trending At The Stationery Show London Trends are very much at the heart of April’s Stationery Show London, which will be taking place at London’s Business Design Centre from April 30-May 1. Analyst Phi Pond at trend forecasters Scarlet Opus will be looking ahead not only to Christmas, where a new Traveller trend will be revealed, but also to the next 12-18 months where he will explaining more about The Game Changer, Satori and Fellowship which are additional new trends to watch out for. Other keynote speakers at the show include ceo Nick Brackenbury from retail technology company NearSt, who will be focusing on getting people back into high street shops through making retailers’ stock easily searchable on Google; Michael Weedon, founder and ceo of Exp2 who will be revealing what’s really happening on Britain’s high streets, and retail and e-commerce independent consultant Rebecca Saunders, a former John Lewis Partnership and buyer and category manager, who will be delivering a talk on the state of the stationery industry. She will be also be running a hands-on workshop entitled ‘what can indies learn from retail buyers’. A further two retailer workshops will also be taking place: one led by Ian Retallick, founder of Specialist Retailers, entitled ‘how soft assets can attract more customers to your store’ and another, led by Future Retail’s retail Catherine Erdly, based on ‘five key figures you need to know to boost your sales’. Visit the What’s On section at Also at this year’s show will be the Trends Hub - featuring exhibitors’ products - taking centre stage on the mezzanine level, and the creation of a Designer’s Area next to the New Product showcase display. The Trends Hub will also be the starting point for Trend Tours which will be returning to the show. Also returning will be the Creative Stationery Workshops. Alongside the show Stationery Week will run from April 29-May 5.

Bangkok’s STYLE Show STYLE Bangkok, Asia’s premier lifestyle fair, is a three-in-one trade show that will be welcoming visitors through its doors at BITEC, Bangna, from April 17-21. The exhibition will be bringing together the latest Thai housewares and furniture suppliers and designers, along with gifts, fashion and leather goods. The show will be particularly catering to active seniors, mothers and children, metro men and pets, offering experiential opportunities The organisers describe its heart as ‘crenovation’ - creation Above: Among the innovative meets innovation and origin - highlighting products which are uniquely Thai. colourful lifestyle products being Materials that are locally sourced, with products that have been made by showcased at STYLE Bangkok. local crafts people, embodying creativity, STYLE will also be featuring the work of international creatives. Since STYLE was first launched in 2017, the number of brands involved has grown significantly, part of an overarching initiative to establish Thailand’s ‘local wisdom’ in the design as world class. The show is organised by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Ministry of Commerce. Visit

p Paperchase received approval from its creditors for a CVA which was originally mooted last Autumn. Some stores are set to close.

Above: Paperchase.

p John Lewis & Partners was among the prestigious award winners at the recent Retail Week Awards, held in London last month. The trophy was awarded to the department store for its experience-focused opening at Westfield White City in West London. p Online gift retailer PersonalisedGiftsShop is aiming for zero waste, with all outgoing packaging recyclable within the next 12 months. The company currently recycles 90% of incoming packaging. p According to research from Kantur UK, the men’s gifting and toiletries market saw strong growth in 2018, with the data showing a 1.4% rise in toiletries sales to male consumers compared to the previous year. (See Manning Up on pages 59-63). p Heathcote & Ivory has teamed up with renowned mixed media fashion illustrator Meredith Wing to create MooMoi, a new licensed collaboration for Autumn/Winter 2019. p British brand Eloise Hall saw three products triumph in the recent Beauty Shortlist Awards 2019. The brand’s Optimism Hand wash Above: Award winning products from Eloise Hall. was crowned the winner of the Hand Wash category, and both the company’s Optimism Hand Cream and Pause Candle scooped an Editor’s Choice Award. p Wrendale Designs launched a new kitchen collection by Sally Swannell. p July will see the closure of the first John Lewis & Partners store in 13 years - Knight & Lee & Partners in Southsea, the smallest full line shop in the company’s retail estate. p ASOS’ recent launch of a homewares collection marked a new direction for the online fashion retailer. p Colchester Zoo was the winner of a prize draw held on the Widdop and Co stand at Spring Fair. The prize was a limited edition signed print by the award winning nature artist Meg Hawkins, which she donated.



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Retail Barometer 2018

Bucking The Trend While other retail surveys look at a broad retail landscape, the 13th year of our unique, PG&H Retail Barometer reveals what life is really like for independent gift retailers on Britain’s high streets. Given the current retail climate, it’s very reassuring to discover that gift indies have held up pretty well over the last year. Following the Beast from the East at the start of 2018, everything changed when the sun came out, with the UK enjoying its hottest summer on record. England made the World Cup semi-finals, Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, and the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince Louis. On the retail front however, things were not as rosy. HMV went into administration for the second time, House of Fraser’s and Debenhams’ future looked shaky, and M&S announced the closure of 100 stores by 2022. Brexit continued to dominate the headlines. So how did independent gift retailers fare? Overall, the good news is that compared to 2017, almost three quarters of respondents (73%) said that their businesses did better or stayed the same (compared to 58% in 2017). Interestingly, despite the woes of the high street, 80% of independent gift retailers surveyed reported that Christmas 2018 was, thankfully, a really good one. Engaging with customers through social media increased. Almost all respondents confirmed that they used Facebook, with two thirds engaging with Instagram and half using Twitter, an increase on the previous year. Also on the ‘up’ was sourcing sustainable environmentallyfriendly products, with 86% of respondents confirming that this was very important to them. Other product categories that stood tall in 2018, (compared to the previous year), were craft products (up 27%); children’s clothing/accessories (up 19%); gift stationery/journals (up 18%), toys and games (up 13%), tableware and kitchen gifts (up 12%) and fashion accessories (up 11%). For the full findings of the PG&H Retail Barometer, read on...

How was Christmas 2018? The good news is that Christmas 2018 was a definite winner, with a whopping 80% of respondents confirming that it was better or the same as Christmas 2017 (compared to 59% in last year’s Barometer findings). Some 20% said it was worse, compared to last year’s 41%. More Christmas cheer was that a significant 87% of those surveyed said that the average spend increased significantly, increased slightly or remained the same.




Compared to Christmas 2017, how did the average spend compare? Average spend per customer Increased significantly Increases slightly Remained the same Declined Declined significantly

5% 53% 30% 7% 5%

What effect did Brexit and the general state of the UK economy have on gift sales in your shop in the last year? Increased slightly Remained the same Declined Declined significantly

18% 51% 26% 5%

How Did Your Business Fare Over The Last Year? PG&H looks back at seven years of Retail Barometer data 2017 v Better Same Worse


2018 45% 28% 27%

2017 v Better Same Worse

2016 37% 21% 42%


2016 v Better Same Worse

2015 56% 18% 26%

2015 v Better Same Worse

2014 50% 27% 23%

2014 v Better Same Worse

2013 53% 24% 23%

2013 v Better Same Worse

2012 46% 26% 28%

2012 v 2011 Better 31% Same 29% Worse 40%

24-27.qxp_New Grid 25/03/2019 12:32 Page 25

Retail Barometer 2018

What main factors had a positive effect on your business in the last year? (Last year's position shown in brackets) 1 Diversification (1) 2 Shopfit (6) 3 = Social media (2) 3 = Upsurge of new customers (5) 4 Expansion into greeting cards (3) 5 Staff (4) 6 Promotional activity (7) 7 Online/website (8) 8 Local competition closing down (9)

Cause For Concern The UK retail economy was the biggest cause for concern for 60% of respondents in 2018, followed by competitive websites and the expansion of discounting/deep value retailers. Other factors that were detrimental to business last year included competition from the multiples, followed by the expansion of gifts and home products in supermarkets. Also putting a strain on gift independents were suppliers selling direct to consumers and increased local competition. Respondents also highlighted Brexit and the possibility of another recession, as well as lack of footfall on the high street, a drop in tourist numbers, local parking charges, competition from charity shops, the exchange rate for imports, staffing costs, and the constant threat of Amazon.

What main factors had a detrimental effect on your business in 2018 The UK retail economy 61% Competitive websites 56% Expansion of discount/deep value retailers 56% Competition from multiples 40% Expansion of gift and home products in supermarkets 35% The National Living Wage/Living Wage 24% Parking issues 22% Rent reviews 14% Charity shops selling gifts 13%

Challenged By The Supermarkets With supermarkets continuing to expand their gift and home offer, it comes as no real surprise that 74% of respondents see them as a threat or a serious threat.

How do you view the supermarkets' continuing expansion into gifts?

7% 5%

36% 52%

What effect did the increase in the national minimum wage and introduction of the National Living Wage (for those aged over 25) have on your business in 2018? Just over half of respondents confirmed that the introduction of an increased national minimum wage and National Living Wage had had no effect so far, with just over a third saying it had had a slight negative effect.

What effect did the introduction of workplace pensions have on your business in 2018? Major negative effect Slight negative effect No effect so far

5% 28% 67%

Garden Centre Growth When asked how they viewed garden centre growth in the gift and home sector, just over half (51%) of those surveyed regarded this sector as a threat or serious threat, slightly down on last year’s findings. Serious threat 23% Threat 28% Neutral 49%

The Amazon Effect Some 84% of those surveyed see online giant Amazon as the biggest threat of all to independent retailers. Serious threat 42% Threat 42% Neutral 16%

Third Party Selling 18% 26%


Suppliers selling online direct to the public remains a thorn in the flesh, with three quarters of respondents (75%) viewing third party selling as a threat or serious threat. Serious threat 31% Threat 44% Neutural 25%

Do you see geographical exclusivity of supply as an issue? Yes No



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Retail Barometer 2018

Investing In A Makeover


Sprucing up their shops was a priority for those surveyed, with just over a third giving their shops a partial refit, with new shop units close behind. Just over a fifth invested in their website. Other investments included lighting. Meanwhile 50% of respondents confirmed that they intended to make improvements to their shops during the coming year. 1 Partial refit 2 New shop units 3 Website 4 Computer equipment 5 EPOS equipment 6 Full refit

Some 90% of respondents confirmed that they had introduced new products in 2018. Emphasising the importance of sustainability, eco products bounded up the diversification charts to take the No. 1 spot, having entered the charts in fourth place last year. Fashion leapt by four places.

Staff Matters Almost three quarters of respondents (72%) said that following on from 2018, staffing levels would remain the same this year, with 15% hoping to recruit more staff (compared to 7% last year). However, 13% will be looking to reduce the number of workers they employ.

Marketing Matters The majority of Barometer respondents - 80% - confirmed that they had actively embraced marketing in addition to collaborating with other local retailers/businesses. In store money off/discount promotions were again way out in front, with loyalty cards remaining an important way to encourage increased footfall. Other ways to engage with customers included social media competitions. 1 In store money off/discount promotions 2 Loyalty cards 3 Charity fund raising 4 = Collaboration with other local retailers/businesses 4 = Customer evenings 4 = Free gift promotions 5 = Gift voucher scheme 5 = Leaflets 6 Press advertising 7 BOGOF (or similar)

Engaging With Customers Gift indies continued to make locals aware of their shops, with last year’s initiatives including Christmas late night shopping evenings, competitions and give away prizes, raffles, freebies on Facebook, free children’s events in the summer and loyalty cards.

Recognition For Achievement Almost 15% of survey respondents were recognised with an award in 2018. These included either winning or being a finalist in The Greats Gift Retailer Awards, and winning or being a finalist or high commended in a variety of local business awards.

Community Involvement Which local organisations were you involved with in 2018? 1 2 3 3 4


Town centre retailing groups Charities Federation of Small Business Chamber of Commerce Schools

46% 43% 36% 25% 18%


Which product areas would you like to further diversify into? (Last year's positions are shown in brackets) 1 Eco (4) 2 Jewellery (3) 3 = Impulse items (1) 3 = Fashion accessories (-) Below: Danilo’s Blue Planet 4 = Fashion (8) 11 calendar. Retailers are pursuing suppliers for eco 4 = Home accessories (2) friendly products. 4 = Chocolates/confectionery (5=) 6 = Greeting cards (5=) 6 = Gardening products (7=) 6 = Home accessories (2) 6 = Stationery (5=) 6 = Crafting products (-) 7 = Handbags (7=) 7 = Giftwrap (9) 8 Balloons (10) 9 = Collectables (-) 9 = Partyware (-)

Product Matters How did the following sectors perform in 2018? ('Star' performers have been shown in blue) Category Increased Bath and body 35% Children’s clothing/accessories 33% Collectables 25% Confectionery/edible gifts 31% Craft products 39% Decorative home accessories 27% Fashion accessories (eg scarves) 60% Furniture 9% Garden gifts 11% Gift stationery/journals 45% Greeting cards 43% Giftwrap 36% Home fragrancing 35% Handbags 26% Impulse items 29% Jewellery 47% Plush 38% Seasonal gifts 23% Tableware/kitchen gifts 20% Toys & Games 33% Women’s fashions 38%

Stable 48% 44% 50% 63% 45% 53% 30% 36% 67% 41% 46% 46% 48% 43% 50% 40% 38% 39% 73% 39% 46%

9 = Calendars (-)

Is sourcing environmentally friendly products important to you? A whopping 86% of respondents confirmed that they looked to source sustainable, environmentally friendly products in 2018. Yes 86% No 14%

Decreased 17% 22% 25% 6% 17% 20% 10% 55% 22% 22% 11% 8% 16% 30% 21% 13% 24% 39% 7% 28% 15%

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Retail Barometer 2018

and mortar store, concurred that their website brings customers into the shop, with the vast majority of sales being made in store rather than online. 22%


Socially Speaking


Unsurprisingly, making good use of social media is increasing, with 87% of those surveyed using social networking sites to promote their business. Almost all respondents are using Facebook, almost two thirds are using Instagram and half are using Twitter to engage with their customers. Facebook 97% Instagram 62% Twitter 50% Linkedin 9%

Made In Britain

Cashing In

Products that are Made in Britain are continuing to gain ground. Over three quarters of respondents seem them as very important or slightly important. (See Made in Britain on pages 45-49)

In store, cash/debit cards triumphed over credit card sales, with respondents confirming that 85% of their customers (compared to 70% in 2017) paid with cash or debit cards last year.

Walking The Aisles

In A Word

Exhibitions remained the most important way to source new products (89%), followed by visits from reps/agents (81%). Trade magazines, such as Progressive Gifts & Home, were also seen as a vital sourcing tool. Overall, some 92% of those surveyed attended a trade show in 2018. Spring Fair was out in front, attended by 74% of respondents, followed by Harrogate’s Home & Gift (62%). Also in the top three was Autumn Fair (53%). 1. Exhibitions 2. Visit from an agent/rep 3. Reading trade magazines 4. Looking in other shops 5. Word of mouth 6. Feedback from customers

'Challenging' remained the most commonly used word to describe the gift industry in 2018. However, on the upside, respondents also praised gift retail for being exciting and inspiring, Among the negative descriptions were: difficult, tough and struggling.

What are your expectations for your business in 2019? Despite so many external factors, especially business rates, having a knock-on effect, gift independents remain confident about the next 12 months. Some 78% of respondents said they felt that their business would see marginal or significant growth, or remain about the same. However, only 10% said they had plans to open another shop.

5% 7% 17%

Upping Suppliers Almost a third of respondents (31%) said that they looked to increase their suppliers in 2018, with the majority (58%) remaining happy with their existing companies.


In 2018, how did you find service levels from suppliers? Improved significantly Improved slightly Remained the same Decreased slightly Decreased significantly

6% 14% 64% 14% 2%

Trading Online Just over two thirds of respondents confirmed that they have a website as well as a bricks and mortar store (67%), with 46% (compared to last year’s 37%) operating a transactional website and 54% having an ‘information only’ website. Up on last year, over half of those surveyed confirmed that they were planning on further developing their existing website over the next 12 months. A fifth of respondents stated that they intend to create a website in 2019, with almost 50% undecided. Over half of those surveyed, (53%), who have both an online business and a bricks


Feeling Confident Looking ahead to the foreseeable future, getting on for a half of respondents - 46% - said that they felt positive or very positive about the survival of independent gift shops over the next 3-5 years, an increase of 10% on the previous year.

How do you view the future of independent gift shops in the next 3-5 years? Very positive Positive Neutral Weak Very weak

3% 43% 30% 17% 7%




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Face To Face: Prue Leith

Sunshine On Leith Prue Leith CBE, is something of a culinary legend, with her award winning career kicking off with her Michelin starred Leith’s restaurant in the early ‘60s. Today, alongside Paul Hollywood, she is, of course, a highly respected judge on Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off attracting a new legion of fans. This year, thanks to a licensing deal with Portico Designs, she is also feeling very excited about the start of a new business venture that will see her become a licensed ‘brand’. Talking to PG&H at Spring Fair, the charismatic Prue was happy to share her views on licensing, gift buying, jewellery and, of course, the joys of being a part of Bake Off. ith her perfectly coiffed hair, snazzy trademark glasses and big, colourful statement jewellery, Prue Leith cuts a memorable figure, not just on our TV screens but also in real life. Despite her impressively long list of career achievements, she is down-to-earth, open, warm and friendly, ready to talk about everything and anything. Starting with her new venture into licensing, she confirms that she’s thoroughly enjoying being a businesswoman. “I’ve always really enjoyed the business side of things. When I started out, I went into the kitchen because I didn’t want to work in an office. But as I grew the business, other people took my place in the kitchen and I found myself in the office doing the buying and the selling and actually, I loved it. I got a huge buzz from looking at the profit and loss accounts, paying my staff and realising what we had achieved.


Above: Prue with fellow Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood. Below: Prue’s first venture into licensing includes recipe calendars and diaries for Portico Designs. Inset: Prue in her trademark big glasses and statement jewellery.

So getting into licensing, and working with Portico Designs on recipe calendars and diaries fulfils my ambition to get back into the business side of things. Although it won’t make us a fortune this year, hopefully the venture will build as the years go on.” Simply entitled Prue, the 2020 calendars and diaries tie-in with Prue, her first cookbook for 25 years, all of which are sure to be bought as gifts for her growing arm of fans. So is she a savvy gift buyer herself? “No, not at all! In fact, I’m terrible at gift buying. However, fortunately my husband John Playfair is a brilliant gift buyer. He’s a shopaholic and doesn’t wait for Christmas to buy friends and family gifts. He constantly gives presents to everyone, whenever we see them. However, I do, of course, buy gifts for John, the best one to date being a King Charles cavalier puppy.” As an example of John’s largesse, she cites a lunch party they recently hosted at home. “I discovered John wrapping up long shoehorns for our guests, who are all getting on in years, enabling them to put their shoes on without bending their knees,” she smiles. So what was the best gift that John has bought for Prue? “It’s not one particular gift as such, but a never ending stream of really good earrings and necklaces,” she continues. “We’re fortunate to do a lot of travelling, and wherever we go, we shop in the local markets. Although I’ve got enough jewellery to last me for the rest of my life, and all of my daughter’s lifetime, John always manages to find something that I haven’t seen before, such as an unusual shape or colour. What’s lovely is that the items are always genuine, made by local artisans.” She says her love of big jewellery is related to her build. “I’m tall, so while I think dainty, pretty jewellery looks lovely on smaller people, I have always preferred larger pieces. It’s become my trademark, along with my colourful glasses.” Is she enjoying being a judge on The Great British Bake Off? “I am,” she smiles. “It’s such a lovely programme to work on. The contestants are very friendly and genuinely do like each other, with Love Productions giving them plenty of time to make their bakes. Plus, Paul is absolutely lovely to work with, and Sandi Toksvig and I are great friends.” As for Spring Fair, she says that what really impressed her was that there was such an incredible array of product. “Behind every product there has obviously been such a huge production process, reinforcing to me that we are a nation of doers, and that so many successful businesses really do start at the kitchen table.” Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide



As a gift for others, a treat for ourselves or a workplace essential, stationery is a striking and personal way for people to express themselves.

@stationeryshowsuk @stationerybytes

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Taking Note With gift shops heading to Stationery Show London later this month, and National Stationery Week once again propelling stationery into the spotlight, PG&H discovered not only what will be trending for the coming season but also why social stationery has become a ‘must have’ fashion accessory.

Despite living in a world where smart phones and tablets rule - including acting as an address book, phone book, diary, calendar and a journal - technology has, if anything, re-inforced a love of trend driven, tactile social stationery that stylishly says something about the user. “Women have always loved to purchase stationery either for themselves or as a gift,” states Blueprint Collections’ design and product development director Pip Chamberlain. “It’s a way of making a statement about who you are and what you like without having to spend a fortune on designer clothing and handbags. As new trends arrive, it’s easy to keep up with them with a new notebook and pen. As a gift it is a fairly safe purchase as stationery is always so well received by women.” She continues: “We have seen a trend towards the use of darker colours, such as

Spotlight On... Social Stationery

Left: Rise and Shine stationery from Caroline Gardner. Far left: The Blueprint Collection’s Tahiti design from Sara Miller London. Below right: Really Good/Soul’s Am I collection. Bottom: A Gift From The Gods’ Calligraphy and Hearts collection.

At A Gift From The Gods, Chloe Bayles, head of wholesale, comments: “stationery is a tactile, analogue product in a cold digital world. It’s also an affordable, versatile gift for many occasions and an accessible way to express a person’s creativity. From a trend perspective, tropical is still strong in pinks and greens, featuring exaggerated palms and ferns, which we’ve adopted with overlapping hearts in our Calligraphy and Hearts Design story update. Other trends include hints of metallics and modern art abstract. “It’s vibrant and exciting with clashing prints, slogans and colours as featured in our urban graffiti Get Your Goddess On Design Story,” adds Chloe. “Stationery is a daily essential whatever your age,” says Caroline Gardner’s independent sales manager Luca Bridges. “It’s become the new accessory, and now that social media, such as Instagram, is having such a positive impact on gifting, especially self-gifting, these kind of

deep peacock green and rich burgundies, highlighted with a touch of a bright vibrant contrasting colour or a softer more washed feel. The tropical trend is still strong, as is the use of animals and slogans that never seem to go away. Both our Sara Miller and Yvonne Ellen collections reflect some of these trends.” stationery items pick up beautifully in images, making them must have items.” As for SS19 trends, Luca says it’s all about pastels teamed with colour pops, strong colour blocking or chic patterning. “Clashing textures are also key, seen across the catwalks, which can now be found in stationery too.” Consumers are not just looking for a practical stationery item points out Fiona Burge, sales manager at Really Good/Soul. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Social Stationery

Above: Hedera, a watercolour-inspired drawn floral range from ExaClair. Below left: A notebook aimed at millennials from Wild & Wolf.

“It needs to stand out, be pleasing to the eye and even be part of a small collection. The price is still relevant today, but if the product offers luxury appeal, it immediately justifies the gift value. Our luxury ranges from Kingdom and Jessica Russell Flint tick these demands with the addition of the attention to detail in feel, texture, colour and where it has been made.” (The company’s luxury stationery is currently made in the UK). She adds that the use of vibrant colours is still a predominant stationery trend for 2019.

launched new ranges of high quality products - Hedera, Funny Company and Chacha - showcasing these growing trends in the stationery market.” Joelle Engolia, senior marketing executive at Wild & Wolf, says that over the past couple of years, there’s been a resurgence in ‘90s, retro-style typography. “Millennials are keen on nostalgic design elements. Being at a career age where they’ll have a more practical use for stationery, it means that they’ll be searching for notebooks and pens featuring this kind of style. Reflecting the trends, our brand Yes Studio includes our A5 notebooks ‘I Would Like To Announce…I Have No Idea What I’m Doing’, ‘Everyday I’m Hustlin’ Pen & Case and ‘Don’t Panic’.” Adds Joelle: “People desire stationery accessories that brighten up their desk and inject some positivity into the long working Above right: Pango Productions’ rainbow notebook. Left: Surface pattern is a huge trend, reflected by Oh Dear! from Widdop and Co. Below: Stationery for sports enthusiastis from Lesser & Pavey.

“Our Jessica Russell Flint range offers not only the use of bold colours but also stunning illustrations from the world around us.” From a gifting stance, Clement Rouillard, marketing manager at ExaClair, says that gifting a good quality, trendy notebook is a great way to have the recipient thinking of the giver every time they use the product, with pastel shades back on trend, as well as flowers and Kraft. “Within our new Clairefontaine collections, we have Stationery Show London takes place at London’s Business Design Centre from April 30-May 1. Visit Running alongside it will be National Stationery Week which takes place from April 29 until May 5. Visit

day, with on trend Spring/Summer colours featuring reds, blues, nude/pinks, yellows, oranges and greens.” At Widdop and Co., marketing manager Sue Grant emphasises that surface pattern design is currently huge. “It’s on everything from the runways of Paris fashion week to the humble notebook or planner. Studio Oh! has embraced this with bold, bright, quirky repeating patterns that express someone’s personality. In the age of social media, the Instagramable quote is also a fabulous feature found on the covers of journals, planners and diaries from Studio Oh!” she continues. “The need for order in our chaotic world is an instinct, making a notebook/planner a necessity, and this has seen social stationery become a huge market.” Social stationery from Lesser and Pavey meanwhile, has a sporty theme, with a new range that puts a fun twist on sport through

word and illustration. “The fashion might be to have our fingers glued to out phone or computer keyboard, but you can’t beat a notebook for notes and squiggles,” comments managing director Julian Hunt. “Notebooks are becoming a reference book for noting down our feelings, thoughts and ideas without an on/off button.” Handcrafted product too, are driving stationery sales. “Especially in times of digitisation, handcrafted products - above all paper products are once again given high desirability, with people longing for tactile products,” says Nicola Tack, PR and marketing manager at Rico Design. “Haptics and texture are extremely important and only high-quality stationery products can satisfy this need.” She says that ‘perfectly imperfect’ is a trend that is running through all product areas. “Our new Rico Design theme world, Crafted Nature, has picked up on this trend with natural designs featuring colour splashes, swabs and visible brushstrokes.” Continued on page 35

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These pet coasters are the ideal quirky gift idea for the ultimate pet lover. The fun shaped ceramic coasters feature realistic photos of puppies & kitty. 16 designs, 8 puppies & 8 kittens price £3.99rrp each.

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The Precious Pets collection features humorous quotes and stylish accessories for your furry four-legged friends. Hanging signs and lead holders. 51 hanging signs. Price £6.99rrp each.

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Spotlight On... Social Stationery Interestingly, wellbeing too, can be a direct result of social stationery, according to Xing Yunshen, head of communications at Pango Productions. He says that the company sets out to generate a happy feeling that drives a customer's feelgood factor when they purchase the products. “A lot of emphasis has been put into wellness, self-care and time away from electronics in the market over recent years, and we believe that they contribute to the increasing popularity of journalling and notetaking, to track one's growth and progress. Gifting someone a notebook would almost feel like you're also gifting and enabling them to adopt a healthy habit.”

Left: Orchid from Castelli.

It’s a view shared by Matthew Harris, founder of Karma International Consultancy who works with Castelli. “People will continue to buy premium social stationery as it allows them to reconnect, to treat themselves, or others, to a real human, mindful experience without blowing the budget.” One way or another, social stationery has an important role to play in the lives of many people, women especially. From helping to plan and organise their lives to a personal space that allows them reflect and jot thoughts down, notebooks and journals seem to be the perfect antidote to a world that’s driven by technology.

Environmentally & Ethically Produced Among the stationery companies with impeccable environmental and ethical credentials is Vent for Change, which combines design-led products with an ethical purpose. Produced in the UK, the range includes pencils made from recycled CD cases to pocket books made using reclaimed coffee cup fibres, with every item having a strong

Top Retailer Tips l ”A display which is modern and tidy, where the product can all be seen, will capture the


l l



consumer’s eye straightaway.” Pip Chamberlain, design and product development director, Blueprint Collections “Offering a collective merchandised display of stationery draws the consumer into the range and upsells other items the consumer may not necessarily have intended to purchase.” Fiona Burge, sales manager, Really Good/Soul ”Making sure that each stationery brand is given its chance to shine is crucial.” Sue Grant, marketing manager, Widdop and Co “During the new year in January and back-to-term time in August/September, there should be dedicated window or in-store displays to leverage these key dates.” Joelle Engolia, senior marketing executive, Wild & Wolf “Supplement themes in the retail space, such as ‘for children’ or ‘for women’, with a lovely, small stationery item which complements a larger ticket item.” Candy Smith, head buyer, Rex London “Play to the collection's strengths. If it’s tactile, make it easy for kids to be able to see it, reach it and touch it.” Xing, Pango Productions

Child Friendly Children’s stationery too, is continuing to go from strength to strength. At Rachel Ellen Designs, founder and managing director Rachel Church says that rainbows are still a strong theme. “They feature on a few different products within our stationery range and are the main focus of our 'Be your own rainbow' range.” She adds that the recent 'girl power' trend inspired the company’s new children’s Girl's Rule collection, which includes a writing set, secret diary, stickers, invitations, drinks bottle, enamel pin badges and a range of tin and textile items. Continues Rachel: “The collection was designed around one of our new plush doll characters - the fun loving, blue-haired Suki Starburst who sends a positive message to young girls to say 'you can do it!'. A bright splash of on trend neon pink ink adds some extra zing.” The company is also in the process of launching a selection of party invites as well as new address cards for

environmental message. ”Having strong ethical and eco credentials no longer means a dull or worthy finished article,” comments Vent for Change’s founder and environmental entrepreneur Evan Lewis. Proceeds from the sale of every Vent product sold go towards children’s education products worldwide. Above: Vent for Change’s recycled pocket books.

Right: Rachel Ellen’s children’s social stationery. Below: A colourful pack of ‘thank you’ cards from Earlybird Designs.

adults, and has also launched foiled adult planners, password books, address and occasion books as well as an array of handy multi-use notebooks. “It’s the ideal combination of gorgeous design and functionality,” says Rachel. At Rex London, the company’s head buyer Candy Smith highlights: “The trend for stationery in 2019 is bright, sunshine colours. We’ve incorporated this colour palette into our stationery and notebooks for kids, along with quirky icons such as doughnuts, sweets and rainbows, alongside mystical creatures and wild animals.” Also singing the praises of children’s social stationery is Dom Early, founder of Earlybird Designs. “Using our best-selling designs from our everyday card ranges we offer children's thank you packs, adult thank you packs and party invites, plus artists blank packs,” he explains. “There is something very special about receiving a thank you card from your grandson or granddaughter rather than a text. In fact, card packs are an area that we are going to significantly expand on this year.” Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide






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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the Stationery & Pen products to be showcased this month

Irises & Hellebores Collaborating with the Royal Horticultural Society, Shruti’s brand new Irises and Hellebores collection is set to bring a touch of floral elegance to Spring. Trend-led inspirations give the collection a soft, oriental feel with rich navy backgrounds interspersed with pops of coral and mint, with beautiful gold foil detailing. Formats include scarves, bags, cosmetic bags and a glasses case, stainless steel water bottle and a gorgeous range of stationery items.

Shruti Tel: 01225 473873 Email:

Jazzy Journals Bright fun journals are always a huge hit within the gift market, and this vibrant collection from Joe Davies is both eyecatching and practical. The journals come in an array of finishes including metallic inks, spot gloss varnish and feature current on trend design and patterns. They are made with high quality paper and supplied in a stylish counter display unit for easy display. Everything is available in ‘little and often’ quantities with carriage paid orders of just £100 and free nationwide delivery.

Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email:

Fantastic Frida Frida Kahlo was a uniquely talented artist and activist, renowned for her self-portraits and works inspired by the nature and artefacts of Mexico, with Groovy UK very excited at having just signed the Frida Kahlo licence, boosting the creativity and unique style of Groovy, alongside growing new product areas within their licences. Beautiful print and pattern come together on a collection of apparel, accessories, bags, ceramics and stationery to create homage to one of the twentieth century's most iconic women.

Groovy UK Tel: 0844 372 7820 Email:

No More Twiddling Thumbs Our magnetic Twiddle Pen makes the perfect gift for any person that can’t sit still. The unique design gives its users multiple twiddle features that are guaranteed to keep any fidgeting needs fulfilled. Perfect for relieving the boredom of mindless meetings or lectures!

Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955 595 Email:

Delightful Disney

Colourful Childhood Give the gift of happy memories with a bright, beautiful childhood record book from Colour Chronicles. Deemed as the continuation of the baby book, this stylish childhood memory book is to be filled out once a year from age one through to 16. It prompts delightful answers from the child and their grown up, preserving the years, building into a lasting treasury to be looked back on and jog happy memories of childhood. Available in six rainbow colours, there’s a book for everyone.

Colour Chronicles Tel: 07880 558888 Email:

Half Moon Bay will be launching six new Disney collections during 2019, with each collection featuring original Disney artwork across heat change mugs, lunchboxes and accessories. Launch ranges include Disney’s Dumbo, Aladdin, Toy Story, The Lion King, Disney Princess and a capsule collection of coloured mugs featuring original Disney classic characters. Also showcased will be a new Paddington Bear and Moomin range. Friends will also be showcased along with a classic Beano range; a Thunderbirds collection with Lady Penelope and Brains sub brands, a Captain Marvel collection, and a first collection of gift books under new publishing imprint Ice House Books.

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Industry Issue... Retail Week Live 2019

Below: Delegates arriving at Retail Week Live. Below left: A rapt audience listened to top level speakers. Bottom: Retail Week’s Chris Brook-Carter shared his views about the future of retail.

At the end of March, retail’s the great and the good, the curious and the info-thirsty, headed to a two day Retail Week Live conference held at the Intercontinental at the O2 in London, the single largest gathering of retail leadership in the UK. Boasting seven stages and over 150 speakers, it was, as Retail Week’s managing director Chris Brook-Carter said, “an opportunity for everyone to come together to problem solve, and for the conference to give retailers the tools to survive.” PG&H was among those in the front row. Following one of the toughest and most uncertain year’s in retail, Retail Week’s Chris Brook-Carter said in his opening address at Retail Week Live that the rules of retail are being defined by consumers. “They switch between a digital and retail world 24 hours a day,” he told delegates. “The results are an eco-system for those fleet footed enough to embrace them. New businesses are taking hold and reforming around a new customer relationship with the brands and the products that people buy transcending the traditional distribution retail model of stores and ecommerce.” He continued: “Within this creative disruption, the labels that define retailers,

manufacturers, media companies and certifiers - the links in the value chains that have underpinned the industry for a century - are abruptly becoming obsolete. Meanwhile, even more modern phrases, such as multi-channel and omni-channel, seem increasingly outmoded because they define the industry through the inside out. We live in a post-tunnel age, and it is an age whose rules are defined not by retailers but by consumers, consumers who refuse to be led down strict, set customer journeys by retailers. Instead, consumers are spending their days switching between the digital and physical worlds, where they can access an array of products and services, moving seamlessly from one to the other in a connected world.” Talking about ecosystems, he said that a new retail picture is emerging to survive the retail Darwinism, where the fittest are data driven. “Those that survive will be

collaborative as well as competitive, where they are innovative, where they have the ability to invest in new technology and are driven by a sense of purpose to both inspire customers and employees alike. The question now, is how do you win the foot race to reach those goals, ensuring that the business you are in is one that will continue to outpace the disruptive forces that have already preyed on consumers?The foot race is on for retailers to join up the dots of their data to create a unique understanding of the customers. A foot race is on to make the right choices around which technology to invest in to power the next phase of digital transformation, and to find the talent to underpin and execute on this frenetic but exhilarating future for retail. Additionally, the foot race is also on to find the right partners as we enter an age of creative collaboration.” Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Industry Issue... Retail Week Live 2019

What Can Retailers Do That Amazon Can’t? As 84% of respondents to PG&H’s latest Retail Barometer concurred, (see page 21), Amazon is seen one of the biggest threats to both independent and multiple retailers. “But why aren’t we focusing on the positives of British retail? How can Amazon’s dominance drive us to steer new strategies and innovations? What can we do that they can’t?” journalist, broadcaster and author Harry Wallop challenged a panel of speakers that included Peter Pritchard, ceo of Pets At Home; Miriam Lahage, ceo of Figleaves; Morgan Fowles, coo of Spoke London and David Grimes, founder and ceo of Sorted. “Amazon is a great business,” stated Peter. “Consequently, I hate it! As a retailer you have to be everything that Amazon isn’t.” Miriam said that at Figleaves, the company didn’t think of Amazon in terms of David and Goliath. “We don’t try to overtake it,” she explained. “We are a niche, specialist company in lingerie and swimwear. We are established, credible, and have an advantage because we offer so many sizes and styles of one product. This allows to have our own online business but also play in the Amazon market place. Our business is a search game.” Spoke London’s Morgan Fowles pointed out that because the company sells high end chinos, retailing between £89-£125, it’s not a price band that is often found on Amazon.

Below: From left to right: David Grimes, Morgan Fowles, Harry Wallop, Miriam Laharge and Peter Pritchard.

“It means that it isn’t a direct competitor,” she explained. “Our customers come from the world of digital marketing.” On the question of delivery, Sorted’s David Grimes highlighted that if you are an Amazon Prime customer, you can get what you’ve ordered the next day. “So how does a normal, online retailer compete?” he asked. “Amazon have set the bar very high, but they have £billions to invest which other retailers don’t have. The key for retailers is therefore to partner with a specialist to help to level the playing field. Free delivery is key and retailers need to invest in that area.” As Peter highlighted, “Amazon has no emotion. It is a machine. However, we have a magic key and that is people. We do the reverse of automation. Through people we add value to our business. Our staff hold conversations of relevance with our customers.

Starting From Scratch Mandeep Shah, founder and ceo of independent bricks and mortar website Trouva, was among the top level speakers discussing how the retail landscape would look today if retailers could start from scratch. He shared the stage with Molly Johnston head of strategy at Stone River, and Oskana Stowe, an early stage investor with True. “Knowing what we know, if we could reboot the high street, where would go now?” presenter and broadcaster Alice Beer asked the panel. “If you were starting out as a retailer from scratch, then you would go online first and reverse into a brilliant bricks and mortar space,” suggested Mandeep, “so it’s about investing in both. At Trouva, we have one foot in the old, and one foot in the new, and what is amazing about independents is that they are continually re-inventing themselves. They are great at recognising where the future is, and they know that they have to be better than what else is out there. Many of the independent retailers that we work with hold events, such as workshops, to take their shops to the next level. They use these type of retail experiences to encourage people to come in store and shop with them. Plus separating online and offline is antiquated thinking, with warehousing very old school now.” Molly Johnston’s view was that, when a retailer is starting out, they need to ask themselves ‘why?’ “Why do I, as a business, exist, apart from to buy and sell products, why do customers come in to shop from my store, and why would someone want to work for me?” she

Of course Amazon is a threat, but as a retailer you have to bring it back to what you are good at and to evolve with your customers.” “Does being on Amazon diminish a brand?” asked Harry. “Trying not to lose brand identity by being on Amazon is crucial,” stated David. “Amazon is a powerful partner, but we all need to own our customers which is the most important thing. Having niche products and a strong personality within the brand is how retailers can stand out.” According to Peter, the way to compete with Amazon is to know your customers very well. “It’s about personalisation,” he emphasised. “It’s what drives people to visit to our stores.” As David pointed out: “The advantage that independents have over Amazon is that they can engage with their customers. But the real power lies in bringing offline and online together.”

explained. “A retailer also has to ask themselves, do my staff believe in me, and in what I’m doing and selling? Without the right people, a business won’t be successful.” Customer service and differentiation too, are crucial in today’s retail world said Oskana Stowe. “It’s not so much about the business model but about service delivered to the highest standards. Everything is merging and many retailers haven’t caught up,” she suggested. “It’s about having the right inventory software, and the larger retailers have been faster to adapt, although it’s not a fully virtual world yet.” As for A1 technology, Mandeep said that today, it was like asking someone if they had a website. “It’s about what data sets you are using and what you are doing with technology. At Trouva, we are always digging deeper. It’s no longer about buzzwords.” Molly concurred. “Today, my advice to anyone starting a business is that it is all about A1 machine learning, and having a well-built end-to-end consumer program. The online and bricks and mortar process must be seamless.” Oksana added that what is emerging is that there are a lot of niche communities. “Underserved communities would be an interesting way for a retailer to reach their customers,” she pointed out. Above: The Starting From Scratch panel at Retail Week Live. From left to right: Trouva’s Mandeep Shah, Molly Johnston from Stone River, Oskana Stowe from True and presenter Alice Beer.

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Spotlight On... Hong Kong Gifts & Premiun Fair

A Focus On


With wellness and self-care currently one of the hottest trends around, the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair which takes place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 27-30 - will be putting the spotlight on the debut of the new World of Beauty, Fitness & Well-being zone. In response to a growing, global trend for pure, natural bath and body products, along with buyers looking to source more of this type of product at the Fair, the show will be unveiling the latest gift-led items. PG&H took a peek behind the scenes before the show opens its doors. Driven by an increasing demand for wellness items, and a seemingly insatiable appetite for beauty items - to include cosmetics, skincare, fitness, haircare as well as bath, spa and accessories - the trend has created huge opportunities for the gift industry. People across the generations, regardless of age or gender, are enthusiastically looking to buy into a passion for staying well, wanting to use only the purest products on their face and body. As a result, the worldwide cosmetics market has grown steadily over the past few

years, with Asia Pacific leading the cosmetic consumption market. Based on the findings, this year’s Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair is debuting the World of Beauty, Fitness & Well-being zone which will be showcasing products that are relevant to a healthy lifestyle, but with a gifting twist. Among them will be products that reflect lifestyle, souvenir and festival giftware, with consumers looking not only to selfpurchase but also, to choose gifts for friends and family that help to improve their wellbeing. But contemporary and more traditional giftware too, will be very much in the spotlight, with the popular Hall of Fine Designs housing over 130 high quality brands to include B.Duck and Team Green from Hong Kong, the Japanese stationery brand Kokuyo, German notebook brand Leuchtturm and Italian designer brand Pininfarina.

Below: Last year’s ‘welcome’ area featured a colourful, pixel games design concept which gave the Fair a playful feel. Below left: Talking business at the show. Bottom: Visitors flocked to the Hall of Fine Designs.

Other popular zones include the Startup Zone, Corporate Gifts, Tech Gifts, Green Gifts, World of Camping & Outdoor Goods and Figurines & Decorations. Participating countries and regions will, once again, be returning to the show featuring group pavilions. Countries include the UK, Mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, India and Thailand. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and coorganised by The Hong Kong Exporters’ Association (HKEA), the HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair will be welcoming over 4,360 worldwide exhibitors to arguably the world’s largest fair of its kind, with visitors able to enjoy a one-stop marketing and sourcing platform. In 2018, the fair attracted over 48,000 buyers from 139 countries and regions.

Other Show Highlights The fair’s co-organiser, the Hong Kong Exporters’ Association (HKEA), will be showcasing a pavilion reflecting the creativity of Hong Kong’s enterprises. The Association will again be organising the Hong Kong Smart Design Awards, with the winning entries on display during the Fair. In addition, to help buyers explore the latest industry opportunities, seminars and forums will be taking place, where industry experts will discuss ‘hot button’ issues to include trends and technologies.

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The Luna collection offers opulent textures and luxury materials, combined with sumptuous perfumes for a decadent fragrance experience. A new fragrance for Spring 2019, Papyrus Woods & Jasmine. Crisp green apple blended with sparkling Calabrian bergamot, spiked with fragrant pink pepper, and watery green floral notes of jasmine, warmed down with dry papyrus woods to an indulgence aroma.

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Top Drawer – 13-15 January – Stand K47 | Atlanta Gift Show – 9 -13 January – Stand 508 Maison et Objet – 18-22 January | Spring Fair – 3-7 February – Hall 8 A15

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Spotlight On... Made In Britain



As PG&H’s latest Retail Barometer shows - see pages 2427 - interest in products that have been Made in Britain, especially if they have been produced locally, are skyrocketing, with more and more gift shops looking to source products in this way. Plus, a Made in Britain backstamp is, of course, a coveted key to opening doors into the export market. PG&H spoke to some of the leading companies, across different sectors of the gift industry, to see what is driving sales. Inset: Dunoon’s Cairngorm Splosh! collection.


onsumer appetite for quality, British made products is at an all-time high, with those all important words ‘Made In Britain’ often the key to taking products onto a global stage. Additionally, as British manufacturers can confirm, there’s a strong UK market too, with several trade shows highlighting Made In Britain trails to point buyers in the right direction. Phil Atherton, group sales & marketing director at Portmeirion Group, confirmed that the company’s ’Made in the UK’ status has always been important to the Group and its customers. “Gift retailers have always valued the craftsmanship that comes out of our factory in Stoke-on-Trent and this continues to be the case,” he states. “We make the most of this by offering striking PoS that clearly communicates the message, and our retailers find that this really helps set the scene in store and encourage sales. Our social media also reiterates the quality of our ware from the UK factory, and some of the views we have enjoyed of videos of our production process show there is huge interest in UK made products.”

Above: A cup handler at work at Portmeirion Group’s factory in Stoke-on-Trent. Below: Whisky glasses from Dartington that have been handmade in the UK.

At Dunoon, which manufactures in Staffordshire - using Cornish clay and age old skills and techniques sales director Peter Smith highlights that many of the company’s export customers have, for many years, bought Dunoon not just for the quality of the product lines and extensive variety of designs on offer but for the fact it is UK made, therefore, offering authenticity that many consumers respect and appreciate. “We are seeing this more and more in the UK now, with

many of our customers being asked for locally and UK made products.” In glassware, Dartington’s sales director Richard Halliday comments: “Many of our retailers value the fact that we are a UK brand with a significant Made in UK element to our product range. Our ‘handmade in the UK’ lead crystal is a premium product, and we also have strong sales in classic designs such as Dimple barware, Florabundance vases and our various whisky gift collections. To help retailers, we highlight our British made products with product labelling and packaging that supports this message.” Candles too, have seen a myriad of suppliers across the board invest in

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Made In Britain Left: Stoneglow’s Pink Peony and Gardenia from the Modern Classics range. Below right: Jewellery which is made in Wales by Carrie Elspeth. Below middle: Ylang Ylang & Orange from Best Kept Secrets. Products are manufactured in Morpeth. Below left: The Fruits Scents collection from Wax Lyrical.

manufacturing their products in the UK. At Stoneglow, commercial director Louise Dooley explains: “We find more retailers are reaching out for Made in the UK, and we pride ourselves on continuing to manufacture our products here in the UK, just outside of London. All our products carry ‘Made in the UK’ and we flag the Union Jack on our packaging too, to highlight this to the end consumer.” She continues: “We also supply retailers with free leaflets that they can display alongside our products, which highlights this further still and shows the unique way we make our candles and diffusers by hand. Buying UK made products not only supports British jobs, it cuts down the carbon footprint. Essentially, the consumer knows that they are buying a quality product.” Elsewhere in the UK, Wax Lyrical, based in the Lake District, develops, manufactures

and delivers home fragrance products to over 40 countries. Commenting on the appetite for UK made products, the company’s sales and marketing director Warren Gell comments: “We are seeing a huge interest and uptake in our ranges because they are made in the UK, with retailers looking for products offering a low carbon footprint as well as a quality fragrance experience.” He continues: “The sales growth is being seen in new gifting retail channels as well as with traditional customers. We have focused on new gift retailers, where we can communicate an excellent fragrance experience, UK made quality, and points of difference to the discounted brands made outside of the UK. Overall this focus has meant a significant growth in sales.”

Top Retailer Tip “In terms of retailers presenting the UK made story in store, a strong UK themed display, with strong point of sale, will always help, especially with the current sentiment of the UK population.” Phil Atherton, group sales & marketing director, Portmeirion Group

Best Kept Secrets too, is another UK home fragrance company which is proud to fanfare its British credentials. “British-made product are deemed to be of better quality and therefore trustworthy and safe - exactly what consumers want when buying candles” says managing director Vanessa Curry. “The ‘Made in Britain’ tag is a powerful branding message that we are frequently asked about by our customers. Today, people are more aware of where the products they buy come from, with many shops wanting to place orders with local manufacturers, especially those who use British ingredients. Shoppers are willing to pay more for British products and the main reason is quality, followed closely by style. Environmental impact also enters into the buying decision, reducing carbon footprint and supporting the British economy.” On the jewellery front, Carrie Shapiro, founder and creative supremo of Welsh jewellery company Carrie Elspeth, says that there’s always been an interest in buying British and that this has accelerated in recent years. “We have taken on an increased number of customers looking for

Welsh/British made products, especially since Brexit. Some retailers are pushing this even further by looking for products made within a certain radius - within 50 miles for example. In fact, retailers have been dedicating whole sections of their stores to this theme, printing posters and banners, doing in-store promotions and marketing.” She adds that British retailers selling British products gives credence to the whole ‘Shop Local’ movement. “Retailers are also getting much more savvy about discriminating between ‘Made in Britain’ versus ‘Designed in Britain’ as importers try to jump on the bandwagon,” Carrie Continued on page 49

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Spotlight On... Made In Britain continues. “Manufacturing in the UK is under a lot of pressure due to cost increases. When exporting this is less of an issue as the weaker £pound makes prices more favourable to mainland Europe. However as we move towards 2020 and a £9 living wage this may not be enough. Shoppers definitely love to buy British but there is only so much they are prepared to pay for it.” David Morris, copywriter & PR executive at Signature Gifts, concurs that with the current Brexit uncertainty, the company has seen the popularity of distinctly British gifts rise as people look more inwardly towards domestic products. “One product that we have found to benefit from these patriotic purchases are our personalised Haynes Manual range. Based on the classic British Haynes manuals, these licensed books poke fun at various topics and groups, written with a charm and wit that could only come from a true Brit. It is very important for retailers to advertise such products as being ‘Made in the UK’ as this could well be the deal breaker that ensures that the consumer

makes the decision to purchase from them and not elsewhere.” Highlights David: “Our main production facilities, in the heart of the Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, and on the Scottish west coast, really encompasses this ‘Made in Britain’ vibe, and we encourage all of our retailers to advertise this fact.” Matthew Hopkins, managing director of The Great British Exchange, a supplier of British made products, says that what’s really changed in the last six to 12 months is that UK gift retailers are specifically requesting British made home and giftware. “There has always been an interest in provenance but that desire to know where something was made, and understand the story behind it, has become huge. By learning more about the

producers and makers, they can share that information to really engage with their customers and inspire them to buy.” He adds: “We are also finding that a lot more gift shops are coming to us with a brief to find them products made within 50 miles of their front door. Locally sourced has been a buzz word for restaurants and farm shops for some time but it hasn’t been such a big thing in the home and gift industry until more recently. However, from our conversations with retailers, we know that all of this is being driven by customers who are looking for something new and different and who want to spend their money on things that support British manufacturing or local artisan makers.” As more gift retailers look to source locally or from UK manufacturers, it's no longer a trend but an important supply chain that is very much here to stay.

Top: British wit can be found in Signature Gifts’ British Haynes manuals. Above: Although Di Palomo pampering products are influenced by Italy they are, in fact, made in England. Left: These British made Nocturnal plates are supplied by The Great British Exchange.

Best Of British The British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) - which takes place at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate and runs from April 7-9 will be showcasing products from hundreds of designermakers based in Great Britain and Ireland. “Research from organisations such as Which? and Barclays has shown that the consumer appetite for authentic British products is running at an all time high, as people look to support more local, sustainable businesses and seek beautifully designed products which they know are of sound provenance,” says show organiser Margeret Bunn. “This research is backed up by the strong anecdotal feedback from retailers visiting the show and followers on our social media sites. If ever there was a time to support our heritage industries and British designer-makers this is it.” Product categories will include handmade ceramics, porcelain, fashion accessories and jewellery, hand blown glass, metalwork, woodwork, fine art and greeting cards. Visit: Right: A Balderson tea towel and chopping board from the company’s Furious Vegetables range will be showcased at the BCTF.

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide




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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the British Made gift products to be showcased this month.

Giving Back To Nature

Supersized Diffusers & Refills Ashleigh & Burwood have recently introduced new double-sized 300ml refills in eight of The Scented Home’s best-selling fragrances. Value and volume has also been added with three large new 500ml reed diffusers in bestselling Fresh Linen, Jasmine & Tuberose and Moroccan Spice joining the collection. These new additions will bring loyal customers their favourite scents in larger, longer-lasting sizes and make a great impression both on the shelf and in the home.

Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email:

Home fragrance experts Ashleigh & Burwood are proud to announce that they’re continuing in their commitment to give back to nature through collaboration with wildlife charities. The newest design in their popular Wild Things range of luxury home products and fragrances, Rhino Saw Us, is linked with charity Helping Rhinos (registered charity number: 1175762), who will be receiving 20% of profits from sales of scented candles and reed diffusers featuring the design.

Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email:

Semi-precious Gems Carrie Elspeth is celebrating 20 years of trading this year, with the established Welsh brand creating another on trend collection that is sure to get your tills ringing. Still proudly producing amazing, affordable and quality designs in the UK, Spring sees the launch of one of the company’s most colourful collections yet, crammed with luscious semiprecious gems and glass. Gorgeous packaging and full point of sale items are available. Get in touch now for your full-colour Spring catalogue.

Modern Classics Simplicity is key for this timeless collection, with classic designs and modern aromas, selected for their captivating fragrances. Made in the UK by Stoneglow Candles.

Stoneglow Candles Tel: 020 8595 8878 Email:

Carrie Elspeth Tel: 01446 771271

Card and Gift In One Gift of the Year 2019 Highly Commended – a card and gift in one! A handmade pewter pendant complete with waxed cotton cord necklace on a greetings card. The unique designs by Emma are handcrafted in pewter by a skilled, local artisan in Shropshire. Designed to sit perfectly, the pendants form part of the picture on the hand-drawn illustrated cards. The premium card is made in the Lake District and printed in the UK. The three designs, Bee, Bird and Butterfly, reflect the popular nature trend.

Emma Lawrence Designs Tel: 07801442924 Email:

Feelgood Jewellery After the huge success of their wellbeing range of jewellery, Carrie Elspeth has expanded on this by adding 30 different gemstone bracelets to the collection. Perfect for collecting and great for stacking, these beautiful charm bracelets come with an organza gift bag and a card explaining the properties of the semi-precious stones. The range shortlistedwas in Gift of the Year 2019 competition. Feelgood jewellery that’s lovingly handmade in Wales! Get in touch for your full-colour Spring catalogue.

Carrie Elspeth Tel: 01446 771271



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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the British Made gift products to be showcased this month.

Fresh Faced Sparkly Diffusers Best Kept Secrets have had great success with their Just Because candles and soaps and are now bringing to the collection Just Because rattan diffusers. Featuring fun messages and the best selling Classic Cotton fragrance, these and the original diffusers, come with a sprinkling of glitter. Three new fragrances - Pink Pomegranate, Caspian Silk and Plum Champagne - complete the range. These diffusers last longer than a candle and the lack of flame make them safer around the home. Available in 100ml and 50ml.

Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email:

Our gift packaged face mask sheets are made in the UK and exclusively designed by La de da! Living. They’re the new ‘must have’ pick-up line for 2019, made fashionable by the likes of Victoria Beckham and the Kardashians. Rita and Dominique have brought the on trend gifts to trade, and have tried to incorporate a card and gift element rolled into one. There are 40 different designs covering all occasions. Counter top display and free point of sale are provided with an RRP only £6.99. Contact us for a full brochure.

La De Da! Living

Fun & Fizz A Touch Of Class Four new fragrances have been added to Best Kept Secrets’ award winning Seriously Scented Candle range. All the new fragrances have received a very positive response by focus groups across the country. Ruby Stars, Pink Pepper & Patchouli, Lemon Sugar & Forbidden Sapphire will bring an additional touch of class to the range which is already in great demand. And, of course, they all have sparkly toppings and plenty of glitter.

Wow, what a reaction! Our Gin & Fizz collection has been exclusively designed in-house and there is nothing else like it on the the moment! We have one shipment coming and deliveries will commence at the beginning of September. We would strongly advise retailers to place at least two orders spacing out the delivery drops. This way the stock will be allocated to you. We will not be able to get more stock after this shipment. Contact us for a full brochure.

La De Da! Living

Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email:

Memories Of Italy

Handmade In The UK Nature’s Gift candles and reed diffusers bring together beautiful fragrances, handmade in the UK ,with botanical pieces. Available in seven scented candles and diffusers.

Stoneglow Candles Tel: 020 8595 8878 Email:

Bath and body products complement the Xystos candle offering, with the company’s newly acquired Di Palomo brand – inspired by fond memories of Italy – continuing to win admirers with a range of appealingly presented products such as Black Cherry and Wild Fig & Grape. The Naked Bee – slogan, ‘All of the good stuff, none of the bad stuff’ – is also a firm favourite with UK buyers: its Orange Blossom Honey personal care range includes everything from shampoo to restoration foot balm.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:




Carrie Elspeth H A N D M A D E


WA L E S | 01446 771271 |

The Walking Stick Specialists


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A Global Perspective: Ambiente 2019

A Flavour Of India

Below: Visitors to Ambiente hot footed it to Make India to discover a wealth of handmade talent. Bottom left: A carpet weaver diplays a hand woven ‘welcome’ mat.

When India became Ambiente’s 8th partner country, the theme at February’s Frankfurt show was The Future Is Handmade - with the spotlight on the country’s artisanal heritage, and skilled artisans on site proud to show off their handiwork. PG&H was among the media invited to ‘taste’ what India has to offer, as well as to discover how handmade translates into global sourcing and high quality production. With a big move away from mass produced - even Ikea is encouraging its factories to put a hand or a thumbprint on their tabletop items to give them individuality - The Future Is Handmade, curated by designers from the show’s partner country India, was a major draw for Ambiente’s 136,000 trade visitors this year who attended the show from 166 countries. The country’s outstanding presentation covered a wide range of products featuring traditional crafts, curated by Indian designer Ayush Kaliwal, in the style of a design gallery, which demonstrated the importance of craftsmanship for India today and what it can offer the world. With crafts a vibrant source of revenue for India, the industry is the second largest provider of employment next to agriculture. Indian artists were also represented in the Talents area of the show. Divided into sections Timeless and Handmade - the feature celebrated products reflecting everyday designs, alongside established and emerging entrepreneurs representing artisan communities and related organisations. These included Made 51 which showcased products crafted by refugees. Further innovative design and handmade talent was revealed in the Starry Night Café, a talking point in the tabletop hall. It was created by Sandeep Sangaru using the skills of artisans, and women from North East India, who turned renewable bamboo into a viable material for everyday use in terms of seating and lighting. (India is, in fact, the world’s second largest bamboo producer).

“What made India special as a partner country was that, for the first time, we chose a country that is not primarily known for design-orientated industrial production,” explained Ambiente’s vice president Nicolette Naumann. “In the consumer goods sector, India’s production is characterised mainly by handicraft, but in huge quantities and high quality. The increasing use of external designers, and the sourcing of specialised dealers, means that the benefits of sourcing are combined with those of manual production. This makes it possible to ship container loads of handmade products within a few weeks.” Elsewhere, once again, Ambiente attracted some of the of the biggest brands in the show’s three key sectors, Dining, Giving and Living. Among the UK companies exhibiting were Portmeirion Group, Dunoon, Denby, KitchenCraft, Creative Tops, Rex London, SIL/Temerity Jones, Price’s Candles, and Chilly’s Bottles, with British design company Tom Dixon making its debut. Some 4,451 exhibitors from 92 countries showcased products this year with 85% of exhibitors coming from outside Germany. In 2020, Ambiente will be held from February 7-11. Visit

A Touch Of Bollywood Bollywood singing sensation Kanika Kapoor was a ‘star’ attraction at this year’s show. “Ambiente was an incredible experience,” she stated. “It was like coming back home, away from home, with artists and Indian culture coming together in a different country. Everything was beautifully put together and I was very happy to see real arts and crafts, as this is what we, as Indians, want to represent to the world.” Left: Shown from left to right are: Raj Manek, executive director and board member Messe Frankfurt Asia Holding, Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt, Kanika Kapoor and Indian designer Ayush Kasliwal.

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In Profile: Lesser & Pavey

Investing In The Future

Below: Julian Hunt, managing director, Lesser & Pavey. Below left: Among the latest bamboo travel mugs.

With so much political and economic uncertainty continuing to dominate the headlines, it’s refreshing to hear that Lesser & Pavey are feeling anything but uncertain about 2019. In fact, the company is confidently striding ahead on the product front, introducing more new lines than ever before, with sustainability very much on the agenda. PG&H talked to managing director Julian Hunt about what will be driving business for the company over the coming months. Lesser & Pavey’s managing director Julian Hunt confirms that February’s Spring Fair was a hugely successful show for the company. “A brand new, brightly lit 400m2 stand at the show was the perfect opportunity for us to launch more than 1,200 new products to both existing and new customers,” he states. “The reaction from customers to our new open plan stand, and all our exciting new products, was extremely encouraging. Without exception, customers were delighted to see so many new products, telling us that they thrived on our ability to create so many innovative new items. Building on such a hugely successful show, we have set our sights on regular product launches throughout the year to meet the demands of our customers.” Below: The company’s William Morris Pimpernel collection. Below middle: Part of the company’s bamboo range in ‘Tropical’. Far right: Unicorns are continuing to be popular for the company.


Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

He says that in recent years, while products featuring unicorns, mermaids, flamingos and llamas have been popular, the company, as always, keeps its eye on the trends, developing quality new products to meet these demands. “Recently, animal print and tropical designs, as well as bling and glitter, have been in great demand,” Julian points out. “Along with keeping up with the

trends, we are also continuing to build on all the traditional products, both gift and home, that we are so well known for.” With eco-friendly products very much on trend and in great demand, Lesser & Pavey is already responding to the call for products made from sustainable materials. “Actually, we started nearly 12 months ago, with the launch of eco-friendly bamboo travel mugs, and were amazed by the sales and immediate repeat orders,” he explains. “This quickly led us to develop new designs and a range of eco-friendly kiddies feeding sets, and the sales were equally strong. We have subsequently added everyday items such as plates, bowls, tumblers, jugs and trays, in both tropical and floral designs, which are all proving very popular.” In fact, re-usable bamboo travel mugs have become an important part of the company’s product portfolio, with complementary designs being launched to tie in with specific ranges. “Our William Morris collection and Busy Bees range are

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In Profile: Lesser & Pavey Far left: Busy Bees by Jennifer Rose. Left: Let’s Party glasses come in an array of colours. Below centre: A Santa design from Mcneil. Below right: Bling dogs. Bottom: Wild Side reflects the trend for animal print.

examples of where strong designs are used on bamboo travel mugs to tie in with the rest of these collections,” he highlights. Asked what had been the stand out products at Spring Fair - and so far this year - Julian says, “probably too many to mention! We are finding customers are buying a very broad range of products. We continue to see very strong sales on our ceramic and giftware ranges such as our William Morris designs, our Countryside Chickens and Bird ranges by Jennifer Rose, and all our Macneil ranges, including the new Farmyard design. They have all been outstanding. Plus, our new range of Let’s Party glasses has definitely been stand out too. We have moved on from our highly successful gold edition glasses and introduced lilac, teal, pink and blue, which, combined with the gold wording, are stunning. Sales have been fantastic, particularly for anything gin related.” He continues: “meanwhile, our Little Stars range of kiddies melamine products goes from strength to strength, with the new zoo animals and farm animals designs introduced at the show. We also have new product additions in all the designs to include foldable storage boxes and BPA free drinking bottles.”

like 2018, they will face similar challenges and competition.” He believes that the smart retailers will continue to thrive in the coming year as they invest in initiatives and events to drive footfall. “In-store events, promotions and loyalty cards, which give customers a really good shopping experience, are key to driving footfall. Based on trade publications, social media and the customers that I talk to, I see a lot of passion and enthusiasm for our trade that continues to make it a fun and exciting business to be in.” He adds: “undoubtedly the gift Industry will continue to face the challenges created by both political and economic uncertainty. Yet despite all the challenges that retailers face day-to-day, I’m delighted to see so many younger people choosing the gift trade as a career. This was something that struck me at last year’s Greats Gift Retailer Awards, where so many category winners and finalists were in their 20’s and 30’s. These are the outstanding, ambitious young gift professionals who are helping to drive our gift industry forward. Christmas products are also a growing area. “This is another area of growth for us, particularly with our extensive list of garden centre customers,” Julian concurs. “Once again, we showed at the Harrogate Christmas & Gift show in January and are now receiving record breaking orders, particularly for our exclusive Macneil and Jennifer Rose designs, as well as for our highly original in-house designs.” As always, there is a big emphasis on attractive, quality gift packaging to ensure everything is very giftable. “In turn, this adds to the perceived value of the products,” Julian points out. “We have always been innovators when it comes to gift packaging and were among the first importers to invest in this many years ago. This is something we will continue to develop as we believe this is an important part of helping retailers promote and sell more of our products.” What challenges does he foresee for gift retailers in 2019? “I believe 2019 will be more of the same and,

“As for Lesser & Pavey, we will continue to face our own challenges in both finding and developing new customers both in the UK, Europe and around the world. As I confirmed earlier, our immediate focus for 2019 is to continue to bring to the market the exciting, high quality, value for money and innovative products that have been so well received so far this year, and to continue to meet our customers appetite for new.” Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Men’s Gifts

Manning Up Where once men’s gifts were a struggle for most retailers, the sector has now upped its game, with some edgy gift ideas that feature everything from superhero robes and trainer cleaning kits (yes, they’re a top trend!), to astronaut ceramics and vinyl chargers. While traditional gifts are still ringing up sales, there’s every reason to celebrate men’s gift innovation especially with Father’s Day around the corner. Everyone knows that men are traditionally hard to buy for, be it a male relation or a friend, so it’s refreshing to discover that this year, men are far from the ‘poor relation’ when it comes to gifting. There’s a new spin on gift choices this year, making it easier to find that special something. Monique Scott, managing director of Groovy UK says: “In addition to our superhero ranges - from Star Wars and Marvel to DC Comics and Harry Potter - retro trends are still strong with Mr. Men and Little Miss having a revival. While they used to be for kids, those kids are now adults and our products cater for both.” The result is the launch of a collection of robes, slippers, lunch boxes, water bottles and bags including Mr Grumpy, Mr Strong and Mr Happy, along with Little Miss Sparkle and Little Miss Daisy.” (Other popular Groovy licences include Venom, Deadpool and Thanos). Aside from ‘dress up’, but staying with men’s apparel, David Gee, managing director of The Music Gifts Company, highlights a surprising return to a demand for silk bow

Mugging Up Mugs too, make a fun, functional men’s gift, with Stuart Williams, marketing manager at Mclaggan, pointing out: “functional doesn’t have to mean boring. Some of our bestselling mugs for men often feature sports, humour or both. With tongue-in-cheek quotes such as ‘Great minds ride a bike’ and ‘Good things come to those who bait’, Kate Spurway’s sports range did exceptionally well for us last year. This year, we’re expecting the new Rosie Made a Thing range to be very popular as her quirky, unique style and relatable everyday anecdotes are sure to stand out on shelves. They make people smile making them good gifts for Father's Day, birthdays and other special occasions.” Above: Among the mugs in the Rosie Made a Thing range for Mclaggan. Above left: The Music Gifts Company’s pure silk Mozart Manuscript bow tie. Left: Puckator’s new Space range. Below left: Among the robes from Groovy UK. Below: New from Wild & Wolf are specific multi-tools aimed at men who love the outdoors.

ties. “Whether this is for weddings, concerts or just a special occasion, it’s a gift that can last a lifetime.” He adds: “With a growth in demand both in the UK and America, we have been working on new packaging to complement the quality. Meanwhile, you can’t get away from the fact that socks remain the biggest selling men’s gifts where we are also working on further designs across both of our ranges, Music Gifts and Element.” To tie-in with the 50th anniversary of the moon landings this year, Puckator has launched a range to dress up store windows in the run up to the historic event on July 24, 1969. “As the exact date of the anniversary approaches, we’re predicting that space is going to be a big hit this summer,” says the company’s designer Lauren Billingham.

Two space ranges are coming into stock targeting an older consumer, featuring iconic astronaut ceramics that have been brought to life with signature gold visors. Products include snow globes, shaped handle mugs and money boxes. Wild & Wolf meanwhile, has been looking to the great outdoors. “Our new season’s collection has been designed for action-seeking men, with several of our SS19 lines characterised by the ‘experiential’,” explains the company’s senior marketing executive Joelle Engolia. “It’s a massive trend that shops should be catering to - experiencedriven products for men to help them in their outdoor pursuits. Our Marine multi-tool for sailors and fishermen, Adrenaline multi-tool for snowboarders, skiers and

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Spotlight On... Men’s Gifts skaters and Wilderness multi-tool for campers fit the trend, as they include the key tools necessary for each of these outdoor hobbies.” Also new in Wild & Wolf’s Gentlemen’s Hardware range are sneaker cleaning and screen cleaning kits which, Joelle highlights, are a part of the wellness and self-care trend, tapping into the cleaning craze being promoted by ‘clean-fluencers’ on social media. Looking to the more traditional men’s gifts, Gisela Graham’s sales director Piers Croke explains: “In our successful men’s gifts collection, All About Him, we put ourselves in the shoes of a giver: what are his hobbies? Does he drink? What would be useful to him without being flashy or embarrassing? As a result, we therefore have a fast-selling range of sporting silhouettes, fun booze-related/ ‘breweriana’, as well as a stationery and an accessories collection in muted, classic blacks, tans, brown and khaki making it a unisex collection too.” At Joe Davies, leather and faux leather continue to be key trends for men reflected in the company’s Equilibrium for Men collection

for Spring/Summer. “Men’s jewellery continues to grow in popularity, with the Equilibrium collection, which teams leather with stainless steel, at the forefront of this popular range,” confirms the company’s buyer Mary Caputo. “Wallets are always a popular choice for men’s gifts and feature strongly within the collection,” she adds. “Nowadays, the threat of identity theft is everywhere so Equilibrium includes the latest radio frequency identification technology in our popular range of RFID wallets.” Lesser and Pavey meanwhile, says that the nostalgia of eras past is key. “We see smart men that grow and manage beards, that care about their appearance, a

changing style of gents that are looking for classic items,” says managing director Julian Hunt. “For some it may be our nostalgic motor vehicle range, made out of metal. For others, it’s quality accessories, usable items that have a classic style. They’re practical, functional, affordable, quality and original, and we believe that our new range captures much of what today's modern man is seeking, complementing the new hi-tech generation.” Gift Republic too, has noticed a revival in male nostalgic gifts that include vinyl, along with a growth in tech. “We have therefore expanded our vinyl range by adding a novelty shaped mug, a vinyl wireless charger and a car air freshener,” highlights senior designer Stephen Grace. Meanwhile, Classic Canes is combining classic style with function, with the company’s managing director Charlotte Gillan highlighting an increasing demand for updated classics in the men’s walking stick market. “Elegant canes that can be used for a variety of different occasions, and to accessorise different outfits, are proving popular,” confirms

Top: Equilibrium for Men from Joe Davies. Above middle: A men’s collection with a twist of nostalgia from Lesser & Pavey. Above right: Classic Canes Prince of Wales check folding cane. Right Gift Republic’s expanding vinyl range. Left: All About Him from Gisela Graham.

Men’s Grooming With Father’s Day in mind, Baylis & Harding has seen its Fuzzy Duck men’s collection beard grooming kit, distributed by Xystos, continue to rack up strong orders, featuring a cleansing beard shampoo, revitalising face wash conditioning beard balm and a wooden comb. On the sentiment front, Splosh’s Loving Heart, also distributed by Xystos, features the message, Dad Thank You For Always Being There For Me. “Sentiment sells at any time of the year but this inscription will especially resonate with givers and receivers on Father’s Day,” says Xystos’ director Tom Sykes. Above: Baylis & Harding’s Fuzzy Duck men’s collection.

Charlotte. “Women buying presents for men want something a little bit different to the plain models, but still something they know will be used.” Personalisation of course, is continuing to trend. Comments Cara Beech, new product manager at PMC. “Men’s gifts featuring the Number 1 theme are still proving to be among our top-sellers for 2019, which we have adapted by combining the trend with sporting designs, featuring products with Father’s Day and birthdays in mind,” says Cara. Continued on page 63 Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Men’s Gifts Also new for 2019 is the company’s You’re Like a Dad to Me range, which brings personalised gifts to all types of father figures and is a trend that, according to Cara, has grown massively in recent years. “We’re really excited about the launch as it offers a way to personalise a gift from a slightly different perspective,” she explains. “We anticipate this range to be particularly popular with stepdads, grandads and uncles.” Staying with personalisation, David Morris, copywriter & PR executive at Signature Gifts suggests: “Trends may come and go, new fads may steal the spotlight, but for dad, the old favourites remain a sure-fire winner. “You can’t go wrong with a fine old bottle of whisky such as our 12-year old single malt, featuring his name on a specially crafted Father’s Day label. A personal message can also

Left: Personalised malt whisky from Signature Gifts. Below: Really Good recently launched two new gift lines for men, charger bags and password Books (shown).” Below middle: One of Lagoon Group’s new Rubik squares. Bottom left: Among the new sporting design in PMC’s Number 1 range.

Seeing the Funny Side

be added, making this a classic gift with a modern twist.” Lagoon meanwhile, is putting the focus on brain-teasing puzzle gifts that are also great fun to do. “This is reflected in our Professor Rubik range which has been expanded for 2019 to include new bamboo puzzles to take apart and put back together,” comments sales manager Jessica Foreshaw. “We also offer an elegant Rubik’s square, which was shortlisted for Gift of the Year competition, made out of sustainable bamboo. It makes a great men’s gift and a stylish coffee table teaser.” With suppliers taking men’s gifts to a new high, gift shops and their customers won’t be short of ideas this year! Right: Paladone’s Crush Bandicoot Icon light .

Bring On The Brands With so much licensed product on the shelves, it’s a gift giver’s market that taps into the hottest licences around. “Men’s gifting in 2019 follows the increasingly sharp turn towards gaming and eSports, with accessibility and adoption at an all time high and with no signs of stopping,” comments Paladone’s sales manager Alex Ryan. To support the trend, the company is currently offering product ranges for 16 key modern and retro gaming brands including Crash Bandicoot, Overwatch and Xbox.” Continues Alex: “Outside of gaming, pop-culture collectables continue to soar, and we’ve seen fantastic support for our new Paladone Icons range featuring collectable lights from DC Comics, Wizarding World, Rick and Morty, Gremlins, IT and many more. However, when it comes to our unlicensed own brands, gentlemen’s gifts continue to lean toward clean and functional gift sets that are portable and practical, often in the forms of tool sets or fashion accessories, such as the trainer cleaning kit from our Scott & Lawson range, or our home bar drinks dispenser which is aimed at anyone with home brewing aspirations.”

Humorous gifts for men have always been a best seller, but Thomas O’Brien, managing director of Boxer Gifts, says never more so than today. “In an age of a snowflake population that melt in the face of criticism, a rebellion trend has emerged in the men’s gift market - an offensive, yet humorous trend. Men are continuing to be men, aka immature boys, and are setting out to insult each other with the gifts that they send.” This trend has seen Boxer introduce several new lines to its Desk Sign range including Smart Ass Fact Corrector and Hypochondriac: SelfDiagnostic Specialist, designed for good mates to have a laugh with one another.” Adds Thomas: “It’s important to remember is that boys will always be boys. Age is nothing but a number to most men who will always remain young at heart, so products should reflect that.”

Top: An ‘insulting’ gift in Boxer Gifts’ Desk Sign range. Above: Widdop and Co’s Ministry of Humour collection.

“If you can get it right, men’s giftware can be an incredibly lucrative market for a retailer, but they must give the struggling shopper their solution,” says Widdop and Co’s marketing manager Sue Grant. “Men’s gifts have seen a huge rise in the number of funny slogans and sayings, with new additions to our Harvey Makin gentlemen’s gift brand including The Office collection and the bold and brazen Ministry of Humour. We all know a Chief Know it All or a Chairman of the Bored,” quips Sue. The Office features a range of affordable, humorous desk plaques and stationery, while the Ministry of Humour has tongue-in-cheek slogans and bold but blokey colours on a collection of mugs, socks, stationery and glassware. “They’re ideal for the man who doesn't take himself too seriously,” Sue points out.

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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the latest gift products for the male market to be showcased this month

Great Outdoors Multi-tool Go confidently into the wild with the Wilderness multi-tool by Gentlemen's Hardware. Designed for camping trips and forays into outdoor survival, this is an essential bit of kit for explorers, wanderers and lovers of the great outdoors. The stainless steel tools held within the compact handle include a knife blade, a saw, a tin/bottle opener, a corkscrew, a flat-head screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver and a removable flint rod. Presented in a branded gift box.

Harry Potter Wizardry The Harry Potter licence has reached extraordinary heights for Groovy UK, who have extended their collection to include: Dobby the House Elf, The Golden Snitch, Platform 9 ¾, Quidditch and The Deathly Hallows. Product ranges come in bathrobes, slippers, bags and lighting. The bags are especially popular due to their unique designs which include vegan leather, custom made metal zip pulls, embroidered motifs and printed inner linings.

Groovy UK Tel: 0844 372 7820 Email:

Wild & Wolf Tel: 01225 789 909 Email:

Nostalgic Giftware Lesser & Pavey’s Gent’s Society range received a firm thumbs up from buyers when previewed at Spring Fair. The range offers great quality gift products such as a glasses case, large notebook, whisky, gin and beer glasses, a shoe care kit, to keep mug and hip flask, as well as consumer affordability. Complementary ranges specifically for Father’s Day and birthdays include quality fine china mugs and beer tankards.

Lesser & Pavey Tel 01322 279225 Email:

Hard Rock Collectables Proudly display your love of AC/DC with Nemesis Now’s brand new and exclusive range of hard rocking collectables! Featuring resin tankards and shot glasses, as well as practical wallets and hip flasks, all emblazoned with the vibrant red and yellow AC/DC logo on a plain black background, these pieces are perfect for showing your allegiance to Australia’s rock and roll titans! Take a ride down the Highway to Hell with Nemesis Now today! All Hail ACDC!

Time For Tee It’s Tee Time! 'Putt' the kettle on and make a 'tee' in this hilarious golf mug. Greener than the golf course, with a detailed ball and club handle, these new mugs make the perfect gift for any golf and brew fanatic.

Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955 595 Email:

Nemesis Now Tel: 01782 596660 Email:

Iconic Fridge Magnets 2019 marks the release of the final season of Game of Thrones, meaning that there is a new range of merchandise arriving from Nemesis Now! Continuing to expand their already successful collection of officially licensed products, they have now included a range of resin fridge magnets to pay homage to the iconic images, oaths and symbols of Westeros! Released alongside their new Sigil goblet, Iron Throne chalice and House shot glasses, these magnets will give you the finest kitchen in the realm!

Nemesis Now Tel: 01782 596660 Email:



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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the latest gift products for the male market to be showcased this month

Marvellous Mr. Men Men’s Coin Tray The men's bedside coin tray is one of the most sought after gifts from the British award winning brand Winter in Venice. The set comes complete with luxury toiletries infused with seaweed extract and fortified with vitamins, and includes a high quality 90 grade beechwood nail brush. All of this is packed in a reusable brown coin tray that is ideal to hold a mobile phone, keys, cufflinks, watch and even spectacles.

and boxed mugs in Half Moon Bay’s new capsule collection. The mugs feature iconic character designs on the front with the phrase ‘No. 1 Dad’ on the reverse, and are the perfect stylish gift for deserving dads. The coaster CDU holds all four designs and is a great solution for Father’s Day point of sale.

Half Moon Bay Tel: 01225 473873 Email:

Winter In Venice Tel: 0845 652 1223 Email:

Mr. Men & Little Misses Groovy’s new Mr. Men & Little Misses collection includes bathrobes, slippers, bags and lighting. Mr. Strong has his own gym range with holdall, water bottle and gym towel, and the Little Miss Sparkles range is full of ‘sparkle’ with a bathrobe, slippers and sequin cushion. From Little Miss Naughty to Mr. Cool which character are you?

Groovy UK Tel: 0844 372 7820 Email:

Harry Potter Range Expands Bring Harry Potter into your own home with Groovy’s new range which includes super-soft cotton towels with house logos for Gryffindor and Hogwarts, plus the mysterious Marauder’s Map, RRP: £18 . The new range is extensive and also carries bathrobes, slippers, bags and lighting in Platform 9 ¾, Quidditch, The Golden Snitch, Dobby the House Elf & The Deathly Hallows, plus Wizarding World’s Fantastic Beasts.

New To The Collection Celebrating a partnership of nearly ten years between two great British brands, Wax Lyrical has launched a range of new and refreshed products alongside their best-selling Fired Earth home fragrance collection. Inspired by the elegant tile designs (from which Fired Earth gets its name), these new candles and reed diffusers come in the same much-loved fragrances, but with a new and contemporary design.

Wax Lyrical Tel: 01229 461166 Email:

Groovy UK Tel: 0844 372 7820 Email:

Sweet Speakers If you want to snag yourselves the sweetest novelty gift for 2019 head over to Puckator’s website and search ‘portable speakers’. These compact travel sized Bluetooth speakers pack a big punch and have excellent sound quality. Available in six designs, there’s plenty of choice for customers of all interests. Personally we find the bright pink donut shape the most delectable of the choices. This sprinkled sound system looks good enough to eat as well as listening to your favourite tunes.

Puckator Tel: 0800 011 6969 Email:



GiftsandHome Advert A4_Layout 1 09/05/2018 15:22 Page 1 is published by gift sector experts, for gift trade experts

From the publishers of Progressive Gifts & Home, and the organisers of The Greats Gift Retailer Awards. With an unrivalled email subscriber base of 7,559 readers and industry leading open rates, - largely dominated by retail buyers, the twice-weekly newsflash lands directly in the inboxes of everyone in this fast-paced sector. The modern, easy to navigate website provides a central resource for the trade, offering pithy news, in-depth articles, an industry jobs board, retail analysis, digital issues of Progressive Gifts & Home, and much, much more.

Advertising and Commercial Opportunities: Advertisement Manager - Angie Bryant

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Editorial and Content Opportunities: Editor - Sue Marks

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Spotlight On... Gift Of The Year

A Beauty Of An Award

Bathing Beauty, an artisan company that started making skincare products from home eight years ago, was announced as the winner of the Progressive Gifts & Home sponsored Beauty, Bath & Spa category at this year’s Gift of the Year awards, held on the first night of Spring Fair. PG&H was in the front row to discover what gave the winning products their edge. Bathing Beauty’s Craft Your Own Herbal Handsalve beat off tough competition in a very competitive category to be crowned the winner of the Gift of the Year’s Beauty, Bath & Spa category. Using the company’s award winning recipe, customers are able to experience the manufacturing process to create five, full size herbal hand salves for themselves. To add to the excitement, and in the same category, Bathing Beauty was also highly commended for its Morpheus Sleep Enhancing range, a trio of soothing, soporific bath and body care products that help to induce sleep.

Above: Bathing Beauty’s George Jones (right), is pictured with the Beauty, Bath & Spa trophy at the Gift of the Year awards. Also shown is the company’s ‘head of making it happen’ Caroline (left), and Progressive Gifts & Home’s editor Sue Marks (centre). Left: Craft Your Own Handsalve was the winner of the Gift of the Year’s Beauty, Bath & Spa category sponsored by Progressive Gifts & Home. Below left: The Morpheus Sleep Enhancing range, also from Bathing Beauty, was highly commended.

“Bathing Beauty started out as a kitchen table business,” explained founder George Jones, “borne out of a mother’s desperation. My three children, all under five, had skin allergies that were made worse by the products that doctors prescribed. Somehow, I had a deep belief that I could do better myself. I therefore set out on a mission armed only with a book from the library, ten years as an osteopath and £50 of start-up capital. I invented every product myself, along with the

names and the packaging. What I have achieved is effective, affordable, natural bath and body care.” So how did it feel to be announced as the winner of the Gift of the Year Beauty, Bath & Spa category as well as the winner of the Ethical Gift category for the company’s Bathing Beauty soap? “I felt overwhelmed, validated!” enthused George. The company, which currently employs five people, continues to do everything in house, from creation and manufacturing to packing and shipping.

Highly Commended: Beauty, Bath & Spa Also highly commended in the Beauty, Bath & Spa category was Betty Hula Delicate Dusting Powder, an alternative to talc. “It was the first time we had entered Gift of the Year which made it even more special,” commented Betty Hula’s director Lisa Swaine. “Being a small company, we were able to react quickly to the media news about ’talc’. We created a solution for a product that is no longer safe, and brought the vintage grooming habit bang up-to-date in the process. The packaging, the price point, and the ’something a bit different’ has made it one of our best sellers already.” The dusting powder helps to reduce chafing and friction, absorbs excess moisture and leaves skin scented, with Lisa highlighting that it’s a “one of a kind product that’s heading into a talc-free revolution.” She added: “The packaging is striking on a shelf and holds a very tactile black soft brush to apply the powder with.” Right: Also highly commended was Betty Hula’s Delicate Dusting Powder. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Gifts For Gardeners

Gifts For The

Green Fingered At the first sign of a blue sky and a dapple of sunlight, gardeners can be found pulling on their gardening gloves, finding their trowels and re-discovering the lawnmower. With indoor plants and grow-your-own continuing to be among the biggest trends around, PG&H talked to some of the leading suppliers in the sector to find out more about the trendiest giftware for gardeners with style. After all, what better gift for a green fingered someone than something that ties in with their love of one of Britain’s most popular hobbies? zAn explosion of daffodils and tulips, the scent of freshly mown grass, the gentle hum of a bee and the sizzle of a BBQ are among the many signs that summer is on its way, with the garden increasingly being seen as an extra ‘room’ for entertaining on sunny days and balmy evenings. But there’s much more to gardening these days than mowing the lawn and pruning the roses.

“There has undoubtedly been a big growth in the popularity of gardening and gardens in recent years,” states Rod O’Mahony, director, Transomnia. “Among the drivers have been the ‘sustainable living’ movement with its emphasis on reconnecting with nature, as well as escaping the ever-growing pressures of urban life. It's therefore no surprise that gardeningrelated gifts are trending.” As he points out, while gardening has traditionally been seen as a pursuit for the older generation, in recent years, it has also become more popular with the 18-35 age 70

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

group. “They are looking to style their outdoor space as they would an indoor room, with bright colours and patterns, with the continuing popularity of houseplants and ‘bringing the outside inside’ making novel indoor planters and pots ever more desirable as gifts as well as self-purchases.” At Transomnia, the company has embraced thee trends, offering several new planters in bright, bold designs, along with brightly coloured glass misters. “Our wide range of battery-powered LED lights in bottles are also perfect for summer evenings in the garden,” Rod highlights. “Nature and wildlife themes are closely associated with the gardens/gardening trend, and will also be very much to the forefront in 2019. Our new Busy Bee range taps into this, with a warm design featuring everyone’s favourite garden pollinators across aluminium gifts, ceramic hearts and coasters, as well as LED string lights and felt characters. These join our bestselling range of humorous garden-

Above: Green Fingers from Gisela Graham. Left: The latest range of garden themed gifts from Transomnia. Below: Dunoon’s Flitterbug Jura ladybird design. Bottom: Puckator’s new Botanical Gardens range.

related signs, with their particular emphasis on the importance of sheds.” Piers Croke, sales director at Gisela Graham, says that the company loves people who love gardening, with two gift ranges evoking the fruits of their labours. “Indeed fruit, as well as veg, are the focus,” points out Piers. “One range, Green Fingers, features carrots, lettuces and cabbages in ceramics and as printed fabric items, along with matching candle pots. “The other, Summer Time, also features growing things, with some local such as aubergines and strawberries, and some from gardens further afield - pineapples, bananas, lemons. Altogether there’s lots of colour and lots of fun. They’re useful gifts with great display possibilities for retailers.” Puckator meanwhile, has introduced a new Botanical Gardens range featuring colours that lend themselves to the season. “There’s a wide range of outdoor products aimed at dining al fresco to include a reusable bamboo picnic set featuring a water jug,

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Spotlight On... Gifts For Gardeners plates, beakers and bowls made from ecofriendly sustainable sourced bamboo,” explains the company’s designer Lauren Billingham. “In fact, there’s everything the budding gardener could possibly need for long, sunshine afternoons spent outdoors.” Dunoon too, has kept current trends in mind with the company’s new mug designs. As sales director Peter Smith explains: “We’re noticing that bees and ladybirds are very popular as a consequence of more and more interest in the environment and the plight of insects. Tapping into this trend we have launched two mug designs that reflect this.” At Parlane, the focus is very much on decorative accessories. “With consumers constantly seeking unique gift ideas, we introduced our animal pot hangers to the market several seasons ago and the trend for these cute accessories doesn’t look to be slowing,” confirms managing director Mike Burgess. “In fact, animal-themed products seem

Above: Among the latest products in Navigate’s Orchard range. Below middle: A new bird house from the Wrendale Designs’ gardening collection. Below left: Parlane’s new animal pot holders. Below right: Heathcote & Ivory’s Gardeners Bountiful hamper. Bottom right: The Gift of The Year’s treble award winning BBQ Hot Smoking starter kit from Hot Smoked reflects a trend for outdoor gifting.

to be more popular than ever. For Spring/Summer 2019 we designed a selection of popular dog breeds, with accurate features, that are proving very successful.” Adds Mike: “Realising the growth in this market, we have also expanded the offering with animal pot risers that come gift boxed in a set of three.” Navigate too, has seen a growing market for decorative, practical garden products that have gifting appeal. “Our Orchard range can be used outdoors or as an indoor accessory in the conservatory or orangery, with our flower jug ideal for displaying both living flowers and the growing trend for artificial foliage around the home,” comments marketing director David Atkinson.

Bringing The Outdoors In Eco-consciousness, along with the wellness/health benefits of indoor planting, is continuing to drive sales for bringing plants into the home. “Indoor gardening continues to be hot news, with houseplants more popular than they’ve been in a generation,” confirms Burgon and Ball’s sales director Ruth Posey. “Sales of houseplants and accessories are rising year on year and we’ve definitely not reached ‘peak houseplant’ yet. And, of course, beautiful plants need stylish pots, with interesting combinations of design, texture and glaze. Our indoor pot collection has proved hugely popular, and, this year we’ve added new pot designs, both hanging and standing, to refresh and extend the range. We’re seeing some customers sell them with a live plant as an interior décor solution, which is an excellent way to increase the basket value.” Moving into the garden, Ruth highlights the company’s new RHS Gifts for Gardeners collection, British Bloom, which showcases a dahlia design from the RHS Lindley Library. “There are new gift ideas in this collection, including letterbox-friendly gift sets of a cutting tool and holster,” highlights Ruth, “with the products ideal for the growing mail order and online market.”

Meanwhile, Wrendale Design’s gardening range has proved so popular that the company has increased the collection - which currently features a fork and trowel set, herb pots and tray, gloves, kneeler and a gardening journal to include a bird seed tin and scoop featuring a variety of British garden birds and bird houses. “In fact, we’re looking to extend the collection further still,” says Wrendale’s founder and creative head Hannah Dale. Hampers featuring gifts for gardeners are also coming into their own. Heathcote & Ivory’s marketing, PR and business development manager Amanda Pullen says that this season, the gardeners gifting market is leaning towards a more personal style gift with a ‘handmade’ feel. “Hampers

wrapped in clear plastic, adorned with ribbons, containing a range of practical items, give the impression that they have been personally selected for the recipient, with their gardening hobby in mind,” she highlights. “In order to meet market demand, these type of hamper gifts are something that we are producing throughout the year, and not just for the festive season.” For retailers looking for a ‘gardener’s gift corner’, displayed either inside or outside of their shops, there’s clearly a huge variety of choice that’s tapping into the current zeitgeist. Whether it’s about sustainability or self-care, outdoor or indoor planting or garden ornamentation, there are garden-themed gifts aplenty for gift shops to unearth.

Above: A Burgon & Ball Venetian indoor pot.

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Decorations for all seasons

Christmas - Spring/Summer - Home Deco - Outdoor Living

OPENING SHOWROOM Spring / Summer 2020 3 June 2019


Birmingham Hall 3 | E30-F31 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4 September 2019

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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the Gardeners Gifts products to be showcased this month

Decadent Hand Butters This gorgeous collection of decadent Winter in Venice hand butters comes nestled in a beautiful reusable storage tin. This delightful gift contains 12 individually fragranced 25g hand butter tubes made using 10% shea butter, almond oil, vitamin E, and natural fruit and plant extracts - ideal to sooth dry and chapped hands in need of intense moisturising and care. Our award winning British brand is free from parabens, paraffins, sulphates, minerals, DEA; and are not tested on animals.

Winter in Venice Tel: 0845 652 1223 Email:

New Outdoor Candles New for 2019 a comprehensive range of Outdoor Luminara Soft Touch Living Flame Candles, weather resistant to IPX5 compliance for genuine outdoor use. The range includes ivory pillars and giant ivory pillars, both available in three heights. Metal decorative lanterns in Vintage Bronze & Antique White in both 12” and 16” complete with Luminara Living Flame Candles. All Luminara candles offer a massive 500 hours burn time from 2 D batteries included. They come with a 5hr security timer and are infra-red enabled.

Luminara Tel: 01622 845995 Email: or call

Opulent Fragrances Royal warrant holder Price’s Candles are introducing two brand new fragrances for summer into the historic Heritage range. Summer Bouquet is a fresh, floral blend of irises and freesias and the citrusy Lemon Zest is a refreshing mix of fruity lemon infused with hints of creamy vanilla. These join the current six opulent fragrances, each selected to represent some of Price’s Candles rich history. The Heritage Range is inspired by Price’s Candles archives of historic packaging.

Price’s Candles Tel: 01234 264500 Email:

Budding Gardeners

Heavenly Hydrangea New for 2019, the wonderful fragrance of Hydrangea joins Wax Lyrical’s highly successful RHS home fragrance collection. Available in a variety of candles, reed diffusers, room mists and more, this delightful fragrance opens with a bouquet of rose and white flowers, enhanced with a touch of fresh green leaves on a warming base of amber - perfect for any garden aficionados!

Wax Lyrical Tel: 01229 461166 Email:

This pretty design is named after the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield where this beautiful collection was inspired. Delicate flowers sway, butterflies breeze by and bees dance through the plants in this summertime scene. These lovely items will always bring a little sunshine to your day. This picturesque design can be found on a wide range of products, perfect for picnics in parks or lazy days in the garden. If those green fingers deserve a manicure, we have everything a budding gardener could need.

Puckator Tel: 0800 011 6969 Email:



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A Global Perspective: Christmasworld, Frankfurt

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree For retailers worldwide, Christmas is arguably the busiest time of the year, with, for example, German consumers spending some 2.82bn euros on Christmas and festive items in 2018, representing an increase in sales of 1.1% over the previous year. PG&H explored a cutting edge, sparkling, winter wonderland at Christmasworld, held at Messe Frankfurt earlier this year, to discover what will be trending for Christmas 2019/2020. Held in Frankfurt every January, Christmasworld (co-located with Paperworld and Creativeworld), is among the leading international shows for decorative and festive products, showcasing the most up-to-the-minute products and trends, not only for Christmas but for other special occasions too, such as Halloween. Across the show, Christmas and seasonal decorations covered a wide range of designs and handmade products, to include Christmas baubles adorned with real gold, and hanging pendants decorated with pearls, sequins and feathers. On trend designs featured ‘foodie’ motifs, such as cupcakes and tarts, while colourwise, blue in all its palette shades was everywhere, as were earthy terracotta tones, macha green, pale pinks and berry shades accessorised with gold. Sustainable materials featured wood, cotton, glass and porcelain in addition to recycled plastic. An add-on option for buyers there were green plants and orchids, as well as seasonal food and drinks, including a selection of teas, and sweets with sentiment messages. LED lighting was another big trend for exhibitors. Sharing his views, first time exhibitor Premier Decorations’ national sales manager Rolf Hunt said: “Our Microbright pinwire lighting is showing good growth and is growing another part of the market for us. We have therefore expanded the range and introduced new packaging. Plus, our Flickerbright candles have also been a huge success.” The central Christmasworld Trends area was a focal point of the show, with four themes clearly defined for Christmas 2019/2020 Tender Festivities, Essential Ceremonies, Sweet Traditions and Luminous Celebrations - with a particular emphasis on handmade items and ideas inspired by nature.

Above: Toy soldiers were an eye-catching feature at Premier Decorations which made its Christmasworld debut. Left: A December To Remember. One of the key themes on the Kaemingk stand. Below left: Inspired by emotion: Essential Ceremonies. Below right: Sweet Traditions revealed a strong colour palette.

Featuring exhibitors’ products, there was a mix of seasonal decorations, lighting, Christmas trees, floristry items and garden ornaments, as well as point of sale displays created to inspire retail buyers. Annetta Palmisano, a director of designers and trend forecasters Stilburo bora.herke.palminso commented: “The four thematic scenarios reflected the important influences of some of the major designers and their preferences for materials, colours and shapes.” Explaining the emphasis on the customer experience, Christmasworld’s director Eva Olbrich stated: “Storytelling at the point of sale can really tempt customers to buy, and the experience will become increasingly important for shoppers. Exciting product mixes and eye catching store designs will attract customers to bricks and mortar stores and into town centres,” she predicted. “Making Christmasworld Trends the centrepiece of the hall made ordering easier for buyers.” Summing up, Eva commented: “Our aim at the show this year was to provide buyers not only with plenty of inspiration but also a fresh stimulus.” Christmasworld 2020 takes place at Messe Frankfurt from January 24-28. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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A Global Perspective: Showcase Ireland, Dublin

Export Ireland In 2018, buyers attending Showcase in Dublin placed B2B sales orders of €23.9 million over the show’s four days, an increase of 12.7% on the previous year, equating to annual revenues of €152.5 million for exhibitors. With trade buyers from 2,580 retail businesses, spanning 26 countries worldwide, visiting the January show, organisers The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland were optimistic that the fair would enjoy strong growth again in 2019 despite international headwinds. PG&H caught up with Allyson Stephen, responsible for both retail and consumer at Enterprise Ireland, to hear more about the important, ongoing relationship that Irish suppliers have with British retailers. Compared to a decade ago, Ireland’s economy is currently enjoying a growth period, having recently been ranked 14th in the world for innovation by Bloomberg, and featuring in ninth place as the most innovative economy in Europe. Export is having a huge role to play, with the international market continuing to go from strength to strength. “Ireland’s a fairly small country, but there’s a big global world out there, with the UK continuing to be our biggest export market. And despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, we can’t see that changing,” emphasises Enterprise Ireland’s Allyson Stephen, who, together with her team, help UK buyers to connect with suitable Irish suppliers. “We are continuing to support the UK, with the Irish/UK relationship as strong as ever,” she said. She adds that Irish suppliers - which include those designing and manufacturing gift and tabletop products, as well as textiles, fashion, jewellery, fashion accessories, skincare and home fragrancing items - are well-known to UK retailers because of the quality, design and provenance behind the brands. (Think Waterford Crystal, Aran Woollen Mills, Belleek Irish china, Newbridge Silverware and Inis for starters). “UK retailers also know that there is a very high level of customer service from Irish suppliers and that they can put their trust in them,” states Allyson.

About Enterprise Ireland Enterprise Ireland is the export development agency of the Irish Government. Contact: Allyson Stephen,; tel: 020 7438 8714). Above: Doctor Bear occasion hats. Left: Showcase Ireland attracted many UK buyers. Bottom left: Textiles designed and made in Ireland continue to attract interest from around the world. Bottom middle: Among Matisse’s new jewellery collections.

So what sort of gift and home products are UK retailers looking for when they source products from Ireland? “They want quality products, sometimes something quirky, and anything that can be personalised to make the items unique,” comments Allyson. “Plus, with the current emphasis on health and ethical wellness, the trend is for products that are made from pure natural ingredients. For example, consumers are seeking out skincare products that are organic, with the health giving properties of seaweed, sourced in Ireland, often a key element. There is also a big trend for products that show respect for the environment, with people not only wanting to buy ethically sourced materials but also caring where those materials will eventually end up. Irish suppliers feel very connected to UK consumers and really understand what they are looking for.” This year, the show saw UK retailer attendance soar by 15%. “Across the board, there were a lot of first time buyers attending the January show who were impressed with both the quality and the design, and the fact that Irish manufacturers can offer something unique,” points out Allyson. “There are no ‘me too’ products. In fact, much of what was showcased was unique to the show.” Overall, there were over 450 Irish designers, manufacturers and craftspeople participating, including 70 companies who were exhibiting at Showcase for the first time. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the latest gift products to be showcased this month

Festive Themed Throws

Magical Bedtime Experience Already an award-winning product and a firm favourite with parents across the pond in the States, Moonlite is set to be a big hit here in the UK too. The small device clips onto your smartphone or tablet and uses the torch to project vibrant storybook images onto any surface. While projecting the storybook images, the Moonlite app displays story text and plays charming sound effects, creating a special story time experience for both parent and child.

Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email:

Presented using soft white fleecy fabric, each Snowpinions throw takes on the style of a super-cute animal, such as a polar bear or an elephant. With the throw rolled neatly to create the body of each creature, they carry delicate detailing bringing each animals’ features to life, with button noses, long trunks, sweet smiles and long twisting trunks. A perfect stocking filler as a self-bought treat or an ideal gift for someone special.

Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email:

Genuine Paua Shell

Quacking Figurines

The 925 sterling silver jewellery with paua shell from Equilibrium was launched at the recent Spring Fair and has proved to be a big hit with buyers. The mesmerising iridescent colouration of paua shell is utterly beautiful when combines with sterling silver. Packaged in luxurious foiled boxes, this stunning collection really does stand out from the crowd! Ordering from Joe Davies couldn’t be easier with their ‘signature’ little and often ordering system and their low minimum order value of just £100 for free nationwide delivery.

Following on from the popular, existing, pastel polka dot duck figurines wearing wellies, we are excited to launch these additional items. We have added new small and large sizes, along with sweet mother and baby ducks sheltering underneath matching dotty umbrellas. The pretty colours of lilac, blush pink, aqua and soft green finish them off beautifully. You'd have to be Quackers not to order these fabulous ducks! This range is in stock now.

Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email

Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email

Let’s Party

Drinking On The Go Lesser & Pavey offer a new range of drinking flasks that are both attractive and totally practical for sporty and busy people everyday lives. These 750ml metal drinks flasks come in three different styles, each style is three assorted colours Metallic, Marble and Floral. Most importantly, they are BPA free and have an affordable price point.

Lesser & Pavey Tel 01322 279225 Email:



This new range from Lesser & Pavey captures the essence of Let’s Party. With a social gathering for fun, often involving drinking, dancing and entertainment, this range of quality coloured glassware makes a perfect accessory to any occasion. The Lesser & Pavey novel Let’s Party range comprises tumblers of various sizes, in three assorted colours, with gold lettered wording on gin, wine, flutes and stemless wine and flutes glasses, to name a few in this range of practical as well as attractive glassware.

Lesser & Pavey Tel 01322 279225 Email:

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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the latest gift products to be showcased this month

Personalised Peacock Giftware Natural floral and avian patterns continue to be key trends within the personalised gift industry. To cater for this demand, the Personalised Memento Company have unveiled a new and striking range of personalised peacock design gifts, including their top selling personalised reed diffuser. The range is available on a selection of PMC’s favourite gifts, which are all available on a rapid lead time.

PMC Tel: 01782 744900 Email:

Flowers, Insects, Crystals Lila launch their stunning new Zoe collection, featuring tiny enamelled insects, flowers and crystals, that celebrate the wonder of the natural world in all its glory. Beautifully packed in their new dove grey presentation boxes and supported by excellent POS displays.

Lila Jewellery Tel: 01582 841158 Email:

Smelling Sweet Lesser & Pavey are delighted to launch new additions to their attractive diffusers and candle ranges. With bright, colourful tropical designer gift boxes, packaging and labels, these four tropical fragrances encompass Tropical Citrus and Sage, Wild Fig and Cassis Noir, Tangerine and Vanilla, and Lotus Blossom. The new fragrances are available as a small glass jar candle, medium glass jar candle, tin candles, diffusers and diffuser and votive candle gift sets.

Lesser & Pavey Tel 01322 279225 Email:

Affordable Fashion Hot Tomato have a few more key fobs/hand-bag charms up their sleeve for the coming season and these delightful, double-sided starlets are just the sweetest things! Sold in an assorted pack of colours, they complement further launches in this category, including penguins (what’s not to love!) and faux snakeskin hearts (very a la mode!). Good design and margin are in this company’s DNA creating affordable fashion at your fingertips!

Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Email:

Dazzling Designs

Wild About Pastels Wild Things Gifts have introduced a brilliant (yet subtle) new colour scheme to its sought after Crystal Fantasies. The confetti colourway incorporates soft pink, purple, yellow, blue and green hues to its suncatchers which are created using Swarovski crystals. These delicate hues, which cast beautiful colours when caught in the sunlight, can be found on Crystal Fantasies products: Sitting Cat, Unicorn and Sitting Fairy. There are plans to incorporate the confetti shades into more products soon. Check the website for details.

Wild Things Tel: 01392 211268 Email:

Hot Tomato continues to dazzle with the very latest and affordable, musthave fashion accessory – earrings. The designs featured here form part of a wider collection waiting in the wings, and are also available in a gorgeous worn silver finish. So, if you’re looking for a company that offers your business that extra edge, combined with fantastic design and great margin, look no further.

Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Email:



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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the latest gift products to be showcased this month

Celebrating ‘Angels’ Travelling through the journey of life we are all touched by individuals who significantly shape our future in extraordinary ways. You Are An Angel has been inspired to recognise these special people with meaningful words of appreciation, gratitude and humble acknowledgement. In this context, You Are An Angel provides a selection of appealing gift products to present to the people who have significantly and positively affected the lives of those around them. You Are An Angel honours those people who manifest goodness, purity and selflessness; a living soul that brightens the earth and all those around them. They are people one can truly love and trust due to their supportive and compassionate actions. In addition to the figurines, wish bottles and keyrings in the current You Are An Angel range. Gaeltag Keltika has added six beautifully packaged wine glasses along with a range of trinket dishes each bearing an inspirational message for the angel of your choice!

Gaeltag Keltika Tel: 0208 998 1781 Email:

Wedding Time This new range of coloured glassware by Lesser and Pavey is perfect for spring/summer weddings. These quality, practical, affordable wedding additions are part of the brand new Let’s Party range which include blue and pink Mr and Mrs wine glasses, flutes, gin glasses, copues and stemless glasses. Additional glassware features crystal clear diamante glasses with wording in silver and gold. Also making a perfect gift is this set of two wedding ring mugs, a novel gift for the happy couple to receive. The handles of the mugs represent wedding rings, one displaying the wording in diamante. Other fine china mugs by Lesser and Pavey feature Mr and Mrs, Hubby and Wifey, The Boss and The Real Boss, Mr Right and Mrs Always Right, Lordship and Ladyship and Handsome and Gorgeous. Additional wedding occasion items include the new Mad Dot wedding ranges featuring gifts for the bridesmaid, mother of the bride and mother of the groom.

Lesser & Pavey Tel 01322 279225 Email:

Coastal Homewares Hamptons, one of eight new Splosh ranges from Xystos, features the Magnolia homewares collection, bringing the simplistic elegance of magnolias into the home mixed with organic textures and trending tones of off-white and olive green. There is also a variety of coastal homewares that incorporate soft white washed wood and deep blue coral reefs that capture the essence of beachside living. Plus, new mini change boxes for savers and hanging loving hearts with sentimental sayings. Message boxes enable well-wishers to leave their kind thoughts on special occasions.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:

Fragrant Three Cello has three new spring/summer candle fragrances to delight fans of the Xystos ownbrand range. The company has followed up its strong-selling autumn/winter scents with a tantalising trio – Ginger Fizz, Cucumber Spritz and Poppy Blush - in different sized jars, as well as wax medallions, scent cups, standard and hourglass reed diffusers and essential oils. Look out too for Cello’s new ultrasonic diffusers in three styles with colours to suit all décor. These are spearheaded by six decanters: Exotic Scales, Ocean Floor, Golden Rays, Galaxy Swirl, Nebular and Marble.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:



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What’s New Progressive Gifts & Home highlights some of the latest gift products to be showcased this month

Soaring To New Heights

Bee-ing Inspired Bee is a collection influenced by how we draw awareness to our thoughts and feelings and those of others. We have looked to produce modern contemporary sentiments to inspire, to be inspired, to reach out and connect people through words and illustrations. We aim to sell enough volume to make a significant donation to help support charity Heads Together. Alpha Code IJ 130 x 130 mm.

Belly Button Designs Tel: 0161 902 0200 Email:

CoCo as a collection is a body of work that naturally allows us to push boundaries. In 2019, we’ve extended and created a completely new set of creative icons conceived from the creative mind of company founder Rachel Hare. Escape into the exotic, soar to new heights and be immersed in vivid colours as we continue to capture the imagination. Alpha Code PP 165 x 165 mm.

Belly Button Designs Tel: 0161 902 0200 Email:

Friends Forever Based on the hit sitcom, the Friends range features colourful artwork and humorous quotes from the show which fans will recognise in an instant. Products include Central Perk branded drinkware, a “We were on a break” travel mug, “You are my lobster” vintage mug, a quotes heat changing mug, “Joey doesn’t share food” bamboo lunch box, as well as a set of Chick and Duck shaped egg cups and 3D photo frame resembling the frame around the peephole on Monica’s apartment door.

Half Moon Bay Tel: 01225 473873 Email:

Personalised Letter Candles Boxer Gifts are delighted to announce the introduction of their brand new letter candles. Perfect for that touch of personalised decoration for any room in the house, these candles really lighten up your living space and give you a warm feeling inside. Just don’t let the immature members of the house crudely rearrange them…

Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955 595 Email:

Decorated Glassware

Gifts For Cat Lovers Shruti’s new Planet Cat range is a bright, colourful collection of gift items which fit perfectly into the summertime escapism trend, and will be adored by cat lovers everywhere. Featuring unique illustrations created by Angie Rozelaar, Planet Cat is the perfect combination of cute cats, colourful botanical designs and feline-inspired quotes from famous cat lovers. With key formats such as wash bags, mugs, water bottles, stationery, textiles and home accessories, Planet Cat is a unique addition to garden centre gifting this season.

Shruti Tel: 01225 473873 Email:

The trend for decorated gin and wine glasses in the gift industry is set to continue with these elegant Empress glasses. The range consists of balloon glasses, stemless glasses and flutes, all adorned with colourful jewels. (Flutes due soon).

Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email 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. Emma Niven, owner, Loch Leven’s Larder, Kinross A very large gift shop/destination store. CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

LSA International: across the board;

A strong brand that has beautifully made glassware for every occasion. Beautifully quirky, stylish tabletop.

Kate of Kensington: across the board Home Fragrancing

Siabann: across the board

Stoneglow: across the board


Beautiful, natural products that are handmade in Scotland. Fabulous packaging, fabulous fragrances.

Rodney Holman: across the board; Carrie Elspeth: across the board

A fantastic collection that’s great for parties as well as for everyday.

Fashion Accessories

Powder: across the board; Lisa Angel: across the board

Beautiful, quirky products. Really different jewellery for Generation Z and millennials.

Greeting Cards

Rosie Made a Thing

These cards do brilliantly for us. They’re very funny and very true.


Belly Button

Eye-catching wrap.

Other Hot Hits

Choc Affair

Handmade artisan chocolate. The packaging sells it and the chocolate is divine. Ethically fabulous too.

The USP is that the company still offers beads on a wire.

Maxine and Robert Towl, co-owners, Lokaroma, Launceston A medium sized gift shop on a high street. CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

Hellmann Versand: across the board; East of India: across the board

Well priced, well designed, decorativecandle holders etc. The products sell themselves. Very competitively priced.

Home Fragrancing

Pintail Candles: across the board;

Scents are amazing. The fragrances smell wonderful until the end.


Graccee Joy: across the board; Miss Milly: across the board

Good designs and value for money. Vibrant, colourful jewellery. Everything sells well.

Fashion Accessories

Pure Fashion: across the board Troop: everyday bags

Good designs and quality.

Greeting Cards

Bug Art

Beautiful designs.


Joe Davies

Quality paper and good designs.

Other Hot Hits

Jellycat: across the board

Superb quality products.



Really good sellers for us.

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Heidi Schramli, owner, Detail, Ambleside A small to medium gift shop on a high street. CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

Black & Blum: Loop candelabra

Elegant and collectable. We offer free candles to complete the customer experience. Display is the key to successful sales.

Lightstyle London: Starburst LED Fragranced Giftware

Melt: candles; Sedbergh Soap Co: across the board


Sstutter: acrylic jewellery;

Fen and Co: across the board Fashion Accessories

Sophisticated, fantastic quality. Ethical soaps that we’ve been selling for 10 years. Bold, beautiful and takes no prisoners. We do well with the animal heads. A quirky, retro range that’s easy to wear. Excellent value as a pick up gift.

PJ Studio Accessories: flower range; Lush Designs: cotton bags

A new supplier for us. The bright flower range is looking big for Spring.

Greeting Cards

Art Angels

Excellent quality cards. The 3D range is always a winner.



The cards are simple and uncluttered while the wrap showcases fabulous designers.

Other Hot Hits

Clockwork Soldier: gifts and games The Herdy Co: Little Herdy

A brilliant children’s range at a brilliant price points. Quality from design to content. A fun, collectable giftware range. Little Herdy is the hottest hit by far.

Quirky bold statement bags that are full of humour.

Alison Chapman, owner, Wonder Stuff, Treorchy A medium sized gift shop situated on a small high street. CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

East of India: memory boxes; baby gifts; Widdop and Co: across the board

A good quality gift that stands the test of time. Great gifts, great prices.

Fragranced Giftware

Yankee Candle: across the board;

Still our best seller. The new car charm sets have sold really well. A great pick up gift that’s very competitively priced.

Bath, Bubble & Beyond: Happy Birthday Muffins Jewellery

Joe Davies: Equilibrium;

Dollar Shake

A constant best seller for many years. New designs are continually added to the range. A complete gift with branded packaging at a great price point.

Fashion Accessories

Xpressions: Dad’s Army socks

Great socks for dads, grandads and male relations.

Greeting Cards

Second Nature

The £3.99 price point is just right for our best selling Champagne range.

Other Hot Hits

Wild Things: suncatchers and mobiles; The Gifted Stationery Company

The range of guardian angels representing birthstone colours fly off the shelves. Lovely designs, lovely packaging and great prices. Customers love the products.



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Market leading trade magazines

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Max Publishing, United House, North Road, London N7 9DP For further details please contact us on T: 020 7700 6740 or or email

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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!

MISS MILLY T: 01905 622509 E: W:

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CARRIE ELSPETH T: 01446 771271 E: W:

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STONEGLOW CANDLES T: 020 8595 8878 E: W: Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Jayde Seren Jayde Seren, shop manager at Brocante in St Ives – one of three Brocante gift and home stores in Cornwall - reveals where her love of retail comes from, and how she’s living the dream. Above: Jayde Seren. Right: Brocante, St Ives.

Brocante’s Jayde Seren joined Brocante last May to manage the group’s newly opened St Ives’ store. “My first job in retail was working for Debenhams while I was at university,” explains Jayde. “I worked as a part time sales advisor for The Shoe Studio which I loved, as I was part of a team and working towards targets. I discovered a passion for sales and especially loved the merchandising side of the job. Plus, I got a great discount on shoes! That led me onto Brocante where I’ve worked for almost a year now.” Jayde says she loves working in retail because she enjoys working with the general public. ”I love meeting new people every day. Cornwall has a huge tourism

industry which means we have a wide variety of customers from all over the world. The come from different backgrounds and with a whole range of needs. We also have a great local following too. I love helping customers find a gift for someone special, a new item for their new home or the perfect print for a certain room in the house.”


Ella Doran

Above: Ella Doran. Right: David Bowie

Multi-award winning designer and entrepreneur Ella Doran started her career with help from The Prince’s Trust. Today she is an advocate for the circular economy, and currently the design maestro behind Sheep To Seat/Fleece To Floor at Yorkshire’s Sculpture Park, an exhibition, which opens to the public in June.

Which three words best describe you? “Bold, happy and creative.” Tell us a quirky fact that we don’t know about you? “I met the fabulous David Bowie at the opening of Damien Hirst’s The Pharmacy in London’s Notting Hill.” What was the best piece of business advice you’ve received? “Be clear and ask for what you want. In relation to licensing, negotiate with expert help.” What advice would you give to today’s young entrepreneurs? “Be yourself, be confident. Individuality is key and inspiring. Don’t compromise.” 86

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

Can you tell us more about your current Sheep To Seat exhibition? “It goes from sheep shearing to the cleaning plant to spinning and weaving. We made a chair and a carpet and used materials from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, such as a tree that was felled in a storm. I want the project to make people think about a product’s after-life and re-use.” What are your favourite TV programmes? “Rubbish History and Peaky Blinders.”

For Jayde, working for an independent shop feels more personal than working for a department store. “It’s more like a family,” she explains. “Everyone gets on and enjoys what they do which is why I think it works so well. We all have so much fun together and love the products we sell which is important. The owners, David Lorimer and Kieron Cockley, are very hands on. They have three Brocante shops, as well as a clothing store, and all shops communicate daily, working together to make sure our customers are happy. We feel like a part of the Brocante business and we work hard to continue to make it successful.” So what does Jayde love most about her role at the St Ives shop? “Where do I begin?” she laughs. “I love so many aspects of my job. I get very excited when new products arrive and I really enjoy working with Kieron and visual merchandiser Katy Warnes on the displays. We get so many lovely compliments on all of our products and value that it makes me feel proud to work here. In fact, working at Brocante doesn't feel like ‘work’ to me, and it’s hard not to spend my wages buying everything!”

What’s your favourite film? “Captain Fantastic. It’s genius!” What are you currently reading? “I have just finished Patagonia’s head chief’s book called Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, and am about to read Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.” Where do you most enjoy going on holiday? “I love Spain, especially Andalucia.” Where’s your happy place? “Being on my yoga mat. Practising yoga grounds my day.” How do you start and end your day? “I start with yoga and end my day by reading something. I’m still hungry when it comes to learning.” What’s your home like? “It’s a homely, eclectic space that’s very vibrant, with a focus on edited wallpaper pieces.” What one thing would you take to a desert island? “A lovely armchair to sit in, reupholstered by myself.”

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Manufacturer & distributor at your door. Your one stop shop for bespoke photo frames.

It costs as little as £250 per annum to advertise in the Product Directory. Contact Angie Bryant on 01993 212 994 for further information.

Just a few reasons to buy from Joe Davies

Wood, plastic, metal & glass frames.

Over 8000 gift items Low £100 minimum order ‘Little & Often’ order system Free carriage

T: 01908976443 E:

Please contact our Award Winning sales staff for further details. Tel: l 0161 975 6300 Email sales@joedavies



The Giftware Association is at the heart of the UK’s gift and home industry with 70 years unique experience listening to your needs and finding solutions to your problems. We can help you make money, save money and save time with or knowledge and contacts within the industry. Website: Email: Tel: 0121 237 1104 10 Vyse St, Birmingham B18 6LT


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Profile for Max Publishing

Gifts & Home March/April 2019  

Gifts & Home March/April 2019