Progressive Gifts & Home October/November 2017

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October/November 2017



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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

This Month


As our pre-Christmas issue goes to press on Halloween, it's 'hold your breath' time, as retailers, especially gift shop retailers, get ready to pull out every stop there is to get people to shop with them. The good news is that recent research by etailer Christmas Tree World has revealed that some 30% of survey respondents said that they didn't want Christmas to disappear from the high street. Only 7% said that they would be doing all of their Christmas shopping online, with a very encouraging 93% of those surveyed confirming that they were going to do some element of their Christmas shopping in a physical store. "It was very good to see that consumers felt strongly about the Christmas shopping experience and want to see viable signs of Christmas on the high street," commented Christmas Tree World's MD Stephen Evans. For more about Christmas, and how gift retailers are approaching it, given that the UK's inflation rate has climbed to its joint highest in more than five years, with a likely interest rate rise in November, turn to Feedback on pages 27-29, as well as to Sounding Off on page 25, where columnist Lesley Dunne reveals her five point festive plan. Elsewhere in the magazine, we include a focus on the huge success enjoyed by two high profile women in our industry: entrepreneur Holly Tucker CBE, co-founder of who has recently launched a second business, Holly & Co, to help upcoming creatives (see page 77) and designer Sara Miller, who has taken the gift and greeting card industry by storm in less than two years. (See pages 31-33). As Sara continues to spread her wings into a myriad of different gift sectors, we caught up with her at the recent launch of the Sara Miller London Portmeirion collections. We also discovered what happened when Matthew Canwell, formerly buying and merchandising director at Lakeland, changed to the other side of the counter as MD of Lifetime Brands Europe, which owns Creative Tops and KitchenCraft. See Putting The Customer First on pages 35-37, where Matthew tells us what's the same and what's different about his new role. Meanwhile, for plenty of product inspiration, take a look at bath and body sector on pages 55-57, and pet gifts on pages 43-47. We also preview some of the most romantic gifts that will be hitting the shelves in time for Valentine's Day 2018. (See pages 65-67). But that's not all. As ever in October, we're both excited and delighted to announce the 16th Greats Gift Retailer Awards, which are, of course, open to anyone in gift retail. These really are the retailer Awards to strive for, so to find out more, turn to page 7. The winners will be announced at the glittering Grosvenor House hotel in London on Thursday May 17, so what are you waiting for? Visit Self-nominations and nominations can also be emailed directly to In the meantime, as the January issue of Progressive Gifts & Home comes out between Christmas and New Year, here's wishing all of our readers a very happy, healthy and successful festive season from the team at Progressive Gifts, with much to look forward to as a new year unfolds. Above: Sue Marks recently had tea with designer Sara Miller at London's Mondrian Hotel, at the launch of the Sara Miller London Portmeirion collections. (See Living The Dream on pages 31-33).

Cover: Di Palomo - English luxury with a delightful Italian influence, distributed by Xystos.

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:

Design & Production Russell Sutton

Subscriptions enquiries Tel: 020 8943 9541

Copyright 2008. 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.




FEB 3 - 7




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Seasonal Decoration at its best 26. – 30. 1. 2018




Gift of the Gab TRADING PLACES



Create the

31-33 Designer Face To Face: Sara Miller LIVING THE DREAM

best product mix for 2018


35-37 Face To Face: Matthew Canwell PUTTING THE CUSTOMER FIRST 39-41 Retailer Face To Face: Rossiters A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST 43-47


Spotlight On... Pet Gifts ANIMAL CRACKERS

Your ticket to the top suppliers of seasonal and festive decorations:


51-53 Retailer Face To Face: Mooch MOOCHING AROUND

55-59 Spotlight On... Bath And Body TIME OUT 63

Spotlight On... January Furniture Show IT'S SHOWTIME!


Spotlight On... Valentine's Day I LOVE YOU


An Audience With... Holly Tucker, MBE Small Business, Big Dreams


Best Sellers


On The Road: David Lorimer


Last Word: Hilary (Billy) Green Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83 Sue Marks Editor

Angie Bryant Advertisement Manager

Ian Hyder Publishing Director



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Industry News

The Greats 2018 Putting The Great Into Gatsby Talented gift retailers and gift departments, as well as garden centres, visitor attractions, jewellery-focused gift shops and non-specialist gift retailers, are invited to enter the 2018 Greats Gift Retailer Awards. Plus, retailers are also invited to nominate a member of staff who has gone the extra mile in the Retail Employee of the Year category, and to name stand out suppliers in the Best Service to the Independent Retailer category. Entry forms have been included in this issue of Progressive Gifts & Home, and are also available to download from The Greats 2018 website. Entries can also be emailed directly to In recent years, The Greats Awards event has been a sellout, so for those who would like to be part of the gift industry's most prestigious event of the year - a fantastic chance to network! - please contact The Greats event organiser Clare Davis at Createvents on 01183 340085 or email Clare at The Greats, which were launched in 2003 to recognise and reward the best in gift retail, are owned and organised by Max Publishing, and are now celebrating their 16th year. Visit l A limited number of sponsorship categories are still available. For further details please contact Angie Bryant on Above: We've won! A joyous moment for the 2017 Greats Awards winners.

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

Art Deco Theme The theme for The Greats 2018 is The Greats Gatsby, with imagery kindly supplied by illustrator Claire Coxon (represented by leading artists’ agency Image Source), echoing the sophisticated art deco vibe. "My inspiration is drawn from the natural world around me - I live in the picturesque Cotswolds - traditional and vintage art, and from the exciting world of fashion and contemporary art and design," explains Claire. "My work is constantly evolving, offering new challenges that make it all the more satisfying." Among the companies who are licensing Claire’s stunning Deco artwork is greeting card publisher Noel Tatt.

New Licences For Groovy Hot on the heels of Brand Licensing Europe (BLE), held in October, Art Ask Agency has signed deals for Frida Kahlo, Jimmy the Bull and Brandalised with gift and accessories supplier Groovy UK. The deal targets today's young and not so young consumers, with products complementing the current trends. The new licences will join the likes of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Assassins Creed, Daddy's Lil Monster and Batman within the Groovy UK catalogue of licensed merchandise. Other licensees will be bringing out ranges in kitchenware, home products, accessories, stationery and ceramics. Above: Daddy's Lil Monster wash bags from Groovy UK.

Rex International Rebrands Spring 2018 will see Rex International and eretailer dotcomgiftshop embark on the company's next evolution when both the trade and consumer arms of the business will be rebranded under the Rex London umbrella. “This name change helps reinforce the British legacy and design credentials of the company, born and bred from its humble origins on London’s Portobello Road market in 1975, selling candles, jeans and ponchos," explains sales director Nigel Biggs. “Today our in-house UK design team produces over 1,000 new product lines a year, decorated with iconic designs, with an authentic British feel, continuing that heritage. “The name change is also likely to appeal to the overseas market who will enjoy the celebration and emphasis on the company’s UK history.”

Above: Claire Coxon, an illustrator with Image Source, is the designer behind this year's stunning Greats Art Deco imagery.

We're In The Finals! Port Erin's award winning gift and card store Mantons has been selected as a finalist in The NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards as High Street Entrepreneur of the Year. Judges included former Dragons Den star James Caan CBE, The Apprentice 2014's Bianca Miller-Cole and Dale Murray CBE. "We are the only Manx company to ever achieve this honour," highlights Mantons’ owner Chris Beards. "This is well deserved recognition for all our team's hard work and commitment to help our customers, which is something we at Mantons take pride in." The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on November 14 held at the Imperial War Museum. Above: Chris Beards with the bira Local Hero award. He is hoping that Mantons will win the High Street Entrepreneur of the Year.

Newbury Here We Come A 14th Between The Lines store will be opening in Newbury on November 23. "The store is the old Clintons unit in Northbrook Street, Newbury, and we are doing a full refit, including the removal of a large amount of asbestos!" MD Florian Kleinlercher told PG&H. "Newbury is a lovely town and we're looking forward to opening our newest outlet there." Above: Between The Lines is expanding its retail portfolio.




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Industry News

GA News

Second Shop To Open

Events Lead The Way It's been a hectic time for The Giftware Association. Flying the flag for the GA and its members, Sarah Ward, ceo, recently attended a Hong Kong Dinner, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), where VIP guests included The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, The Hon Mrs Carrie Lam making her first trip outside of Hong Kong since becoming Hong Kong’s leader on the July 1, along with Chancellor Philip Hammond, who emphasised the importance of the event and the strong links between the two countries. The event also brought together over 550 influential government and business leaders from Hong Kong and the UK. Meanwhile, the Association organised another successful Meet The Buyer event at The Bond in Digbeth. Held in October, it attracted buyers from Choice Marketing, Not On the High Street, Ocado, The National Gallery, Beales, the National Gallery, Utility and Brookfield’s Garden Centre. “It’s very satisfying to see an event like this come together, as the planning has to be spot on so the buyers see the right suppliers’ said Simone Rose, the GA's business development manager and organiser of the event. “The buyers’ reactions to our past events has been very rewarding and word has travelled amongst the buying community, with more buyers wanting to take part our future events.” Suppliers showcasing their products included Xpressions’ Gifts 4 U, Bubblegum Stuff, Thinking Gifts, Treat Gifts, New Soda, and Adornement. “This is our fifth event of the year, and after each one we have been amazed by the success stories we hear, and the thanks we receive," said Sarah Ward.

Lifestyle store Josie's in Bideford will be opening a second store in the New Year. Explains owner James Webster, a finalist in The Greats 2017 Best Newcomer South & Wales category: "The new shop will be called Josie's Interiors and will be 10 times the size of the original Josie's which I will be dedicating to giftware," explains James. "Following the fantastic success of Josie's, which I opened two-and-a-half years ago, the new shop will focus on furniture and lifestyle pieces, with locals crying out for a shop like this in the town." (Josie's is named after James' grandmother). Below: The current Josie's in Bideford.

Above: The Hon Mrs Carrie Lam, The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, addressed guests at a Hong Kong Dinner organised by the HKTDC.

Last Chance To Enter The GOTY Awards The Gift of the Year 2018 competition, organised by The Giftware Association, closes on November 24, with the shortlist announced on December 11 based on the votes of a panel of some 50 retail buyers, industry grandees and trade press editors, with PG&H's Sue Marks once again among the judges. Winners will be decided at a live judging on January 11, 2018. The Awards will be presented at an evening ceremony to be held at The Vox, Resorts World on the first night of Spring Fair, Sunday February 4. The winner of the Judges Choice Award will receive a free stand at Autumn Fair 2018. Email

New Libra Concept Store To Open

Above: The new Libra retail concept at Reg Taylors.

Libra has added to its retail offer with a new 50 sq ft concept showroom at Reg Taylors Garden Centre based in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. Featuring a range of handpicked products from the company's extensive portfolio, to include furniture, lighting and accessories, the new space will by styled into inspirational displays drawing on the brand's exclusive themes. Over the past two years Libra has rolled out six dedicated concept showrooms across the UK. l From October 29-November 8, Libra will be launching its Spring 2018 collections at its showrooms in Linton, Cambridge, showcasing 700 new products. Two new collections will be launched: Mayfair and Savoy.

Harrogate Gets Ready For Christmas Harrogate Christmas & Gift 2018 is bigger than ever extending to seven halls at the Harrogate Convention Centre, with the most extensive array of products for Christmas, home, garden and gifts covering all the major occasions. Hall Q is set to be the destination hall at the show, with new companies exhibiting to include Heyland and Whittle, Transomnia, Black Sheep Candles and Decorative Handmade Glass. Right: Weiste, a Scandinavian manufacturer of home décor and gifts, will be returning to Harrogate Christmas & Gift in 2018.

Thornbury Gift Shop Rebrands After over 40 years as Heritage in Thornbury, and almost four years under the current owners, the trading name of Heritage in Thornbury has been re-branded. "Although Heritage has served it well, we have made so many changes to the business, and to the type of product that it sells, and it has sadly become a hindrance," explains co-owner Tabi Marsh. "The word ‘heritage’ conjures up images of museums and antique pieces - something that is far removed from our image now." She continues: "Thornbury is a massively growing town and it was important to us that this was no longer the first perception of us by newcomers. Our limited company name is Papilio (Heritage), and after lots of ideas we kept coming back to Papilio which means butterfly - for the name. We also wanted to give both sides of the business more of their own identity so we have Papilio home and Papilio coffee, which together make up Papilio at Heritage. We have demoted Heritage to the name of the building as we didn’t feel we could completely get rid of it, but want to move forward. Customer response has been great, and it’s already helped to release lots of new ideas. We're excited to see where go from here." Above: A cushion featuring the new Papilio logo.



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Christmas & Gift 14th to 17th January 2018

The UK’s favourite trade show! Home & gardenware, toys, cards & stationery, artificial flowers, food, gifts for every occasion and absolutely everything Christmas! FREE ENTRY Register Online Today:

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Industry News

Hero Figurine Helps To Raise Funds

bira Visits Number 10 Business Rates Top The Agenda A visit to Downing Street by representatives from bira in August ensured that business rates were at top of the agenda. The meeting took place with special advisor Jimmy McLoughlin, (a previous deputy head of policy and head of external relations at the IoD), allowing bira to discuss the nub of the high street's problems with the business relations specialist. Key for bira was to highlight to Number 10 that while there are many burdens on businesses at the moment, business rates are a massive tax on the high street, and very much exacerbated by the recent overdue revaluation. The Association made the point that although the government has raised the rates free amount to £12,000, with a taper run off to £15,000, this is nowhere high enough Above: Representative from bira recently visited Number 10 to discuss business rates. Shown from left to right are: Robert for the average high street retailer. Jarrett, marketing and membership director, bira; Fiona In addition, bira put forward the innovative thought that Cuthbertson, public affairs advisor, Alan Hawkins, bira's ceo, Vin Vara, The Tool Shop and bira’s national president. if there was an allowance, rather than a cliff edge of £12,000, this would mean that smaller businesses would not be under constant pressure, but instead able to contribute extra productivity and profit to UK plc. It would mean that the government could scrap all current and often short term reliefs that cost the treasury at least £2.6bn a year. Following the meeting, bira will be looking to put together more detailed costings.

Thinking of You Week This year’s Thinking of You Week, which took place from September 25 – October 1, had the broadest reach to date, confirms Sharon Little, ceo of the Greeting Card Association (GCA), which spearheaded the week long initiative that encouraged people to send extra cards. Calliope Gifts, which has stores in Dorking, Haywards Heath and Alton, were among the gift shops that got behind the event. In the spirit of the initiative, Calliope instigated a ‘4 for 3’ promotion across all greeting cards to encourage multiple buys and sends. Thinking of posters and PoS anchored the window displays. “We are delighted with the results,” confirmed Andy Adamson, director of Calliope. “It was our best week for card sales since Mother’s Day.” During the week, Calliope’s sales soared by 28% compared to the same week last year in terms of number of cards sold, and 24% in terms of revenue. “Our total sales of all categories were up 6% in revenue terms year on year so the growth was almost entirely down to card sales,” elaborated Andy. Calliope tracked over 200 transactions from customers participating in the ‘4 for 3’ promotion during the Week.

Enesco has announced it will be donating 10% of its profit made from the sale of its Willow Tree figurine, Hero, in the run up to Armistice Day on November 11. The company will donate £2.60 from every sale of Hero to Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life to help support the museum in bringing the past to life, so that visitors can remember those who have sacrificed their lives, or suffered as a result of war while serving to protect their country. Above: Willow Tree's Hero figurine.

New Retail Concept Launches University of the Arts London (UAL) launched a pioneering new retail space in the Autumn - Not Just A Shop - selling design-led products and artwork from its talented alumni. The retail outlet stocks a diverse range of products ranging from home, fashion and giftware to bags, jewellery and greeting cards, as well as limited edition prints and one-off artworks. Everything has been created by the students at UAL’s six leading arts colleges. Above: Not Just A Shop.

Left: The Thinking of You Week promotion was a winner for Calliope Gifts.

Media Savvy

The Stars Of The Show

Designer Sara Miller was the talk of the media in September, when she attended the launch of the new Sara Miller London Portmeirion collections which attracted leading consumer journalists, retailers and influential bloggers to London's trendy Mondrian hotel. "Portmeirion has already sold the range to its distributors all over the world and I can’t wait to develop the range further,” commented Sara. The following day, she could be found in Fenwick Bracknell where the store held a Sara Miller London event to fanfare the Portmeirion collections. In addition, a huge Sara Miller London window display also went into the Fenwick Brent Cross store in North London. See Living The Dream on pages 31-33.

The Wraptious team recently headed to the Mercury Music awards in London, where the company's Splatter cushions by Katherine Williams were selected to decorate the green room backstage. "We were given free guest tickets to see the event, which featured performances by acts such as Sampha, The Blossoms, Glass Animals, Kate Tempest and Stormzy," enthuses Naomi Smith, media and marketing manager. The cushions used in the green room were 20 of Katherine's Splatter range including the Hare, Stag and Bird designs, winners of the Gift of the Year Home Accessories category in 2016, sponsored by Progressive Gifts & Home.

Above: Designer Sara Miller at the Portmeirion press launch.

Above: Wraptious' cushions.



GB DU: 30.11.2017

What turns a product into a gift. How do you find just the right thing. Do trends follow customers or do customers follow trends. Giving reflects our ideas about the things we give – a place where creativity is lived, where diversity pulsates.

Ambiente, the show. Information and tickets at Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83

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Industry News

Expansion At Bookspeed Operational Capacity Doubles Having exceeded its growth expectations by bolstering sales from around £6million in 2015 to just under £9million in 2017, Bookspeed has more than doubled its operational capacity by investing significantly in additional warehouse facilities. Bookspeed’s new facility increases operational space from around 13,500sq ft to more than 25,000sq ft. Lewis Dawson, commercial director of Bookspeed, said: “This new facility is integral to our plans for ongoing growth. In recent years, we have invested significantly in all parts of our business including our IT infrastructure which now allows us to operate out of the two sites concurrently.” “In 2015, we set out to double our turnover and have already surpassed growth expectations three years ahead of our plans and increased our team by 20% to more than 40 staff. We have also grown our customer base and geographical reach across the UK, while continuing to work with long-term customers and trading partners. Our focus is to build on this success and continue to expand in the coming years as we add new ranges and exclusive non-book product lines to our portfolio.” Bookspeed is a specialist supplier of books, toys and gifts in the UK. The company is the sole UK distributor for is Peleg Design, Donkey Products gifts and Egmont Toy’s children’s range. The company celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. l Bookspeed has predicted that the hot sellers for stocking fillers and Secret Santa gifts will be the new Mr Greedy Eats Clean to Get Lean; Little Miss Shy Goes Online Dating; Little Miss Busy Surviving Motherhood; and Mr Happy and the Office Party. Above: Bookspeed’s management team (from left to right): MD Matthew Perren, sales director, Fiona Stout and commercial director, Lewis Dawson.

Preventing Cyber Crime Could retailers, including gift retailers, be doing more to prevent cyber crime? Research by KPMG and the government’s Cyber Aware campaign has revealed that the retail industry is not taking threats seriously enough, with one in seven not taking steps to protect their data. According to bira, even though nearly three quarters (71%) of retailers put the most value on their customers, and 58% of consumers say they would be deterred from using a business hit by a cyber attack, it appears that there are still gaps in retailers’ cyber security strategies. A significant 95% of businesses consider cyber security to be very or quite important to their business, although 45% do not have a formal Above: A Cyber Aware poster cyber security strategy. designed to help people protect The association emphasises that it is vital that all independent retailers implement their businesses from attack. effective cyber security and cyber-enabled fraud prevention - even though many independent retailers are run by small teams, without vast it knowledge, making being more cyber conscious seem impossible.

Just Beautiful Marketing Campaign Lola Design has launched an integrated PR and marketing campaign entitled Just Beautiful. The focus is to drive brand awareness among consumers, retailers and potential licensees through the press, online sites, bloggers and influencers in the interiors and lifestyle sectors. Husband and wife team Frank and Amanda Mountain, owners of Lola Design, have enlisted the expertise of 23PR (the PR and social media company that has worked with Sara Miller to help build the Sara Miller London brand, see Media Savvy on page 13), while Hamilton Branding, a leading digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing and branding agency, has produced video content which anchors the digital aspect of the campaign. “Our dream is to build an internationally recognisable lifestyle brand known for beautiful design," says Frank who looks after the sales and marketing aspects of the business. "We are still at the beginning of the journey but have a vision to extend that presence across multiple categories into more markets.” Lola Design products include the Wildlife Botanical collection, recently featured in the Sunday Times Home, the Sunday Mirror magazine and the Manchester Evening News, with ambitions for growth both in lifestyle and greeting cards. Left: Among the range of products from Lola Designs.

Triumphing in Japan Wrendale Design is continuing to widen its global reach. Hannah Dale, the company’s founder and creative director, attracted the crowds in Japan recently, where she was guest of honour at various department stores, giving painting demonstrations amid the displays of products depicting her work. The trip was part of a new venture to launch the brand in Japan, with Wrendale working alongside Portmeirion - which licences Wrendale designs for collections of giftware and tableware - as well as a new distributor. The trip also involved participating in the British Fair held in Tokyo’s Mitsukoshi department store, the oldest department store in the world, which began trading in 1673. Above: Hannah at work in the Mitsukoshi department store.

Taking The Coastal Path Coastal Path will be returning to Giving & Living, which takes place at Westpoint Exhibition Centre, near Exeter, from January 14-17. Returning will be sectors Newcomers Designed, Made in Britain and Naturally. Below: Visitors at last year's Giving & Living.

Christmas Trends 2018/2019 For buyers looking ahead to Christmas 2017/2018, Christmasworld, which takes place from January 26-30 at Messe Frankfurt, will be unveiling the latest cutting edge trends, along with the trends for other occasions such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Halloween. New at the 2018 show, will be Christmas Delights to include culinary gifts and Yuletide confectionery, with the Galleria featuring wooden huts to give the show a Christmas market atmosphere. There will also be a trend show by design consultants bora.herke.palmisano, and a Christmasworld forum featuring specialist presentations and workshops. A special exhibition by 2Dezign will form a bridge to Floradecora - a new market place for fresh flowers, plants and pre-prepared arrangements will provide inspiration for designing large areas, shop windos and stores. PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


Spring Fair BIRMINGHAM UK 5 – 9 FEBRUARY 2018

Hall 2 | C04-D05+C30-D31


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Industry News

John Lewis' Cover Girl MD Paula Nickolds Sets Out Her Vision The Times' Magazine recently featured Paula Nickolds, MD of John Lewis, and a former buying director Home, on its front cover, with a six page editorial on her vision for the company going forward. "Our customers tell us they want more unique products, with the qualities that come from the trust they have in John Lewis," Paula told interviewer Anna Murphy. "But I think all retailers are going to have to do this. You have to differentiate in order to be a successful business in the future." Elsewhere in the article, Paula said that, "retail has become about the 'how', and they 'why' as much as the 'what'. "The biggest question of all, of course, is how best to navigate the digital space alongside the concrete - the clicks as well as the bricks," she told the Magazine. "We are living through the most dramatic revolution in retail since the supermarkets arrived in the Sixties and Seventies." Paula highlighted that John Lewis has to appeal to people's wants and desires, as well as their practical needs. "If you are only appealing on a functional level that is not enough. None of us needs a new set of cutlery," she points out. The article also revealed that no further store openings are in the pipeline. l John Lewis has revealed details of a new 'concierge style' shopping experience which will be trialled at its new service-led shop in Oxford which opened its doors on Tuesday October 31. The initiative forms part of John Lewis' plans to reinvent the department store with the store offering 21 different services. l Profits at John Lewis were down by 53.3% in the six months to the end of July, compared to the same period in 2016, the result of investment in its website, improvements to its stores and redundancies. Above: Paula Nickolds, MD John Lewis. Left: John Lewis' new Oxford store.

Select Christmas sleepovers An innovative new John Lewis customer initiative will shortly be taking sleepovers to a new level. The store will be inviting a select few shoppers, randomly chosen from those who apply, to stay overnight at The Residence, an in store apartment in the retailer's Oxford Street flagship outlet, to experience the store's products. The overnight stays will take place on the four Saturdays leading up to Christmas. Similar apartments in Cambridge and Liverpool will also hold sleepovers. Right: John Lewis is inviting customers to spend the night in store.

Trending at Autumn Fair Among the 'names' at Autumn Fair in September were magician Jamie Raven, a former runner-up on Britain's Got Talent, who entertained visitors on the Paul Lamond stand. Elsewhere, Elves Behaving Badly amused visitors in the volume hall. Also making her presence felt at Autumn Fair was American designer Rosanna Bowles, who was on the Widdop and Co stand to promote her latest range of giftware for the company. The show's fashion catwalk revealed strong reds, greens and tropicana as the big themes for Spring/Summer 2018, with trend forecasters WGSN also highlighting gold, vibrant patterns and strong colours, botanical prints, nature and the colour green. "This year's Autumn Fair saw exhibitors step up again in how they present their latest ranges," commented Louise Young, divisional director - retail at Ascential, organisers of Autumn Fair and Spring Fair. "Taking advantage of the weak ÂŁpound, retailers from the USA, Europe and more travelled to the event to view the many product ranges that were exclusive to the show." Above: Designer Rosanna Bowles is shown on the Widdop stand at Autumn Fair. Right: Visitors at the show.

PEOPLE p As Steamer Trading continues to up the ante on the gift front, its owner, Ben Phillips (right), has handed the chief executive’s job to Mark Saunders, a former Cath Kidston and Habitat executive. Ben, who took over Steamer Trading Cookshop from his parents 16 years ago, remains the sole shareholder, and has moved to a new role as creative director. p Enesco has made several new appointments. Gillian Blair has recently joined the company as national business manager. Her role includes new business development, together with the management of UK field sales and selected national accounts. Her previous role was head of sales & marketing. She brings extensive knowledge of the giftware, textiles, home fragrance and body care sectors to the role. Other new appointments include Sam Bond as areas sales manager for London and East Anglia, and Simon Kidd as area sales manager, South West England and South Wales. p Sarah Kitley-Spencer (right) has been appointed as the new event manager of International Jewellery London (IJL). Sarah has worked at IJL for the past seven years and Reed Exhibitions for 10 years. She was formerly the show's marketing manager.

Sadly Missed...

p Lawrence Evans, co-owner of Cane & Able in Cwmbran with his wife Meryl, sadly passed away on August 4. "He was a fighter all his life, battling several life changing illnesses, but unfortunately this one was one too many," Meryl told PG&H. "I will be carrying on for as long as I can but it's going to be difficult without that other person to bounce ideas off. Nevertheless, our staff are very good and we'll all do our best to honour Lawrence." p Jo Bolton (right), owner of Boltons Exhibitions, organisers of the Bournemouth Gift Show and the Isle of Wight Gift Show, passed away on August 5. The last show, held in the Isle of Wight, took place in January. "Having reached the age of 90, mum had already been planning the next show and loved to be talking and organising with the exhibitors," said her son Ian Bolton. "With a keen eye to help those new to the shows, mum had previously run a very successful wholesale giftware business on the island, which also supplied the South coast." PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


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Industry News

Explosive Growth Independents Light touchpaper

NEWS IN BRIEF Below: UK high streets are seeing a significant increase in independent retailers.

Data released this month by the Local Data Company (LDC) and bira reveals that traditional independent shops opened significantly more shops than in the same period last year, while the national chains continued to see a fall. Independent shops saw an increase of +762 shops (+0.27%) in H1 2017, a significant increase from the net increase of +4 shops (+0.00%) in H1 2016. A net growth of +562 units in H1 2017 on the high streets, was one of the main drivers in the growth of independent retailing in H1 2017 - a +181% increase from the +200 unit increase in H1 2016. The chain retailers have also remained in decline with a net loss of -659 shops (-0.33%) in H1 2017 across GB, which compares to -2,001 shops (-1.02%) in H1 2016. “It’s good to see independents, and the high street in particular, leading the way in net unit growth for the first half of 2017," commented bira's ceo Alan Hawkins. "The courage and, we hope, skill of the independent entrepreneurial spirit will fly long after the prophets of doom are silent." Alan continued: "The predictability of the growth areas is perhaps a little disappointing, being centred on the areas where the customer has to be present, but let’s not knock that. Barbers, nails and a cup of coffee all help footfall and give even the harder pressed comparison goods shops a chance to wave their retail magic.” l The total number of independent businesses covered in the research across Great Britain was 288,259.

Gift Shop On TV Eagle eyed visitors to Autumn Fair might have spotted the Daisybeck Studios cameras at the show in September. The reason was that gift shop Bijouled in Harrogate (right) is to be featured in an hour long, two part series airing on Channel 5 in December, Countdown to Christmas - Harrogate, focusing on the Christmas preparations of a selection of retailers in the town as they prepare their shops in the run up to the 2017 Christmas lights switch on. Bijouled's owners Georgina and Neville Collins were filmed at Autumn Fair speaking to exhibitors as they sourced predominantly Christmas-based products to ‘dress’ their store window, with a view to winning the best-dressed store window in Harrogate competition which will be judged on November 14.

Home At The Heart Of HOMI A 'super-accessorised, many-sided home' will be the theme of the next edition of HOMI, Fiera Milano's Lifestyle Trade Fair, which opens its doors from January 26 -29 at Rho in Milan. It is set to confirm its status as the 'show of reference' for the home design sector, as well as for people's homes in general, highlighting that everyone can live well in a work ambient, or anywhere else, with the help of accessories that can create a ‘portable home’. The format will combine traditional and innovative elements, with a focus on trends in categories ranging from decorative home accessories and lighting to decoration and exclusive objects, home fabrics and room fragrances. A highlight of January's show will be the new HOMI Smart space dedicated to the evolution of design in the digital area. The show will also feature exclusive exhibitions and events. Visit

p This Autumn, Fenwick Bracknell (right) (formerly Bentalls Bracknell), unveiled an 80,000 sq ft store concept at the new Lexicon development. Along with many of the leading brands in fashion and beauty, the new store also houses a new Home department. p Stoneglow recently launched a new range, Day Flower (right), into John Lewis, which has gone live with great success. According to Stoneglow's account development manager Louise Dooley, John Lewis has reported that the collection “has hit the ground running”. John Lewis has an exclusive run on the range until early 2018. p Joe Davies has become the UK stockists for luxury skin and body care brand Grace Cole which is made in England. The products are dermatologically tested, eco friendly, paraben and MIT free, with Grace Cole against animal testing. p Half Moon Bay's Harry Potter giftware range won the Best Licensed Giftware category at the Licensing Awards, held in September. The winner of the Best Licensed Home Decor, Tableware or Houewares range was the Slush Puppies range from Fizz Creations. p Design Shanghai, organised by Media 10, was held at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre at the end of October. The show brought together 100 British brands with sectors including Home & Interior. p Home fragrance company, Bahoma has signed with the University of Oxford to create a range of candles (right) and home fragrance collections for European and UK retailers. The initial ranges will feature a mix of branded and content driven themes inspired by the University. Also in development is a collaboration with the University’s Botanic Garden.

Above: A wide range of products for the home will be showcased at HOMI in Milan. Shown is tableware from James Tailor.

Man About The House Modern British men now spend more on styling their homes than women, according to a new poll. New research reveals that the average male spends £1,304 a year on scented candles, homewares and soft furnishings, whereas women spend slightly less at £1,141. Some 48% of men now regularly shop for scented candles, while 54% purchase cushions, with 47% choosing the pot plants! The poll, by British wallpaper manufacturer Graham & Brown for International Wallpaper Week, found that the average male will shop for things for the house at least three times a month, with artwork, throws and fresh flowers also among the top purchases. Surprisingly, above half of men (53%) revealed that they spend more money on things for their home than they do on technology, clothes and nights out.

p According to new research from Yankee Candle, 15 million Brits will be looking for love this winter. The findings reveal that those who smell nice are more likely to attract a potential mate, with log fires and rain fragrances the top aphrodisiac scents. p The winner of Widdop and Co's Rosanna prize draw, held on their stand at Autumn Fair, was Linda Hartin at Omnipresent in Kinver, who received £500 worth of new Rosanna gifts. PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


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Industry News

Inflation Starts To Bite

Belowe: Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist, CBI.

Retail Sales See A Slump With the Chancellor's Budget looming into view on November 22, the CBI's chief economist Rain Newton-Smith, says that this is a critical time for the retail sector that employs three million people across Britain. She states: "the Government can give retailers, especially those on the high street, some much needed relief in next month’s Budget by bringing forward the planned switch of business rates indexation from RPI to CPI.” In the year to October, retail sales fell at the quickest rate since March 2009 – the height of the financial crisis, confirms the latest CBI survey. Overall, sales for the time of year were considered to be slightly below seasonal norms. Meanwhile, orders placed by suppliers also dropped at the fastest rate since March 2009. The report stated that, looking ahead to the next month, retailers expect sales volumes to stabilise in the year to November, but orders are expected to see a further decline, albeit at a slower pace. Growth in online sales slowed in the year to October, to a pace just below the long-run average, but is expected to pick up slightly in the year to November. Within the retail sector, although recreational goods and hardware & DIY performed well, department stores saw sales fall. Meanwhile, wholesalers continued to report above average growth in sales volumes in the year to October, with a similarly strong increase expected in the year to November. “It’s clear that retailers are beginning to really feel the pinch from higher inflation," commented Rain Newton-Smith. The steep drop in sales in October echoes other recent data pointing to a marked softening in consumer demand.

Trends at Ambiente Ambiente, which features Dining, Living and Giving, will be putting the spotlight on four main trends for 2018 when the show opens its doors from February 9-13 at Messe Frankfurt. They are Modest Regenerations (timeless, personal, minimalistic, unpretentious); Colourful Intentions (bold colours, ecological, functional, folkloric); Technological Emotions (visionary, refined, emotional, balanced), and Opulent Narrations (eclectic, staged ornamental, extravagant). Seminar speakers at the Ambiente Academy will also be highlighting tableware and food trends, providing practical information on current market developments and opportunities. Explained Ambiente's Dining director Thomas Kastl: "For example, there are different plate styles coming through as chefs change their minds about food." Fashion shows featuring trend and brand products from exhibitors will offer additional inspiration. Thomas also highlighted HoReCa as a growth sector for the show. Ambiente will have a Business-MatchMaking web portal for the first time in 2018. Exhibitors and buyers will be able to enter the specifics of what they are looking for, with the program matching the interests and schedules of the two parties, connecting them at Ambiente in person. l Ambiente 2018's partner country is The Netherlands. Left: Modest Regenerations will be among the trends showcased at Ambiente.

Only In New York The winter 2018 edition of NY NOW, the Market for Home, Lifestyle + Gift, will be taking place from February 3-7, 2018 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The show, organised by Emerald Expositions, will again feature three comprehensive collections – Home, Lifestyle and Handmade – encompassing tens of thousands of products in hundreds of product categories. The Handmade Global Design section of the Handmade Collection will open on Saturday February 3 and close on Tuesday February 6. The Home and Lifestyle Collections, as well as the Handmade Designer Maker and Artisan Resource sections of the Handmade Collection, will open on Sunday February 4 and close on Wednesday February 7. Above: Visitors to NY NOW. Buyers from all 50 states and some 70 countries worldwide are expected to attend.

Manchester Show Debuts The first ever Manchester Stationery Show opened its doors on October 31- November 1. Seminar speakers included Mick Weedon founder of exp2. Mick is a researcher, analyst and regular news commentator on retail locations, who works with Local Data Company and independent retailers. He told delegates: “Real-world retail shows a consistent trend away from selling mass-produced products to providing personal services. The former can be done just as well online as in a shop, but the latter increasingly belongs to the high street. In fact, personalisation is becoming ever easier as technology develops, with personalisation services perfectly suited both to stationery and to gifts," he continued. Other speakers at the show included Scarlet Opus' trends translator Phil Ponds, who shone the spotlight on the millennial generation and why they’re different, as well as Giftware Association chair and independent retail consultant Henri Davis.. The new Manchester Stationery show is a sister show to the London Stationery Show which takes place from April 24-25, 2018. Above: Seminar speakers Michael Weedon (right) and Phil Ponds.

A Strong Top Drawer The Food Emporium made its debut at the Autumn edition of Top Drawer, showcasing 'giftable' food and drink products, with organisers Clarion Events reporting a very successful show across the board. “The Autumn/Winter '17 edition was a strong success, attracting the very best brands across our sectors and top buyers from the UK and overseas," commented event director Alejandra Campos. Among the gift exhibitors were Valerie Graham, Caroline Gardner, Wild & Wolf, Bookspeed and True Grace. The Spring/Summer '18 edition of Top Drawer will take place from January 14-16, 2018, at Olympia London. Above: Hoogly Tea.



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Left: Nic Stone. Below: Visitors browsing the aisles at Autumn Fair.



Trading Places Trade shows can be something of a make or break for both exhibitors and buyers, with winners and losers in both camps. Nic Stone, owner of The Bottle Kiln in West Hallam, reflects on two trade shows he visited in the Autumn, observing how the different attitudes and professionalism of companies exhibiting at shows can't fail to impact on whether they are a company worth doing business with. "At the time of writing, I've just come back from two trade shows: Autumn Fair in Birmingham and Top Drawer in London. The shows themselves were both excellent, with lots of new products, ideas and inspirations. For we buyers, it’s our fix of newness ahead of the most important selling season and a last chance to spice up our product mix. These trade fairs certainly do seem to be getting quieter though, which would be a real worry if I were an exhibitor. As a retailer, it just makes it easier to get around and see everything. I do wonder, however, if the number of serious buyers has remained the same, while the number of sightseers, grandmas, kids and staff members attending has gone down, as the companies we talk to mostly still seem to be doing good business. Walking around the exhibition halls looking for new lines and interacting with various salespeople, the thought often strikes me that trade shows are like a distilled version of shopping; all the same principles apply, though the stakes are much higher. And given the scope within that limited space and time frame both for either disaster or glory, I am always amazed at the enormous variety of preparedness by the stallholders. At one extreme you will find the model trade stand: great graphics or signage, well-lit, a clear story with attractively displayed merchandise and friendly, but not too pushy, enthusiastic and - most importantly - knowledgeable staff. At the other extreme are those who, when you ask about the products, seem

genuinely surprised to be asked and look altogether nonplussed. We have walked onto stands on day three of a major trade show, asked about prices of products only to be met by the blank expressions of sales people who give the impression that this has never happened before. So off they scuttle to dig out a dog-eared price list and rifle through it feverishly in the hope of being able to answer your question. Do you buy from them? No.

You buy, of course, from the people on stands who have the information at their fingertips, enthuse and engage with the products, and generally seem professional in their manner and approach, because instinct tells you that good companies employ good people. If they can’t get it right at this vital stage, what hope is there that the rest of your relationship will be any better?

In the end, it's all down to preparation. We all need to make sure that our staff know first of all the reason we are there what made us do this thing in the first place and what are we out to achieve - and then that they share our passion for our products and the knowledge to pass it on. There needs to be, above all, a ‘story’ to the product which is easily conveyed, and which the retailer in turn can readily convey to staff, who in turn need to pass it on to the customers. Nothing quite sells a thing like enthusiasm and product knowledge. In the last issue of Progressive Gifts, I wrote about my belief that not everyone has to be an online retailer; that selling actual things to people in the real world is a distinct and still valid activity and one with a bright future. A couple of very good experiences with new suppliers at the trade shows reinforced this for me. Twice we bought whole new ranges from companies new to us, which we might well have left otherwise, because we were so taken by their stories and the commitment of the people who worked with them. Ours is a very human business, full of people’s dreams, creativity and achievements, and it harnesses these to create, for the most part, happiness for others in the form of gifts and treats. The actual day to day issues of running a retail business can seem to leave very little time for thinking about the narrative we pass on. For my part, I am aware that I could do much better in passing on product knowledge and enthusiasm to our staff. But in a world where just about anything can be bought just about any time online at the click of a mouse, maybe in the end it is the most important thing we have to sell." PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


Everything you need under one roof Nowhere else in the UK can you see so many of the latest products in one place. Browse over 2,500 exhibitors across 14 specialist show sectors - plus the new garden concession, Glee at Spring Fair - at the UK’s largest retail trade event. The market is open. Our carefully curated show sectors: Beauty & Wellbeing • Children’s Gifts & Toys • Christmas Gifts, Floral & Seasonal Decorations • Contemporary Gift • DIY & Home Improvement • Fashion, Jewellery & Luggage • Gift • Greetings & Gift • Home • Kitchen, Dining & Housewares • Retail Solutions • The Party Show • The Summerhouse • Volume Gift & Home and Glee at Spring Fair

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Take 5

Lesley Dunne, owner of Feathering Your Nest in Rayleigh, Essex, reveals the shop's top five top trends for the festive season. "We all know that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and hopefully, Christmas 2017 will be a bumper season for we gift retailers, with the till bells merrily ringing out until December 24. For Feathering Your Nest, the season started in early September when our Home & Gift, Harrogate, orders began rolling in. I sneakily plan it so I'm at Autumn Fair when the first boxes arrive, but after 12 years, I reckon the staff have twigged my little scheme! It seems strange at first, buying Christmas paraphernalia in the sunshine, but a couple of hours on and I'm in full swing, although, of course, now it's just a distant memory. Trying to spot trends and colours is always top priority at the shows. I do my homework beforehand by searching out what's hot on Instagram, Pinterest and in the multiples, but it's always a continuous hunt. So after a lot of discussion and deliberation, here are the five trends that we will be featuring at Feathering Your Nest in the run up to the festive season: 1. The 'P' word: Prosecco, prosecco, prosecco. I can't say I actually like prosecco - it brings back dodgy memories of Asti

Spumanti hangovers from the early 1980s but I'm very happy to sell it! 2. Top Model: This makes a fabulous stocking filler for youngsters aged 12 and under, with new would-be artists moving up through the ranks. It's a quality product that sells itself all year round. Add in products featuring mermaids, unicorns, flamingos and llamas, as well as light up bottles, plaques and saving pots from suppliers such as Langs, CGB and Sass and Belle, and we've got it covered. All pretty much under £10 too.

3. Home Accessories: For Generation X-Z, aka early to mid teens, we've gone for rose gold room accessories, fairylights and LED products in the £10 - £20 price bracket. We've also invested bath bombs and trendy mugs. 4. Jewellery and Fashion Accessories: Moving up the age scale, late teens to late 20s and Millennials, really is the heartbeat of our offering. We are extremely lucky to have a Katie Loxton and Joma area (a shop within a shop) which we launched in early September. Everything sells tremendously well but pouches, scarves, bags and Joma's 'a little' bracelets are the front runners. In the £16-£60 price bracket, we're having trouble keeping up with demand. Other jewellery companies that will hopefully be ringing up sales for us include Peace of Mind, Lisa Angel and Carrie Elspeth.

Top: Lesley Dunne. Above: A prosecco mug from Container Group Buying. Below: WoodWicks' new Artisan collection, distributed by Xystos, includes Red Currant & Cedar. Bottom: Cheeky elves from Premier Decorations.

5. Home Fragrancing: Candles are paramount at Christmas. We like to hear the crackle of a WoodWick candle, so we always light one in the shop to encourage sales at around £25. If past sales history is anything to go by, our cabinets will be ravaged on a daily basis! Ashleigh & Burwood fragrance lamps too, have the 'wow' factor and make a lovely gift in the £38-£48 price range. Interestingly, these are especially popular with male shoppers. Of course, many trends are regional. What sells well down in 'blingy' Essex may not be the fastest mover in the valleys, or the Highlands, and vice-versa. However, I'm always willing to take risks and try out something new, especially in the silly season, as there's no better excuse. I'm wondering when the Prosecco bubble will burst and we move onto the next trend. Gin is gaining ground but perhaps it's too sophisticated for Essex?! Maybe you've already spotted a trend and it's flying out for you? Be nice and share please! Queues permitting, we enjoy giftwrapping purchases in either pink, white or red tissue. It's an added extra and popular with customers, especially with men, as are our hampers. Going the extra mile is time consuming but it's kept our customers returning for the past 13 years! It may be a bit early, but as my next column comes out after the festive season, here's wishing you all a very prosperous and merry Christmas from the Feathering Your Nest squad. I'll be back in the New Year to share some resolutions with you!" PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


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It’s Getting To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Above: Starlight Message tree from Joe Davies.

Christmas will always be the most wonderful time of the year - especially for gift shops! - but some uncomfortable dark clouds have been gathering on the economic front. Brexit aside, consumer credit is said to be slipping back to 2008 levels, with debt spiralling out of control. Add to that higher inflation, the (almost) certainty of an interest rate rise to 0.5% in November, and lack lustre wage growth, all signalling that this year's Christmas spend is likely to be more cautious. But it's far from doom and gloom. Gift retailers up and down the country are feeling very positive about the festive season, as PG&H discovered.

Discerning Customers

Amazing Sales “Christmas has been out in our shops for the past month (October), and sales of Advent calendars and Christmas gifts have been amazing - well up on last year," confirms Lindsey Kleinlercher, product director of independent gift multiple Between The Lines. "As for interest rates, inflation and Brexit, our experience has always been that if you buy good quality and appealing product, customers recognise it as such and are happy to buy.” Lindsey says that Christmas is a wonderful time to wholeheartedly put into practice Between The Lines' core company value, which is Celebrate The Joy Of Giving. "A big theme for us this year is Alpine," Lindsey continues, "ranging from the colourful fir trees on our Christmas posters that went into the windows on November 3, along with LSA's Alpine range of wine glasses and candle holders, and the intricate and stunning wooden decorations from Shoeless Joe and Gisela Graham. Our delicious mulling spices for wine or juice, the warm, fragrant notes of cinnamon and cloves in the Jul Christmas candles from Skandinavisk, and the cosy Alpine blanket from Coach House, are all part of our celebration of the essence of Christmas." Adds Lindsey, "This mountain theme really resonates with us, as my husband Florian, who is the MD of Between The Lines, is from Austria, and we spend many days there enjoying family time in the snow. Overall, we really are looking forward to a great Christmas!" Above: Between The Lines, Petersfield. Left: The Alpine theme will be strong in store.

Christmas arrived at Daisy Park in South Molton three weeks later than last year. "We were concerned about Christmas overload too early," explains owner Emma Paisey. "Early feedback from our social media posts, as well as talking directly to our customers, has confirmed that people are already thinking about the festive season, which is a reversal of previous years where customers seemed to have held off and bought late. We will therefore be monitoring the results with a view to possibly re-looking at the dates for next year." Emma thinks that customers will definitely be more discerning this year in the way that they spend their money. "In fact, we’ve started to see this trend already," she confirms, "with our product offering taking this into account. We have been more cautious this year with our buying, trying to achieve a balance of ranges and price points. In terms of Above: Daisy Park, South Molton. decorations, we've stayed with the classics from Gisela Graham and Shoeless Joe, while Christmas ranges from Emma Bridgewater have strengthened our offering of beauty, candle and diffuser ranges. However, we have reduced the amount of Christmas card packets as we can’t compete with the low cost supermarket deals. We have


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Feedback also reduced the amount of novelty products as we always seem to be left with them." Emma says that she has planned a few events for the 'silly season', with some late night openings. "They are great for the shop," she comments. "The town retailers have joined up again and plan on driving footfall to the town. This includes a town trail for visitors to follow and a Christmas Wonderland weekend event in early December. As for online sales, we already promote constantly across all social media platforms, but we are working on a 12 days of Christmas event with special offers on each of these days on the run up to Christmas. As for Black Friday, we are ignoring it this year. Instead, we are planning an alternative campaign. It’s such a crazy time, and I’m not sure how effective it is." Above: Among the decorations from Shoeless Joe.

Social Media Gaining Importance "We started putting out a few Christmas items in the first week October, and haven't bought any differently this year than in the past, apart from some lines changing due to trends," says Heather Newlands, owner, Keekin' Glass in Prestwick. "We have a lot of customers with family abroad, so they always shop earlier." Continues Heather: "We have a large range of personalised decorations which we advertised on our Facebook page early in October, and within three days we had over 18,000 views, with Facebook and Instagram definitely becoming increasingly important to our business. We always have a Scottish range of gifts, as well as gifts specific to our town, and these continue to be popular for Christmas." The town holds a Lighting Up Festival on November 19, which Heather says is always a good day for retailers, as it has a very festive atmosphere. "We will also hold a few late night shopping events with special discounts and product launches," she adds. Above: The Keekin' Glass, Prestwick.


Left: The entrance to the gift department at The Mains of Drum, Banchory. Below: Women’s gift ideas.

Price Is Important "We have focused our gift buying on the individual this year, steering away to a certain extent from lifestyle, home gift ranges," says Craig Forbes at The Mains of Drum garden centre in Banchory. "There are more ladies lines, such as scarves, jewellery, footwear and wellbeing products, while for men, novelty drinks sets and an improved wellbeing offering can be found. "I think our customers are certainly more aware of price point than ever now," observes Craig. "This is partly down to an overall increase in the price of products, and also, the current economic climate in the North East of Scotland. Our customers are always on the lookout for something different however, so while we accept that price is important, many are still looking for something that's a bit more unique. We therefore have new home fragrance ranges from Charles Farris, as well as some beautiful table and entertaining gift lines from the Just Slate Company." Once again, the garden centre will be holding its annual loyalty club evening where there will be 20% discount on all products. "As this is always very successful for us, we are having an additional special discount day at the end of November which is open to all customers, again offering a 20% discount," explains Craig. "Our approach to retailing remains the same however. Simple and tasteful displays with lots of handpicked, quality gifts to chose from."

Open Seven Days A Week The Lion's Paw's in Bridge of Weir went into its full Christmas trading format in early October. "We have increased opening to seven days a week to make sure we are open when people are about as we are finding there are an increasing number of people on the streets on a Sunday," explains owner Alison Stenhouse. "We are continuing to advertise in both the local traditional print media and through Facebook. Although we don't have a general promotion on, we are doing the occasional 'deal of the day' on Facebook which seems to work for us." Adds Alison: "I think we have got bolder in our buying rather than more conservative. What we are always trying to do is have things in the shop which you won’t find elsewhere - special things rather than routine stuff which you can get on the internet. We need to be different to compete with online retailing. In addition, we're taking a stand at the Country Living Fair at the SECC in Glasgow at the end of November. It's a bit of an adventure but we thought it was worth a go!" Right: The Lions Paw, Bridge of Weir.




W W W.THEARTFILE.COM T. 0115 850 7490 F. 0115 941 3411 E. sales@thear THE ART FILE

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Designer Face To Face: Sara Miller

Inset: Designer Sara Miller is shown with the new Sara Miller London The Chelsea Collection for Portmeirion.

Living The


Sara Miller London, launched to retail in 2016, is a sophisticated, elegant luxury brand that celebrates Sara Miller's innate love of print, pattern and colour. Her vibrant designs, which can be found in leading department stores that include John Lewis, currently span tableware, home fragrance, stationery, greeting cards, giftwrap, kitchen textiles and silk giftware, with two further product sectors signed to come on board in 2018. PG&H enjoyed afternoon tea with the award-winning designer at the launch of the Sara Miller London Portmeirion collections to discover more about the range and what else is on the drawing board. hen Sara Miller and her now husband Phil were planning their wedding at the trendy Mondrian hotel in London in March 2016, he turned to their wedding planner and said, "One day, Sara is going to have a product launch here!" Sara takes up the story: "At the time, it seemed beyond my wildest dreams," she smiles, but Phil's words proved to be prophetic. This Autumn, 18 months down the line, Sara found herself back at the Mondrian unveiling the Sara Miller London Portmeirion collections to the consumer press - her brand new luxury porcelain tableware and afternoon tea collections for Portmeirion with teacups clinking, and dainty sandwiches and pastries going down a treat as journalists ate and drank from The Chelsea Collection. It includes a teapot, a three tier cake stand ("it's my favourite product," comments Sara), teacups and saucers, a


covered sugar pot, cream jug, cake plates, cutlery and mugs. Designwise, this lavish collection, which reveals a sophisticated, textured effect, features stunning birds in an enchanted garden setting, and is adorned with 22 carat gold and mica detailing. Adding to the event's 'red carpet' feel, a bespoke London taxi, flamboyantly adorned with a Sara's playful pink flamingo design -

Above: Sara's winning range of home fragrance products saw Canova become a finalist in this year's GOTY Awards. Below: Kitchen textiles and silk giftware from My Gifts Trade have helped to take the brand into multiple categories.

echoing her Flamingo Collection for Portmeirion - waited outside the hotel ready to whisk journalists off to their next assignment. Reflecting the brand, it was a glamorous 'red carpet' event, with Sara, a walking ambassador in a striking emerald green top, a bespoke gold lovebird necklace, fuschia pink clutch bag and leopard print sequinned trainers, reinforcing her instinctive and distinctive love of style, sophistication and elegance. By anyone's standards, Sara's rise to fame in the design world has been whirlwind, establishing Sara Miller London as one of the UK's fastest moving start-ups. Having graduated with a first class honours degree Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Designer Face To Face: Sara Miller

in Textile & Surface Pattern Design from Leeds University, she had a brief, year long stint in New York working in print and fashion, before coming back to London, where she spent two years at Hallmark which introduced her to the world of greeting cards - and a further seven years with Woodmansterne, before deciding the time was right to take the plunge and branch out on her own three years ago. "A friend of my mum's let me use the studio in her house, and the end result was six different collections featuring print and cards, although, even then, I did begin to think about the broader applications of my designs and how they could translate into other categories."

Realising she needed a platform to showcase her work, Sara took the plunge to exhibit at Surtex in New York, a trade show focusing on licensing original artwork, prints and patterns. "I contacted the organisers and to my amazement there was just one stand left at the show which was to start in three weeks time. So that was all the time I had to decide how to present my work, design the stand and work out the logistics of getting it to New York!" she remembers. Fortunately for Sara, she rose to the challenge. "While other exhibitors stood around, buyers were queuing to get onto my stand," she recalls. A few weeks later, she hot footed it to dedicated London greeting card show PG Live, where she met The Art File. "Throughout PG Live I had numerous offers from greeting card publishers to licence my work, but I loved the fantastic quality of The

Above, right and below: Greeting cards from The Art File, giftwrap and gift boxes from Penny Kennedy, and stationery from Blueprint, continue to fly off the shelf.

Art File's products, and thought that the company would be a great fit with Penny Kennedy who I'd chosen as the licensee for giftwrap and gift boxes." (To date, The Art File has gone on to sell over 1m Sara Miller London greeting cards internationally). Six months later, at the beginning of last year, both collections were launched at Top Drawer and Spring Fair. "John Lewis had already bought into the Penny Kennedy collection in advance of the launch, and the range outsold their forecasts, helping to establish my name with them," Sara continues. "By Spring Fair, Penny Kennedy was into a third print run," she adds, "convincing me to see if my designs could transcend into more than paper products." The answer, as the gift industry now knows, is a definite 'yes'. Last year, four new categories/licensees followed in quick succession: Blueprint Stationery was signed after Spring Fair, followed by My Gifts Trade for kitchen textiles and silk gifts, Canova for candles, and Portmeirion for tableware. "It was when Portmeirion became the licensee for tableware that I felt I'd really 'made it', having seen my brand standing shoulder to shoulder with Ted Baker and Sophie Conran," highlights Sara, who confirms that,

aside from designing, she also loves being involved in the strategy of her brand, enjoying negotiating contracts directly with licensees. "I also love that there is a lot of cross-selling as the brand looks beautiful when it's displayed together." With so many 'highs', what's been her proudest moment, awards and accolades aside? "There have been many, many highpoints, from the challenge of designing and displaying my brand in the windows of John Lewis in Oxford Street and Peter Jones in Chelsea this year - where the windows remained for two months respectively - along with winning Most Promising Young Designer at the prestigious Henries awards, having been nominated in six categories," she enthuses.

"Also, the fact that my dad, the company's CFO, who always hated shopping, now loves to shop and spot my products!" So what comes next? "Two new licensees have been signed up for 2018 launches - Heathcote & Ivory for bath and body products, and Elite for tins. Plus, I'm keen to go into homewares, so I'm currently in discussion with various companies with a view to appointing licensees for, for example, wallpaper and bedding, and I'd be interested in collaborating with a mid to high end jewellery company too. The reality is that I'm always thinking and designing in my head the ideas never go away, and there's so much more in the pipeline!"

Sara Miller: The Lowdown l After graduating, Sara Miller initially worked in the greeting card industry branching out on

her own in 2014, establishing her brand Sara Miller London a year later. l Her designs are inspired by her love of travel, particularly to countries such as India and

Japan, as well as by the cultures of the different countries she visits. l In total, the brand has been nominated for 10 industry awards since its launch in January 2015. l In January, Canova, the brand's licensee for candles, was a finalist in the Gift of the Year

2017 awards Home Fragrance category. l In April, again through Sara's collaboration with Canova, the Sara Miller London home

fragrance range was a finalist in the Brand and Lifestyle Licensing Awards, in the homewares category, where other prestigious finalists included Mary Berry, Matthew Williamson and DFS. l In July, Sara’s stationery collection with Blueprint, was nominated for Best Licensed Paper Products Range in The Licensing awards, going head to head with Marvel Comics, Star Wars and Winnie the Pooh products. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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First Face To Face: Matthew Canwell

Putting The


Having spent almost 20 years in retail, notably at household name retailers M&S and Lakeland, Matthew Canwell is now on the other side of the counter as MD of KitchenCraft and Creative Tops, divisions of Lifetime Brands Europe, (of which he is also MD), part of American parent company Lifetime Brands Inc. As he celebrates his first year at the helm, he has brought a wealth of experience to the company, and has wasted no time in investing in new product development for 2018, while strengthening and redefining the leadership team along with the company's infrastructure. As PG&H went on a showroom tour with Matthew, he outlined a vision that will take the business onwards and upwards.

When Matthew Canwell discusses his new role as MD of KitchenCraft/Creative Tops, the phrase he most often uses is "putting the customer first", in big, bold verbal capital letters, to underline that everything the company is doing is being orchestrated with the customer in mind. Having left Lakeland after 13 years last Autumn, where he was buying and merchandising director, he took the decision to switch to the supplier side of the industry. So how much of a challenge has it been? "The fundamentals of what we do as a business, and as a brand, are the same," he states. "It's about managing our brands and proposition - one business across two sites and trying to get great products at great prices that will sell. Of course, we are in a different place," he continues. "Retailers are dealing directly with customers, and we sell into retailers, but to have great selling

products we have to work with our customers to make those products sell. So aside from a few differences it's remarkably the same and very similar in ethos and values. Of course the transition hasn't been without its challenges, but I've joined a great supplier and feel very privileged." Following the 'merger' of KitchenCraft (Cook) and Creative Tops (Dine) on January 1 under the Lifetime Brand Europe umbrella, he says that the company has listened and learned from its customers, as well as looking closely at its operation to simplify it and make it more accessible. This has involved consolidating the sales teams so that when the teams visit customers they

Tops In Gifts Having always been a gift-led business, Matthew says that the goal for Creative Tops, acquired by Lifetime Brands Inc., six years ago, has been to build on what the company has already achieved and extending it, with giftware lines increasing. "In terms of gift packaging, it is about taking the design of the product onto the pack," points out Matthew. "The recipient needs that 'wow' moment when the wrapping paper comes off. Across our business, the gift market is very much a part of what we do, and we're always looking to offer that that something different."

Above: KitchenCraft's Industrial Kitchen won the Excellence in Homewares category at the Excellence in Housewares Awards 2017. Left: Matthew Canwell, MD, Lifetime Brands Europe.

can present the whole Cook and Dine offer under one roof, "although sadly we had to lose some great people in our field sales team which has been very regrettable," he adds. "But we are now in a position to continue to do what we have always done which is to give people more opportunities. Everywhere else we have managed to work to a new structure that fits the number of people we had. It's been about trying to do things better rather than cutting our business." The leadership team too, has evolved and developed, with people promoted internally and new people joining. For example, when Richard Plant retired earlier this year, Matthew took the opportunity to promote three people - Darren Nickolls to UK sales director, Matthew Dunn as ecommerce director, with Nick Mummery taking over as international sales director, Additionally, Claire Budgen was promoted to marketing director. Newcomers to the company include Richard Jones as Creative Tops' product director - someone Matthew had previously worked with at M&S - with Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide



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Face To Face: Matthew Canwell Emma Lewis-Jones stepping up as a product director for KitchenCraft. Under Matthew's watch, a huge investment for the company has been new product development. "Lifetime Brands Inc., has a development team of 110 designers across their brands. We therefore take some of their product designs and use them here and vice versa. In addition, we have our own design and development teams at both KitchenCraft and Creative Tops and are continuing to invest in them, with a further 30+ people based in the Far East helping us to source efficiently. Since I've arrived, we've put our foot on the gas, making sure that we have a good pipeline of innovation." Trends, of course, are a driving force for the company, with teams in both the UK and America dedicated to focusing on the social and economic landscape as well as what's trending in food and drink. "Dark rum is an emerging trend," comments Matthew, "but with so much emphasis on clean, healthy eating and portion control, it’s amazing how strong baking continues to be. I believe people are now interested in balancing their consumption so they eat healthily but still want the odd treat." (Interestingly, Matthew is something of a home baker himself!).

Left: New from KitchenCraft is the World of Flavours collection. Below left: Creative Tops' on trend Drift plates. Below: Built hydration bottles, also from Creative Tops.

Another trends influencer is that houses are getting smaller, with more one person households than ever before, "so that is another focus and challenge for our design teams," adds Matthew. He also highlights a move to products made from natural materials, as well as those that have an industrial feel, with the company exploring what's trending in colours and textures. "But however on trend, ultimately products need to be commercial so that they will sell out for retailers," he emphasises. "In everything we do, we always think, how will this make it easier for our customers? So we sell to our retailers in singles meaning their spend allows them to try new ideas easily and inexpensively. In addition, since I took over the reins, we have re-evaluated and changed our core IT operating system which definitely taught us a few things. There has been some short term pain but it will definitely pay off in the future. Good isn't good enough. Today’s consumer wants everything on their terms, so we are

Matthew Canwell: The Lowdown l After graduating with a degree in English Literature, Matthew Canwell joined M&S as a

graduate trainee, rising through the ranks over the next six-and-a-half years. l He subsequently joined Lakeland in 2003, where he remained for 13 years, becoming

buying and merchandising director. l Matthew joined Lifetime Brands Europe as MD in October 2016. l Brands within the KitchenCraft division feature: KitchenCraft, Artesa, BarCraft,

MasterClass, Colourworks, Le'Xpress, Lovello, Fred and Paul Hollywood. l Brands within the Creative Tops division feature: Creative Tops, Mikasa, La Cafetiere, Built,

Sabatier and multiple licences including Roald Dahl. l KitchenCraft won two awards at this year's Excellence in Housewares Awards: Excellence

in Homewares and Excellence in Service.

building our capability to enable our customers to deliver that through stock holding, next day delivery, direct despatch and customer support. We are also building our social media and marketing presence." Interestingly, the company doesn't sell direct to the consumer. "We want to support our retailers not be in competition with them," explains Matthew. They are buying into our brand, supporting us, and consequently we want to drive business into their shops not compete with them." Despite the ongoing success of the Paul Hollywood bakeware collection for KitchenCraft, and the recent launch of a Roald Dahl collection for Creative Tops, there are currently no plans to take on any new licences in the coming year. "There are some great licences out there, but nothing for now," says Matthew. So what plans are in the pipeline for the next 12 months? "This year, we kick-started a three year ÂŁmulti-million investment plan. We set ourselves a goal regarding the number of products we wanted to bring to

market for Spring '18 and have ended up with nearly double that figure, with the main launches at Spring Fair in February," states Matthew. "We also have plans to move to a new, state-of-the-art, purpose-built fulfilment site over the next two years, in Birmingham, although Creative Tops will remain where it is in Corby. We believe the best way to move forward in a challenging market is to invest in people, products and facilities and we are doing that on all fronts. We are both business-centric and customer-centric in different ways, but ultimately, we will never lost sight of the fact that everything we do begins and ends with our customers." Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Retailer Face To Face: Rossiters

ABrand You CanTrust

Below: Ann-Marie James, director, Rossiters (right), with buyer Rachel King, at The Greats Awards in May 2017. Below middle: Christmas 2017 was linked into Rossiters' 55th anniversary celebrations. Inset: Rossiters, Bath.

As the saying goes, "Christmas begins at Rossiters", a phrase coined a few years ago by a devoted customer. As winner of The Greats 2017 Best Display category, the retailer, which first opened its doors 56 years ago - at the start of the Swinging '60s - will again be pulling out all the stops for the festive season, to include seven themed windows. PG&H popped in to meet co-owner Ann-Marie James to discover what gives the popular independent Bath store its edge. It's no exaggeration to say that most people who live in Bath will be familiar with Rossiters. Based on Broad Street, in the heart of Bath's bustling shopping area, the store is housed in a listed Georgian building, an intriguing labyrinth of interconnecting stairways and wood panelled rooms that reflect its history of organic growth. Having started out with Scandinavian designed glass, china and kitchenware, following the lease of a small tobacconist shop in 1961, (which is now the store's greeting card area), the owners Michael and Ann Rossiter gradually took over adjacent shops on Broad Street when they became vacant, filling their growing retail 'empire' with furniture and interior accessories as well as an interior design department.

Ann-Marie James: The Lowdown l Ann-Marie graduated with a degree in International Marketing and French. l She spent six months with a London PR consultancy before joining Marks & Spencer as

a graduate buying trainee, leaving 10 years later as one of the heads of buying for the women's wear division. l She went onto become a director of one of Marks & Spencer's fashion suppliers before taking up her role at Rossiters in 2000. l A colleague at Marks & Spencer's once advised: "You are only as good as the team, and the supply base, you build around you. Never think it's just about you." It's a mantra she took to heart and still does her best to follow.

In 1999, Rossiters was purchased by the Wildings retail and property group, whose MD, Peter James, suggested that his wife Ann-Marie, whose retail background included 10 years spent as a buyer with Marks & Spencer, might like to pop her head round the door to take a look. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. Almost 18 years down the line, Ann-Marie is the woman at the helm, taking the store forward while blending the timeless (furniture) with the contemporary (gifts and home). A focal point of the store remains the kitchen and tableware department on the ground floor - a showcase of innovative kitchenware, tabletop, glassware and ceramics - surrounded by adjoining rooms filled with homewares and gifts. "We're proud that there's something for everyone and at all price points," emphasises Ann-Marie. The upper floors feature room settings for a vast range of furniture and artwork, with an interiors department that offers a full, bespoke design service. The basement area meanwhile, is the place to shop for fashion. A bit like Bath itself, the undulating interior includes two curved wooden staircases helping customers to

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Retailer Face To Face: Rossiters

navigate the five floors which end with the company's offices on the top level. For Ann-Marie, the store has become a passion. (She readily admits that her own home is like a lived-in version of Rossiters!). Rather than referring to the retail outlet as a 'department' store, she prefers to call it 'a design-led interiors and gift store'. "Departments don't define us at all," she states. "We aren't typical or mainstream but like to think of ourselves as being accessible and affordable, with our edit very much a part of our personality." The product mix splits evenly between gifts and homewares (50%) and large items of furniture and interior design (50%), with the same Rossiters handwriting on every floor. While Ann-Marie describes the furniture department as being timeless and stylish, gifts and homewares are definitely trend driven. "We're known for having gifts for everyone male, female, children, pets, you name it, and we put a big focus on that," she explains. "Product exclusivity is important to us and we

don't invest heavily in 'block' brands. Over the years, our offer has become more fluid, with the sectors blurring. Regardless of brand, the most important criteria is that products fit 'the Rossiters' look'." Ann-Marie and her team take the sourcing of products very seriously, for example, seeking out the very best, most comfortable sofas. "Our kitchen business is also a very important part of the offer and, again, we actively search for the very best products available. As William Morris said: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful," and that very much sums up Rossiters too," says Ann-Marie.

Above: Men's gifts will be expanded in 2018. Right: Gifts offer customers that 'something different'. Below: Interiors remain a cornerstone of the business.

She is naturally delighted when people come into the store and find things that they didn't expect. "It could be a penguin cocktail shaker they couldn't resist!" she smiles. The key trade shows for Ann-Marie are Spring Fair and Top Drawer/Home. There are occasional visits to the leading European shows too, to include Maison & Objet in Paris, Ambiente in Frankfurt, and the furniture shows in Milan and Belgium are also on the agenda. Ann-Marie also takes time out to visit some of her furniture suppliers directly at their factories and showrooms. Meanwhile, visual displays and merchandising are a cornerstone of the business. "We like to present our products in a way that people can envisage them in their own homes," Ann-Marie points out. "Hopefully customers feel inspired and more tempted to buy." A recent growth sector for the store has been men's gifts. "We're finding that more men are shopping for themselves, so we are working towards expanding on that," she confirms. Pet products are another sector that's gaining ground. With the all-important final quarter of the year in full swing, and the countdown to Christmas on the horizon, it's all systems go as ever to make the most of the festive season. "As last year was our 55th milestone anniversary, we really went to town with a big customer open evening including cookery demonstrations, live music and a magnificent tombola with prizes donated by a generous supply base. The proceeds of this were donated to Bath’s Royal Untied Hospital Forever Friends appeal. This year we have taken a different approach and have held a series of different in store events including taking part in local events organised by Bath’s BID," confirms AnnMarie. "We feel it works better to mix things up at Christmas rather than having a predictable formula for customers." Visually, Rossiters' seven shop windows are sure to be show stoppers. This year there's a modern, rural British theme,

linking it with country themed products. Even the decorations will have a modern twist on the countryside. With a grateful nod to the Rossiters' customer who told the store, "Christmas begins at Rossiters," banners will be put up around the store to reinforce the message. With household debt on the rise, a rate rise predicted, and ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, does Ann-Marie feel any concerns about how customers old and new will be approaching Christmas this year? "When times are uncertain, people look to a brand and a store they know and can trust," she replies. "We are well established, and have a very large following. For us, it's less about being price driven and more about tempting our customers with pleasing product at a reasonable price. While people put off the big buying decisions, Christmas is always seen as a very important time of the year and fortunately, experience has shown that customers don't hold back."

Consequently, Ann-Marie is looking forward to 2018 with confidence. "2017 has been a very good year, particularly on the gift and home front," she confirms. "And once the New Year begins, we will be looking at ways to grow the business further such as diversifying into own brand product. Also, we have a very strong identity within a certain radius, and we will be looking at new ways to build on this." Ann-Marie says that what she loves most about her role at Rossiters is that she is involved with so many different product industries. "Also, the fact that there is no red tape when it comes to making decisions. At Rossiters, fortunately, the lines of communication are very short." Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Pet Gifts

As regular visitors to the Far East trade shows know already, pet products and pet themed products are a major sector, with April's Bangkok International Gift show (BIG) going so far as to hold a pet fashion catwalk featuring cats and dogs on the runway! In the UK, the sector is continuing to gain pace, with many leading gift suppliers viewing it as an escalating growth market, especially in the run up to Christmas. PG&H went 'walkies' with some animal lovers in the gift industry to see what's trending for the coming season.

Below left: Sass & Belle's simple, striking Black Cat collection. Below: Max the Shorkie belongs to Creative Tops' digital marketing executive Sam Walker. Max is shown with the treat jar from the company's Tails & Treats collection. Inset: Signature PG's personalise pet cushion.

It's no secret that Britain is a country of animal lovers, with humour very much in evidence when it comes to gifts that take pets as their theme. "Our Black Cat range is made with cat lovers in mind," says Sass & Belle's MD Richard Stone. "We wanted to keep the design sleek and adorable to represent what we love about cats, which is why the products are minimal - all black with white friendly feline features." Richard adds that the company also believes in creating pet-lover gifts and homeware with a light-hearted feel. Our Reserved for the Dog/Cat cushions are an example of how we imagine our furry pals to make us laugh through their habits for taking over our homes. Therefore everything we design for animal lovers is made with a nod to the playful nature of pets. When consumers are shopping for pet themed items, they’re looking for a fresh and lighthearted way to show their admiration for their four-legged friends." At Creative Tops, Tails & Treats is the company's first range that's targeted at pet owners, and is part of a trend-led gift launch Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Pet Gifts

Left: Mid Century Poppy Dog Socks, among the pet items from Rex London. Below: Boxer Gifts doggy Santa sack. Bottom: The Royal Furmily Pawtraits are designed by cat lover Emily Stracey.

for Autumn Winter 2017. "Throughout the different pet buying groups – Millennials, families, older owners - there is a common factor of the pet being valued equally within the family unit, so it is vital to be respectful in relation to the importance of pets to their owners," says marketing and PR manager Katrina Lawton. "Many pet owners use their pet as part of their identity and wish to show this off in their homes, online to their friends, as well as to the general public. Therefore with Tails & Treats, we wanted to create a contemporary, cute collection that appeals to these exhibitionists and helps pet owners celebrate the happiness a pet brings into their home, as well as creating fun products that are perfect for an Instagram shot. So Tails & Treats combines style and humour, with a focus on quality, to offer a more premium choice for doting owners, styled

Owners And Their Pets Designer Emily Stracey with Jeffrey, one of her tabbies.

with neutral pastels in clean designs with sweet slogans." Adds Katrina: "In our recent research into trending pet and animal themes, we found the most popular content to be dog memes as well as fun Instagram pets such as Boo or Marnie." The team at Rex London meanwhile, are proud to be pet owners and pet lovers, "so it was natural that we’d want to bring the dotcomgiftshop design aesthetic into this field," explains the company's head buyer Candy Smith. "As 24% of British households have a dog, we know there's a market for lovely doggie items, so our doggie socks, and make your own doggie treats, are designed to make people smile. But we also think that cuteness is important, so we’ve adorned our doggy bandanas, leads, collars and poop bag holders with a selection of pretty dotcomgiftshop prints and patterns

Owners And Their Pets

Bright Side creator Rachel Bright with her dog Elvis.

designed to turn heads in the park, as we think that consumers are looking for something that's both fun and functional with that touch of style." As Thomas O'Brien, operating director at Boxer points out: "A lot of people treat their pets like children, which makes them a very prominent receiver of gifts, and this is continuing to drive the market. For many people, pets are very relevant and appropriate, and it's quirky gifts like these that really make independent gift shops stand out from the multiples. We even offer Christmas stockings for The Dog and The Cat so that pets will be equal recipients at Christmas." Humour is an intrinsic part of designer Emily Stracey’s life view, and comes through in all her designs and illustrations, with Emily taking inspiration from the personalities and daily adventures of her beloved tabbies Jazzy and Jeff. Her range, Royal Furmily Pawtraits, is based around four ceramic cat figurines, each with their own character and blueblooded back story, with the aristocats available on mugs, a tea-for-one teapot, tea towels, aprons and fridge magnets. "Packaging features ring

Did You Know...? l The Millennial pet owner is redefining pet ownership with pampered pets becoming increasingly important and stylish. l Millennials are filling the family gap being left by the results of higher education and student loans - taking longer to afford housing and start families - with pets like family members. l More than any other group, Millennials cater to their pets comfort, and spend more money on non-essential pet items. l The rise of celebrity pets and famous Instagram animals shows the aspirational nature and exhibitionism of pet ownership today. (Source: Creative Tops)


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Spotlight On... Pet Gifts

Below: The Bright Side collection of pet gift, designed by Rachel Bright for Really Good. Below right: A play on words on this flour sack tea towel from Little Blue House. Bottom: PMC's personalised Princess pet bowl.

pull cans in a nod to traditional cat food," highlights Lorena Golfetto, director of distributors Gaeltag Keltika. Designer Rachel Bright, creator of The Bright Side collection for Really Good, says that if you’re a pet owner, you understand how much the fur babies in the family mean, and how much a part of life they are, so it makes sense to have fun with gift ideas for animal lovers. "After all, why shouldn’t they dine and recline in as much style as us?" says Rachel. "The Bright Side is all about having a sense of humour and positive outlook in all things, and it helps to have a healthy sense of humour when you have pets. I think this is especially true of cats, but also pooches. There are so many extra things you need when you have furry members of the family that we wanted to make those things raise a smile as people reach for them. If something’s funny, it brings a little bit of sunshine into the daily rituals of pet ownership."

eir Pets Owners And Th d of Rex London's hea an Smith, Aid communications, e. She's with his dog Blanch Barlow's named after Deidre n Street! mother in Coronatio

Owners And Their Pets PMC's sales and marketing coordinator David Richardson with his dog Marley.

At Signature PG, product developer Danielle Hancock highlights that the company's pet range is its all year round best seller. "We offer personalised pet beds, feeding bowls and other fun accessories," she confirms. "Consumers love to colour scheme either with their house decor, or with what they buy for their pets, so with our Paw Print range, we offer four different colours maroon, grey, brown and cream. In this personalised range, we offer a pet throw to keep hairs off the furniture, and two forms of pet beds, a pyramid for cats and a cushioned rectangular bed for small to medium dogs. We also have pet themed gifts for animal lovers or pet owners."

Owners And Their Pets

Danielle Hancock, product developer at Signature PG, with her dog Molly.

Danielle concurs that humour plays a big part in creating the gifts. "For example, one of our top selling lines is a cushion cover which states ‘All guests must be approved by (pet’s name) including a picture of the pet. Another is a crazy cat lady mug. As a dog owner myself, buying gifts for your pet never goes out of fashion." Staying with personalised products, Keren Dicken, sales and marketing director at PMC says: "With pet gifts, such as our personalised pet bowls, consumers expect top quality product that is able to withstand the messiest of eaters. In our experience, what makes products like our pet bowls so successful is that they offer both practicality and longevity. While personalisation is an excellent selling point, it’s also vital that our pet themed gifts feature a balance of classic and on trend designs, catering to pet owners of all tastes." Continues Keren: "Our pets are mostly a huge source of joy, so it’s important that our gifts mirror this where appropriate. A fantastic example of merging whimsy and humour is our new licensed Rachael Hale range, which is ideal for fans of cats and dogs." With so much product to choose from it looks like gift retailers and their customers will be spoilt for choice this Christmas! Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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

Pretend Pet Pugs Boxer Gift’s has a great range of quirky animal products: The Grow Your Own Pug enables you to own a pug without the mess. Just put the pug in a beaker of water and watch it grow. Your pug will grow up to six times the original size! The new Bubble Head Pug has arrived and is selling fast! The Pug is the perfect size for dashboards, desks, etc. Boxer Gifts also has a wide range of animal books. Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955595 Email:

Wild About Woodland Creatures Into The Wild evokes an escape to the great outdoors with sketches of woodland creatures and rich Autumnal colours. Hand-drawn illustrations of a stag, pheasant, hare and fox sit against block colours of merlot, blue, sage and burnt orange. A humble bear joins the story this season, wandering on a golden canvas reminiscent of crisp autumn leaves. New additions include tote bags, aprons, tea towels and new cosmetic bag concepts. Creative Tops Tel: 01536207710 Email:

Stroke And Change

Pets Join Willow Tree In response to customer requests, Enesco announces new pet figurines joining the Willow Tree family. The number one items asked for are figurines that reflect their family. Of course, pets are an integral part of family life. So, Enesco representing a nation of animal lovers, is only too pleased to introduce the latest additions to the Willow Tree range. Love my Dog SRP £15.00 & Love my Cat, SRP £9.95. Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email:

Lesser & Pavey is delighted to offer something new and original to the giftware market place in the way of a home accessory. Whether they become a feature of a bedroom or a lounge, the cushions change as you stroke the surface and come in mermaid, flamingo, unicorn, butterfly, cat, dog and kitten designs. This range is complemented by mermaid tail blankets in pink, turquoise and a rainbow mix of both, as well as flamingo, unicorn, butterfly, mermaid and kitten design bags and purses. Lesser & Pavey Tel: 01322 279225 Email

Gifts For Animal Lovers Rachael Hale is a collection of charming, cute photographs featuring dogs, cats, kittens and puppies. The collection includes breeds such as pugs, dachshunds and labradors. Leading personalised product company Personalised Memento Company is a licensee and has developed a collection of personalised gifts for pet lovers, pet owners and pets which are available now. For more details on the Rachael Hale brand please call Ian Downes. Start Licensing Tel: 02083377958 Email:



Cashmere Bloems

Maxwell & Williams is distributed by Valerie Graham Ltd. 16 Boulevard Drive, London. NW9 5QF Tel: 020 8200 5100 Email:

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True Blue

For many gift and home suppliers, blue is the colour this Autumn/Winter, especially teal, aqua, azure and turquoise. From fashion accessories to homewares, there's a sea of blue to choose from!

Right: A CMP Home Sweet Home wooden tray, distributed by Valerie Graham, reveals a pop of teal. Below: Lucille specs from Goodlookers.

Inset: Watch This Space's Organic Ovals Collection.

Right: A new Autumn/Winter scarf from PoM.

Below: Root7's Ombre Aurora mug.

Left: A leather bracelet and heart charm from Carrie Elspeth.

Below: GO Stationery's Colourblock range includes this notebook in aqua.

Left: Ulster Weavers’ Foraging Fox oven gloves. Right: La Perla glassware from Leonardo. Below: Parlane's ceramic Taura vase.

Below: An Into The Wild egg cup from Creative Tops.



Molten Metallic

Bring accents of copper, silver and gold into the home this Autumn, with the Rustic Metallic Pillar range from Bolsius. Opulent pigments in complimentary sizes allow for effortless interior styling and ambience.

T +44 0800 169 5126

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Retailer Face To Face: Mooch

Mooching Around When mums Evelyn O'Flaherty and Sandra O'Connell met at the school gates, waving off their youngest sons each day, little did they realise that seven years down the line, they would co-own a local gift shop in Ealing that would go on to win Best Newcomer South & Wales category at The Greats 2017. With a second outlet in the pipeline, PG&H talked shop with these two entrepreneurial retailers in the run up to the festive season.

Having opened the door of Mooch (formerly gift shop Darch & Duff) 18 months ago, Evelyn and Sandra have clearly come a very long way in a very short time. From newbie retailers (Evelyn worked in HR for Virgin Atlantic, working with her husband once she had children, while Sandra worked in finance and customer relations for GlaxoSmithKline but had been a stay at home mum for 10 years), they have not only expanded their product ranges but also become braver with their buying decisions, and more honest with suppliers with what they do and don't want for the shop. "In addition to giftware, we now stock items as diverse as ethical felt slippers and organic baby clothes, as well as smart helium balloons," explains Evelyn. By their own admission, character-wise, they are also polar opposites, with Evelyn, in her own words, "someone who likes to feel in control, with an unhealthy obsession with jewellery", (she makes lots of the jewellery that Mooch sells), with Sandra more laid back and obsessed with greeting cards (she's also handy with a sewing machine, and makes the cushions for the shop). Their tastes are vastly different too, with Evelyn "off the wall" and Sandra "playing it safer" but, fortunately, they manage to balance each other out.

However, they do have a joint passion, which is to stock small designer makers in preference to the bigger gift brands that can be found in many of the department stores and supermarkets. Yet that's not to say that Mooch doesn't have any well-known brands. In jewellery and fashion accessories, customers will find Pilgrim, Peace of Mind and Powder, with Jellycat in evidence for children's plush. But equally, shoppers will also find less well known brands names such as Bob Blossom, Canova and Paddywax, along with smaller companies such as One Hundred Stars for scarves and kimonos, with a myriad of designer maker products among the unexpected, encouraging locals to, well, mooch. (Examples include Rosanna Clare leather bags, some of which are made from old leather jackets). If products are quirky, or have what Sandra describes as 'black' humour, then so much

Top left: Sandra O'Connell (left) and Evelyn O'Flaherty with their prestigious Greats trophy. Above and left: Scarves are a best seller, along with cushions made by Sandra. Below: Window displays reflect the seasons.

the better. Everything has to be affordable too, as all ages shop there. As designer makers themselves, the two friends took stalls in local markets for a couple of years, standing side by side in all weathers. "We'd be wrapped up in coats, hats, scarves and gloves, and would often say, wouldn't it be lovely if we had a shop," recalls Evelyn. "We loved the products we saw on other stallholders stands and felt sure that other people would love them too." The answer to their prayers came when the owners of Darch and Duff, a favourite local gift shop, decided to close their shop doors in January 2016. "It was a now or never moment," states Sandra, "and we went ahead and rented the premises. As Darch and Duff customers ourselves, we knew how important it was to have a gift shop that people could walk to, and with six children between us, we also needed to be in the area. When we opened last May, one of us worked in the shop for half a day, and Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Retailer Face To Face: Mooch the other one took charge of the children for the other half of the day, so we often say we've shared everything except our husbands!" Sandra jokes. (Both work in the shop together on Saturdays, and often find a queue outside waiting for them to open!). Sandra says what she loves most about owning a gift shop is chatting to, and interacting with customers. "It's been a bonus for my husband, who says I don't talk as much when I get home!" she quips. As a corner shop, shop window displays are paramount in catching the eye of passers-by, and are a major part of the shop's success. "Last Christmas, we had polar bears in the window," highlights Evelyn. "Mums told us that their children made them take a detour home from school so that they could look at them!" For Valentine's Day, they changed the facia of Mooch to Smooch, adding lips. Themes for Christmas 2017 however, are still under wraps, although there will be customer evenings of course, and involvement with a local high street event in December. Sourcing product is, of course, a major part of the job, with leading shows Top

Drawer and Pulse the 'must visits' of the year. "They are very curated shows," says Sandra, "where we can see the small businesses that we're looking to support. We still source at markets too." Other key shows during the year include Spring Fair and Progressive Greetings Live. "We discovered Rosie Made A Thing and I Drew This which have been brilliant sellers on the card front," confirms Sandra. Going forward however, there are also plans to widen the sourcing net by visiting European exhibitions such as Formex in Stockholm. "Instead of whizzing round in a day and feeling mentally and physically shattered afterwards, we now spend two days at shows which makes it a much more pleasurable experience." Adds Evelyn, "although we're on Facebook and Instagram, we'd love to have our own ecommerce shop on our website, and will do eventually, but it's time consuming, so for now we're featured on Trouva, the curated website that champions independent retailers. It's an investment, but it's been good to dip our toe in the water, and it has brought us a lot of business, both in the UK and internationally." Above right, left and below: Products range from one-offs to the quirky, with jewellery, home fragrancing, fashion accessories and children’s among the key sectors.

They put the secret of their success down to ignoring negative advice. "If we'd listened, we would never have taken on the shop," says Evelyn. "If you feel something is right you should go ahead and try it. What have you got to lose? When we started out, we didn't have a business plan or a budget, but we've made the shop a success." So what makes people keep coming in to shop with them? "It's partly in the name and the ambience, and definitely because of our friendly, interactive service," says Sandra. "We are not a stand-behind-the-counter shop. We come out and help people. Also, we rotate our stock very quickly and don't fall into the trap of over ordering the same products, so the shop always looks different and feels fresh."

While an average gift spend is between £20-£30, many customers spend a lot more, with people far from cautious. "For example, one customer spent £500 on eight dressing gowns," says Evelyn, while Sandra adds that it's not unusual for people to spend £100 on a clutch of greeting cards. Everything is packed in tissue paper, and beribboned too. Meanwhile, ambitions are running high for a second shop in nearby Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, another small local high street full of independents, a past winner of High Street of the Year. "We'd fit in really well, so we're hoping to open before Christmas," says Evelyn. "Since opening Mooch on Northfield Avenue, there hasn't been a single day where I haven't wanted to come into work. My husband says I've found my perfect job, and I couldn't agree more. If only we sold shoes!" Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide



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Spotlight On... Bath And Body



Luxury bath and body products have long been an all year round gifting item or self purchase treat, with gift sets really coming into their own in the run up to the festive season. With buzz words such as 'mindfulness' and 'wellbeing' encouraging people to switch off, deep breathe and live in the moment, where better than the bathroom, a place of calm, to light a scented candle, listen to relaxing music and luxuriate in today's indulgent skin products. PG&H entered the pamper zone to see what's trending. According to the most recent CTPA GB report published last year, the value of the cosmetics/skincare market rose year on year 0.1% to £9.38 billion, with the industry continuing to innovate, offering products that offer the user an 'experience' rather than being simply prosaic. It's clearly a growing market place, with Xystos now among the biggest players in the bath and body sector. The company has recently taken on the UK distribution Woods of Windsor, Baylis & Harding and, most recently, Di Palomo, while continuing to distribute the Naked Bee. "Fruit fragrances are certainly fashionable for Autumn/Winter, illustrated by both the Baylis & Harding and Di Paloma ranges," says director Tom Sykes. "Baylis & Harding's Signature collection features scents such as Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit and Midnight Fig & Pomegranate, while Di Palomo offers products that include Black Cherry and Wild Fig & Grape, with the colours on the packaging reflecting the fragrances."

Tom confirms that gift sets remain as popular ever. "For example, Baylis & Harding’s Fuzzy Duck festive offering ranges from a two bottle handwash and hand and body lotion in a metal rack to the slippers’ gift set, comprising bath soak crystals, soap, shower gel, body balm and a pair of mule slippers. Of course, eye-catching packaging - be it traditional or contemporary - is essential in the crowded bath and body market, helping brands to

Above: The bath is the ideal place to relax both the mind and the body. Below left: An eye catching bath and body gift set from Baylis & Harding, distributed by Xystos. Below right: Sakura Silks Immaculate Collection gift box, new from Heathcote & Ivory for Autumn/Winter. Bottom: Grace Cole is a new luxury bath and body distribution for Joe Davies.

differentiate themselves. Those that do this well are able to maximise their sales." At Joe Davies, the company has recently added luxury brand Grace Cole to its bath and body portfolio, alongside Rose & Co. Both brands are made in the UK. "The trend for indulgence, luxury and products that are made in the UK is instrumental in attracting retailers to the brands," says Joe Davies' MD Steve Davies. "The trend for UK sourced product is still current, but when it comes to the look of the product, it needs to

be about luxury, glamour and beautiful fragrances. Grace Cole products are beautifully packaged and presented making them an ideal finished gift, especially as the company has added a matching tassel and luxury printed swing ticket." Heathcote & Ivory's Amanda Pullen, marketing, PR & business development manager, observes that this Autumn/Winter, the bath and body sector is all about extremes - from simplicity and purity with Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Bath And Body Left: Puckator has combined the company's best selling trends with a range of bath bomb gift sets containing three bombs inspired by one of their original designs.

natural soft and subtle tones, to bold and bright colours and complex patterns. "But what these trends both have in common is intricacy of design, attention to detail and strong identity," she comments. Reflecting the trends, the company is launching Sakura Silks, inspired by silk kimonos and ornate tea ceremonies in Japanese water gardens, surrounded by streams, lilies, blossoms and bamboo. "It's a celebration of vibrancy, highlighted by delicate metallic accents with unique packaging ensuring shelf stand out," Amanda highlights. Also new from Heathcote & Ivory is Pure Morris, the latest design launched this season by Morris & Co., with the iconic designs of William

Morris used in a pared back neutral palette with the intricacies and integrity of his original work. Continues Amanda: "It has opened up a new generation to appreciate and embrace the genius of William Morris, interpreted for the interiors of today. Displaying them in blocks to ensures their shelf stand out is vital and will showcase each personality to its best potential." At Winter in Venice, general manager Oshadhi Peiris confirms that today's consumers are looking for more than

Keen On Green In recent months, in-shower plants have dominated Pinterest boards and featured heavily in lifestyle magazines and design blogs such as Elle Decoration and Dezeen. While aesthetically they can recreate a spa like feel within the bathroom, they also have proven health benefits, helping the bathroom to function as a spa. (Source: Trend Bible) Below: Green house plants are becoming a trend for the bathroom.

Continued on page 59

Sweet Dreams With so many products in the market place offering a home spa experience, bath and body suppliers have tapped into everything from natural bath products to wellbeing candles and reed diffusers, all helping people to slow down, calm down and switch off from their everyday lives. "Our natural, handmade, hand wrapped Bath Bursts and Hearts feature fragrances that include the relaxing Mr Sandman to send people to sleep with an aromatic soak before bed," says Denise Edwards, director, Best Kept Secrets. Candles and reed diffusers also have a role to play in creating a spa atmosphere at home. Joanne Barber, MD, Wax Lyrical, says that Autumn/Winter 2017 is carrying the home spa trend through from Spring/Summer, "but instead of long, relaxing home spa days, it’s about cosy, secluded, home spa evenings, lighting a favourite candle, getting comfortable in front of a log burning fire and enveloping yourself in a favourite home fragrance," says Joanne. "With décor trays becoming more popular, we’re also seeing a lot of candle and diffuser combinations, with the option to layer two different fragrances or to double up and enhance a favourite fragrance." Of course, creating a spa atmosphere at home also means snuggling into a cosy dressing gown to help throw off the cares of the day. At Groovy UK, founder Monique Scott says that with the nights drawing in, everyone needs some TLC, "and what better way to look after oneself than by having a huge soak in the bath and then snuggling up with a super soft fleece bathrobes and slippers." Above: Wax Lyrical's Equilibrium wellbeing collection. Left: Best Kept Secrets' Mr Sandman. Right: Groovy's Wonder Woman fleece.

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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Spotlight On... Bath And Body Left: Winter in Venice's Lavender Mist Bath Tub. Below left: MAD Beauty's 12 Days of Christmas Advent set.

Bathroom 'Bubbles' l Some 73% of adults agree that

bathing/showering is a good way to reduce stress. (Source: Mintel). l Moving beyond basic hygiene, bathrooms are beginning to emulate a place for calm relaxation and reflection. l The bathroom is transforming from a utilitarian space to an inviting place of self-indulgence that has the ability to lift mood, satisfy the senses and improve wellness. (Source: Trend Bible)

traditional bath gift sets. "They're looking for something that will have a more lasting effect on the recipient while enjoying the same delights. Winter in Venice's collection offers luxurious toiletries and accessories packed in high quality containers such as wooden key cupboards, jewellery boxes, bath caddies, wooden and ceramic mixing bowls, watering cans and more, that can be reused in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen

and garden. Each set is designed, handfinished and made to create lasting memories of the person who gave the gift, making the gifting experience more profound and indelible." Looking to trends, Oshdashi says that the winter months will feature warm, comforting colours and fragrances that pique the senses to the joys of giving that is imbibed with the season. "At Winter in Venice, we understand the power of scents, and how a scent can trigger beautiful memories and help us reminisce. This season we're offering a collection of luxurious toiletries with lush fragrances that include vanilla, lily, lavender, and plum." Meanwhile, continuing to put a fun spin on bath and

Top Tips For Retailers l "Training staff in upselling bath and body products, targeting the impulse purchase market, and ensuring the customer understands how co-ordinating products can work together and complement one another, are always the most beneficial in the lead up to Christmas, a time when retailers should maximise the benefits of the strongest sales period." Amanda Pullen, marketing, PR & business development manager, Heathcote & Ivory l "Given that pampering products are among the most popular as Christmas gifts, it’s worth creating a display in the shop window to catch the eye of shoppers. Additionally, small bath and body items placed near the till will encourage pick-up sales." Tom Sykes, director, Xystos l "It's important that the consumer can see and smell the product. Therefore gift retailers need to open some of the products and display them out of the packaging, or have testers so the consumer can smell and try them on the skin, as this will encourage customers to buy." Steve Davies, MD, Joe Davies l "The more retailers can make the displays fun, the more the customer will take note." Trevor Cash, MD, MAD Beauty l "Impact is everything. Grab your customer’s attention with neat stacks. The combination of scents is sure to turn heads!" Laura Billingham, designer Puckator

body products is MAD Beauty. "Our Advent calendars, 12 Days of Christmas boxes and new Light Bulb moment collection are going to be huge," states MD Trevor Cash. Also new for the coming season is the company's retro Vintage Kelloggs Christmas collection. Looking ahead to next Spring/Summer, Xystos director Tom Sykes says that Baylis & Harding will be targeting men with beerrelated and beard grooming products, with its more feminine offer set to have lots of fizz. "It will reflect the continuing popularity of prosecco, and the renaissance of gin, as well as featuring lots of pink and rose," reveals Tom. With the emphasis on luxury, and an ongoing trend for wellbeing, for gift retailers looking for a mix of special gifts and stocking fillers, bath and body is definitely a sector that will be coming into its own between now and Christmas.

Play Time Bath ducks continue to be popular fun time bath toys for children and kidults, with Bud Ducks, distributed by Half Moon Bay, offering a wide range of duck styles to choose from. "With their bright colours, fun designs and packaging, they certainly aim to catch shoppers’ attention," says Half Moon Bay's marketing assistant Emily Moores. Below: These colourful Bud Ducks are distributed by Half Moon Bay.

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide



SPRING/SUMMER 2018 01229 461166 • •

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

Great For Gardeners

Bathtime Treats The latest partnership for Xystos, the home of flame and fragrance, is with bath and body supplier Di Palomo, which continues to win admirers with a range of appealingly, presented products such as Black Cherry (pictured), Wild Fig & Grape, Orange Blossom with Wild Honey & Olive, and White Grape with Aloe. This extremely commercial brand has good distribution, backed by strong marketing and product development. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:

Keep Beards Tidy Beards are proving to be big business for Baylis & Harding. The fashionable hirsute look for young and not-so-young men saw its Fuzzy Duck Men’s Collection Beard Grooming Kit racking up big orders on the stand of distributor Xystos at Autumn Fair. With a fragrance of cedarwood and wild sage, it comprises a cleansing beard shampoo, revitalising face wash, conditioning beard balm and wooden comb. RRP: £14. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:

The new Gardener’s collection from Woods of Windsor has performed “phenomenally well”. It comprises a hand wash, hand scrub, hand cream and hand balm/butter, with RRPs from £4.99 to £7.99. The offer includes the fresh floral accord of Blackberry & Thyme, which opens with refreshing notes of green tea and ripe blackberry followed by a heart of rosemary, thyme, mimosa and white jasmine, resting on a background of musk and amber. A counter display holds four hand washes, five hand scrubs, five hand creams and six hand butters, and has a combined retail value of £130.80. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:

A Walk In The Woods This is just the soap with which to relax in the bath after a walk through the woods. It has a complex aroma, crisp and earthy with a touch of sweetness, combined in a luxurious blend of natural, moisturising oils and butters, featuring plenty of olive oil and shea butter with a little castor oil for extra gentle creaminess. The essential oils blend cedarwood and mandarin with other woody and spicy oils to create a lovely soap. Visit our website to see all 30 natural handmade soaps. Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email:

Floral & Herby Patchouli and lavender are an ideal combination: floral and herby, yet musky and mysterious. The deep purple half of the bar contains the lavender essential oil while the cream side contains the patchouli. Both have our usual helpings of olive oil and shea butter for superlative natural moisturising. One of Best Kept Secrets’ very best top selling soaps. Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email:

Scents To Delight Xystos is bringing Baylis & Harding’s home fragrance and gifting ranges to independent garden centres and gift shops. It is supplying the company’s personal care products and also candle, wax melt and burner gift sets, as well as individual candle products. Scents to delight include Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit, Midnight Fig & Pomegranate, Jojoba, Silk & Almond Oil, and Wild Blackberry & Apple. These also feature in the bath and body products where gift sets comprise different combinations of product. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE


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Discover the hottest new launches as 500+ exhibitors reveal fresh new collections of decorative accessories and lifestyle interiors. Get your free ticket now at

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Spotlight On... January Furniture Show

It's Showtime! When the January Furniture Show opens its doors from January 21-24, 2018, at the NEC, Birmingham, organisers Clarion Events confirm that there will be a massive variety of choice for buyers in every hall. With some of the furniture and home accessories industry's biggest names there to showcase what's new, PG&H put event director Laraine James into the hot seat to find out what buyers can expect to find. The January Furniture Show is continuing to go from strength to strength with more exhibitors than ever this year. "The show has really grown in size and stature over the last three years and now has momentum as the most valuable show to attend in the UK for buyers of all kinds of furniture or interior furnishings," says event director Laraine James. Timed to take place at the start of the year, Laraine says that this year's show is also set to give buyers of furniture, decorative accessories and interior furnishings a buying bonanza.

As the UK’s premier furniture and interiors event, the show already in full swing, with the organisers promising the best January Furniture Show yet. Major brands in accessories and giftware include Libra, India Jane, Pacific Lifestyle, Gallery Direct, CIMC, Premier Housewares, SHH Interiors, Culinary Concepts and Dar Lighting, who will be showing hundreds of new products as they showcase their new collections for 2018 for the first time. Joining them will be art and specialist mirror companies including Camelot, Artko, Art Marketing, Complete Colour and Pharmore. Across the five halls of the show there will be over 500 returning and new exhibitors. Long established UK and international brands will be joined by new and developing brands, which together will show more new products than ever before. Buyers will discover new collections, new innovations and new finishes, affording them a great opportunity to Above left: Laraine Janes, event director. Top, above and right: last year's Art, Lighting and Decorative Accessories halls.

Brand New Website The January Furniture Show's website has been given a fresh look for 2018. Special features include: l a new and advanced product search facility, along with a facility for visitors to make their own favourites list and see where those companies are positioned in the show. l the detailed exhibitor information also has a new format, with the opportunity to request product information in advance. l there will also be an improved news section giving visitors up-to-the-minute information about new products and show highlights. For more information visit

select from the latest trends, as well as to spot the upcoming looks in interior décor and furniture design. "With collections at price points that range from affordable to exclusive, and with styles encompassing traditional to contemporary on show, buyers will find everything from rustic, French Chateau, modern-industrial, Scandinavian, coastal and Moroccan among many others," confirms Loraine. "It will truly be a buyers paradise." The show graphics, hall entrances and relaxation areas are all undergoing a refresh too, making navigation around the halls easier, enhancing the visitor experience. “The 2018 show will be full of excellence," states Larraine. "We have an 'A' list of new and returning brands showing well designed, beautifully executed new ranges." Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide



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I U While Valentine's Day may not be as big a special occasion as Mother's Day for gift shops, it nevertheless gives retailers the opportunity to 'feel the love' through romantically themed giftware and display props that help to spread romance. Cliche or no cliche, hearts will again be dominating designs for February 14, according to suppliers, but there are also some alternative ways to say 'I love you'. Valentine's Day will always have its cynics of course, but for the vast majority of us, there's something incredibly special about telling someone you love them on February 14. "Valentine’s Day is all about love, and nothing signifies love more recognisably and universally than the shape of a heart, so this will once again be the dominant visual Valentine's Day cue in 2018," comments Rod O'Mahony, director of Transomnia. "These days, however, more colours than ever before are used in conjunction with the occasion, with the main colours in 2018 being variations on pink and red, with rose gold and dusty pink the key trends. However, we also expect to see pale green, blue in various shades, grey and purple playing a part. "

Spotlight On... Valentine’s Day

"What most women want for Valentine's Day is a thoughtful, personal and romantic gift that really means something," says Christine Holden, director, Peace of Mind. "Jewellery is intimate and tactile and can be worn for everyone to see. Our Spring collection includes some wonderfully romantic pieces, interlocking hearts, moons and stars, and charms and crystals in warm mixes of silver, washed gold and rose gold." She suggests that to encourage business, retailers need to try to think outside the box and to do something interactive in their shops to encourage couples or groups to shop together. "For example, if they have a big window, one idea might be to buy some washable pens and let people write lovey dovey messages on it," suggests Christine. "Or they could offer a small glass of fizz, or give each couple a red balloon to release, attaching a label with their names on it, advertising the store on the label at the same time."

Top: Heart designs bracelets from Carrie Elspeth. Above: Silver and gold heart earrings from Peace of Mind. Below left: Transomnia's Eleanor Rose collection. Right: Lustre from Gisela Graham.

For retailers, says Rod, Valentine's Day is also an opportunity to transition from January sale mode before stocks of new lines for Spring/Summer have arrived. "To make the most of it, they should have a window dressed for the occasion as well as in store displays, and ensure the lighting draws attention to key lines," he continues. "But they should go light on over-the-top cheesy products that may help make an eyecatching display, but will only ever sell in the run up to February 14. Our new Eleanor Rose range, for example, uses heart motifs and pink in conjunction with other accents to add a twist of style to the message of love, making it a range which will integrate with other displays throughout the year once Valentine’s Day has passed." Naturally, a special piece of jewellery is always guaranteed to delight a loved one.

At Carrie Elspeth there is increasing emphasis on showing love and appreciation for more than just a 'significant other'. "Therefore a broad range of gifts for all is important for Valentine's Day," says creative director Carrie Shapiro. "Naturally there is a strong trend for hearts - no longer just symbols of romance - and, of course, personalisation. Our new range of leather Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


Raise a glass to the new Barware collection by Gentlemen’s Hardware. Featuring a stylish collection of multi-functional cocktail and spirit accessories to satisfy every gentleman’s beverage requirement. Available to order now.


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Spotlight On... Valentine’s Day bracelets in simple strong colourways with charms express platonic love and have a strong positive, uplifting feel." Still staying with hearts, Piers Croke, sales director, Gisela Graham, says that popular gift shop items are heart shaped frames to hold a photo of a loved one, with a trend towards a romantic meal at home instead of a night out. "Our extensive collection of romantic accessories also include night light holders and faux flowers," he highlights. "People are still saying it with roses, and flowers and floral patterns are never out of fashion when it comes to affairs of the heart," says Tom Sykes, director, Xystos. "WoodWick is saying it with flowers with the company's new illustrated candles, the Hourglass and Ellipse vessels, decorated with roses, along with Love from WoodWick's Inspirational Collection." Metallics too, have their role to play. "At Caroline Gardner we love gold, silver and rose gold, which all fit in very well for Valentine's Day," says sales manager Katie Finegan. "While jewellery is a favourite gift for a loved one, the metallic element of our Good as Gold range links in with that, and includes stationery and pencil cases, wash bags and compact mirrors, and bags and bag charms."

Left: Love from WoodWick's Inspirational collection. Below: PS I Love You Lesser & Pavey. Below left: Caroline Gardner bag and purse. Below right: The Bright Side's new Love collection for Really Good.

Love is also in the air for Lesser & Pavey. "Our PS I Love You range, part of the Mad Dots collection, is decorated with 18ct gold and a diamante heart, and features mugs, wine glasses, candles, heart plaque, a trinket box and photo frames," highlights MD Julian Hunt. Spreading the love also includes gifts for much loved animals too. Lisa Marcuccio, sales manager, Really Good, points out that consumers are spending less on eating out on Valentine’s Day, instead opting to spend money on gifts for each other or gift experiences. "Retailers should look out for on trend love gifts for friends and pets. Given that the younger generation are spending less on the occasion, coupled with the continuing fight against online shopping, they

Top Display Tips l "One way to create impact in store is the use of cheap paper pom-poms . Available widely in red, white and silver, they create a fantastic display and are easily hung with fishing wire from the ceiling." Sue Grant, marketing manager, Widdop and Co l "All you need is love: that’s a winning central theme for window and shop displays featuring cards and gifts." Tom Sykes, director, Xystos l Like products should be displayed together and themed, be they traditional or more contemporary. Retailers should also offer gift bags and bundles with cards, wrap and gifts" Helen Shield, director of marketing, Enesco

should maximise Valentine's Day in store through window displays, gondola ends and till points, as well as creating small gift packages containing for example, toiletries, chocolates and so on, to encourage a quick and easy purchase." As the first special occasion of the year, with plenty of giftware to choose from, retailers are sure to fall in love with the opportunity to differentiate their stores from the multiples.

A Different Take For retailers - and gift givers - looking for something that's romantic but not necessarily traditional, there are plenty of options. "Lots of consumers are looking for something different," says Helen Shield, director of marketing, Enesco. "Of course there will always be a market for traditional hearts, flowers and teddy bears. However I believe that Millennials, in long term relationships, are looking for a more personal gift, perhaps adding to a collection they know their loved one is fond of, or, for a more humorous gift that is relevant to their own relationship. We create an annual catalogue featuring all our Valentine related products, making it easier for retailers to order from us." Widdop and Co's marketing manager Sue Grant says that for most people, Valentine’s Day begins - and often ends - with the purchase of a card, so to tempt consumers to buy a gift, Sue highlights easy pick up lines as a 'must' for all retailers. "A gift of a chocolate rose or a pair of comical mugs will entice consumers to add to their card purchase, with our red chocolate roses new for 2018 and available as singles, sixes or even a dozen. We also do mug pairs with a comical twist. In addition, light up gifts continue to forge ahead in the popularity stakes with Valentine’s Day gifts no exception." Above: A Willow Tree figurine from Enesco. Right: Romantic giftware from Widdop and Co. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


Carrie Elspeth H A N D M A D E



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Carrie Elspeth H A N D M A D E




Leather Charm Bracelets 26 Designs Magnetic Clasps

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

Adult Accessories Collection

Best Selling Melts

New and exclusive from Enesco is the launch of a new Beatrix Potter collection Peter Rabbit adult accessories. The Peter Rabbit purse, wash bag, scarf, umbrella and tote bag débuted at Spring Fair earlier this year. Gaining massive attention from buyers, and retailing with an SRP from £6.95-£15, these products won’t be around for long and are guaranteed to hop right off the shelves. Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email:

Following the success of their wax melts, Bolsius introduces the new Wax Melts gift pack. Retailers can now purchase a giftable set featuring six of Bolsius’ best-selling melts, a ceramic burner and tea lights with a RRP of only £7.99. Infused with natural aromatics and oils, customers are able to blend and mix Vanilla, Magnolia and French Lavender to create something that is altogether personal and emotive. To place an order, contact the sales team. Bolsius Tel: 0800 169 5126 Email:

The Gift That Says I Love You Lesser and Pavey's PS I Love You range contains mugs, wine glasses, candles, heart plaque, trinket box and photograph frames, and is set to grow into other product spheres. All items are decorated with real 18ct gold and include a sweet diamanté heart which makes this range so special. Items are licensed to Lesser and Pavey by HeartsDesigns and form part of the Mad Dots Collection which has been a huge success. Lesser & Pavey Tel: 01322 279225 Email

Say it With Flowers Premium Candles La de da! Living's best-selling collection of luxury soy wax blended fragrance candles are hand poured in the UK ensuring a premium quality. All occasions are covered throughout this fabulous range which also include fun lip balms and reed diffusers. They smell great too, and will fill and brighten any home with a delicious fragrance. The candles and reed diffusers come beautifully gift boxed making them a perfect gift for all occasions. La de da! Living Tel: 01242 250 653 Email:

WoodWick has a candle for every occasion – and for Valentine’s Day those in a romantic mood have a choice when it comes to gifting. They can say it with flowers with WoodWick’s new illustrated candles: the Hourglass and Ellipse vessels are decorated with pretty roses and have RRPs of £19.99 and £29.99 respectively. Or they can opt for Love from the new-look Inspirational Collection. Available from Xystos. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:

Celebrating Special Occasions Celebrate those special days with family, friends and loved ones with the gift for all occasions. A stunning collection of fragranced candles and diffusers to let that someone special know you are thinking of them. Combining beautiful quotes and fun, upbeat fragrances to create the most wonderful of surprises. From ‘Pop open the Bubbly’, ‘You had me at Hello’ or ‘Hip hip Hooray’ you’ll be sure to find exactly what you are looking for. Stoneglow Candles Tel: 0208 595 8878 Email: PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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

Vote For Votives

Stirring Things Up

Those on a tight budget, who are seeking value for money products, and appealing packaging, are turning to Baylis & Harding’s Assorted Votive Candle Gift Set, which ticks all the boxes and has a recommended retail price of just £7. Available from Xystos. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:

Set in a thick layer of creamy chocolate, and topped off with a sprinkling of hundreds and thousands, our vintage silver-plated tea spoons have been hand stamped on the handle with a variety of quotes for you to choose from. Simply stir in a mug of hot milk, sit back, relax and enjoy a truly sumptuous hot choc! La de da! Living Tel: 01242 250 653 Email:

Girl Power Stationery Bright, bold and brilliant, Tatty Devine’s unmistakable style is being incorporated into a new stationery collection, with the range of nine products added to the Tatty Devine collection for Autumn/Winter. Three A5 note books featuring raised acrylic wording are indicative of Tatty’s playful style. Girl power slogans appear throughout, with the five-piece pen set featuring slogans such as Girl Boss, Girl Genius and Feminist boldly printed on colourful barrels and presented in a clear pouch. Wild & Wolf Tel: 01225 789909 Email:

Challenge Games Boxer Gift’s highly successful drinking Challenge Games has been joined by a Gin Challenge Game that's perfect for lovers of the sophisticated drink. The task is deceptively easy – trace the word gin without setting off the buzzer. If you fail there will be a forfeit, a sip of gin! The Beer and Wine Challenge Games remain popular and the new Gin Challenge Game sits within these games and our range of gin books. Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955595 Email:

Having A Giggle Ridley’s Games has created a brand new collection with the aim to get you giggling. Barrel of Laughs does are exactly what it says on the tin. The collection of games calls for you to draw, sculpt, act or guess your way through the rounds testing your skills and speed. Each is presented in its own unique storage tin. Featuring crisp fonts and a colourful barrel design, they are easily stored for a lifetime of laughs. Wild & Wolf Tel: 01225 789909 Email:

Harry Potter Magic Due to the success of their current Harry Potter range, Groovy is expanding and introducing the Quidditich, Platform 9 and ¾ and the Golden Snitch collections. With products ranging from bathrobes, slippers, lighting and bags. Groovy have gone all out with magical detail. A reflective gold body for the Golden Snitch bag is set to shine, and all sports fans will love the new Quidditch bag range with the infamous 'Potter 7' and his sporty stripes. Groovy UK Tel: 0844 3727820 Email:



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

Festive-Themed Wine Glasses Feeling positively festive in time for the Christmas season, Enesco has unveiled a range of new yuletide wine glasses from Lolita. Let’s Get Nuts, Gingerbread Wonderland wine glass and I’ll Be Home measure 22.5cm tall and retail with an SRP of £19.95. Each handmade wine glass from Lolita is wonderfully exclusive. No two glasses are identical, making them a truly thoughtful and unique gift. Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email:

Christmas Dazzlers New for Christmas 2017, Enesco has announced the launch of Disney Holidazzlers. Standing at 33.0cm tall, the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Tree Topper Holidazzler shows the pair decorating their own Christmas tree, decking the halls with red and green baubles. SRP £19.95. The Snow White Holidazzler is a super stocking filler, standing at 11.0cm tall. SRP of £9.95. Available to buy from Enesco, the Holidazzler range is sure to light up any Christmas celebration. Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email:

Gifts For The Sporty Lesser and Pavey has introduced new, exciting quality gifts for those that are sporty at heart. The brand new games offer outstanding quality and affordability and include Table Football, Table Pool, Table Ice Hockey as well as a Golf Drinking Game, Roulette Drinking Game, Jenga Drinking Game, Noughts & Crosses Drinking Game and a Magnetic Darts Game. Lesser & Pavey Tel: 01322 279225 Email

Decadent Fragrances Luna’s elegance brings a touch of class to Stoneglow this season. A sleek new range of premium candles and diffusers, with opulent textures, rich colours and luxury metal interiors have been combined with sumptuous perfumes for a decadent experience. There are four perfume combinations including Sandalwood & Patchouli, Cedarwood & Cypress, Dark Amber & Vetiver and Leather & Saffron. This luxurious range is available in four elegant colourways: navy/gold, black/rose gold, grey/rose gold and white/gold. Stoneglow Candles Tel: 0208 595 8878 Email:

Personalising Christmas The Personalised Memento Company have branched out into something completely new with their personalised Reindeer LED Christmas Scene. This charming gift uses a 3D layered effect and LEDs to illuminate the reindeer and woodland. The front of the scene can also be personalised with a message. This item is available for next day delivery and can be drop-shipped directly to your customer. PMC Tel: 01782 744900 Email:



Star Wars String Lights What fan wouldn’t want the sinister Dark Lord and his army of clones bringing a little light into their dark side with these amazing Star Wars 3D string lights? The 12 fully moulded character helmets are illuminated by a white LED bulb on a 2.5m length cable. Powered by 2 x AA batteries (not included) and packaged in a 3 sided window box. RRP £15. Groovy UK Tel: 0844 3727820 Email:

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

Clock This Customers are increasingly looking for more unique male gifts which in part is driving the market for quirky, unusual products. The Joe Davies techno range of miniature clocks certainly provides a quality gift at a great price, and with 32 different designs, ranging from trendy VW surf vans to the more traditional sporting themes, such as cricket and rugby, there are plenty to choose from. Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email: Harrogate Xmas & Gift: Stand C19

Layering Up Like the 12 days of Christmas, Hot Tomato has just launched a further 12 new designs in their amazing wraparound bracelets. With the whole arm candy phenomenon evolving all the time, the latest emphasis is on layering, layering with a bit more layering! So be creative. Grab some sparkles and blend them with beads, bangles and a host of other favourites and you are good to go, sporting your very own original masterpiece. Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Email:

Perfect Gift for a Gadget Person Multitools is a new range from Lesser and Pavey, quality gifts that include a multi functional pliers tool which opens up to offer pliers, wire cutter, screwdrivers, saw, bottle and can opener, knife blade and fish scaler; a multi hammer with five multi tools opening to reveal a hammer, knife blade, saws, file, bottle opener, pliers, wire stripper and screwdrivers; three different tools in a gift box, plus a multi tool set with torch, with a combination of pliers, wire cutter, screwdrivers, knife blades, can opener, file, and thread loop with a separate torch. Lesser & Pavey Tel: 01322 279225 Email

Artisan Candle Art

Sentimentally Speaking This beautiful collection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings feature heartfelt engraved messages for those you love. Specific sentiments for mum, nan, sister, daughter and granddaughter are also available and are perfect for Christmas stocking fillers. The range is plated with real silver and rose gold and is packaged in attractive 'signature' Equilibrium purple and cream sentiment packaging. Add to this excellent quality and great prices and you have a real 'must have' collection for the Christmas period Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email: Harrogate Xmas & Gift: Stand C19

Xystos director Tom Sykes describes the vessels that make up the new WoodWick Artisan Collection as “decorative art works in themselves”, as well as being the holders of candles, with stunning new fragrances. The range is developed with a unique blend of herbs, dashed with deep woody fragrances and citrus undertones. This tasteful palette of vibrant painted textures is designed to “bring out your inner artisan”. It comprises a medium hourglass, HearthWick ellipse vessel, tin, mini wax melt and four ounce reed diffuser. RRPs are from £2.29 to £29.99. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:

Limited Editions This Village Candle Home for Christmas mini gift set from Xystos (RRP £19.99) looks set to be a winner, as consumers seek out subtle, discerning blended fragrances and more muted colours, including plenty of green. This is reflected in the new Village Candle limited editions. Urban Nights has scents of fresh sage, patchouli and a touch of vanilla, while Forest Hike comprises rainforest moss, juniper and dark timer. Acai Berry Tobac features light tobacco, sweet berry and soft musk. They are available in three core vessels, 11oz, 16oz and 26oz, with RRPs of £12.49, £16.99 and £19.99 respectively. Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:



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

Gift Boxed For Christmas Bestselling combinations of Ashleigh & Burwood fragrance lamps and lamp fragrance are neatly packaged in a high quality gift box with ribbon detail, ideal for gift giving this Christmas. A treat for any home, the fragrance lamp actively purifies, cleanses and fragrances the air like nothing else. Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email:

Leather Charm Bracelets

Vintage Brooches

Autumn 2017 has been all about our new leather charm bracelets with many designs in our top 10 sellers list. The response has been fantastic and with such a great choice of colours, a selection of charms and the easy to open magnetic clasps, it’s easy to see why. There are 26 designs available and all come with an organza bag. Our new display stand will be available in Spring. Carrie Elspeth Tel: 01446 771271 Email:

Hot Tomato has been at it again – this time sourcing the most beautiful vintage style brooches for brightening up and individualising those lapels, bags, scarves and hats for the coming season. A fantastic accessory and bang on trend, effortlessly transforming the every-day into something super special by adding some serious 'wow' factor - twinkle twinkle little you! Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Email:

Guaranteed To Charm

Go Wild Designed to make a statement in the home as luxurious ornaments, Wild Things luxury scented candles and reed diffusers from Ashleigh & Burwood pair vibrant, richly decorated ceramic vessels with a specially designed blend of premium quality wax and a high percentage of fragrance for incredible fragrance release. Christmas designs are imaginatively named Owl Night Long, Mr Fox and Monarch of the Forest. Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email:



You’ll find the cutest charm pendants in our Carrie range, and our unicorn pendant is so on trend that everyone wants one. If the magic of unicorn’s aren’t your thing we have other animal charms to choose from including cats, dogs and ladybirds. Our other motif pendants offer some more unusual charms including a pineapple, cactus, moon, lightning bolt and a musical note. Each pendant comes in its own shiny hot-foiled box so they’ll make the perfect stocking filler this Christmas! Carrie Elspeth Tel: 01446 771271 Email:

Create Some Christmas Magic Our Night Before Christmas collection is the perfect, festive home fragrance addition to any in store display. This year’s range includes our signature advent calendar, which is back by popular demand, not forgetting our magical advent candle jar, beautiful keepsake baubles – now in two different sizes – luxury gift sets and traditional pot pourri. Each product is sealed with our hand chosen Vanilla & Cranberry, Frosted Pine and Gold Frankincense & Myrrh fragrances. Wax Lyrical Tel: 01229 461111 Email:

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

Eden Project Partnership Ulster Weavers, the family home textiles company from Holywood, Northern Ireland, is delighted to announce a partnership with the Cornwall-based Eden Project for a range of beautiful kitchen textiles and homeware. Sustainability is at the heart of all that Eden does, and is an important factor for Ulster Weavers too, so the initial range, which includes tea towels, aprons, oven gloves and mitts, has been manufactured by Ulster Weavers using unbleached cotton, with FSC card printed using vegetable inks for labels and packaging. Ulster Weavers Tel: +44 (0) 28 9032 9494 Email:

Inspired By The Lakes Our Lakes Collection is inspired by the beautiful English Lakes. Capturing the fragrances of Autumn and Winter, brand new Fallen Leaves and Snow scents truly reflect the English lakes during these magical seasons. Continuing the trend, our packaging features delicate, hand illustrated motifs representing individual scents and a glittering foil inlay creates a truly exceptional product that is sure to keep customers wanting more. Wax Lyrical Tel: 01229 461111 Email:

Strictly Romance For those who are looking to make this Valentine's Day an occasion to remember, Yankee Candle has announced a romantic collection of gifts guaranteed to set your partner’s heart alight. The hero flirty fragrances for Valentine’s Day 2018 include a trio of beautifully floral rose fragrances featuring the brand new Sun-Drenched Apricot Rose scent from the new spring collection – Enjoy the Simple Things: Sun Drenched Apricot Rose – a full bloom scent of lush, delightful apricot and soft petals; True Rose – alluring, rich and velvety as fragrant as a special delivery of flawless deep red roses, and Fresh Cut Roses – an intoxicating English garden of fragrant heirloom roses. If you’re looking to inject a sense of love into Valentine's Day, the new Yankee Candle Making Memories collection is the perfect option for consumers looking for something special. The range will be available in five different scents, with the first fragrance, Love, launching in January. This three wick 18oz candle and sophisticated glass vessel, presented in an elegant box, is perfect for gifting to your loved one. Completing the Yankee Candle Valentine’s Day offering are two additional gift sets. The first is a three votive candle gift set, which includes a gorgeous selection of three romantic scents – Strawberry Buttercream, True Rose and Black Cherry. Or alternatively, treat your loved one to the Heart gift set, which includes a small jar candle and two Votives in fabulously flirt fragrances – Red Raspberry, True Rose and Peony. Yankee Candle Tel: 0117 316 1200 Email:



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

Making Rainbows New from the Wild Things Crystal Fantasy range, a lovely robin redbreast, handmade in Devon, with mirror finish metals and Swarovski crystals. Guaranteed to make rainbows on a sunny day. A companion for our blue tits, owls and hummingbirds. Wild Things Tel 01392211268 sales@

Crystal Radiance A Happy Valentine’s from Wild Things. A window ornament made exclusively with Swarovski crystals. This Radiant Heart will add colour to any window, sparkle to any room. It forms part of a brand new range in all sorts of colourways with a multitude of motifs. Wild Things Tel 01392211268 sales@

New Fragrance Range Born out of Claremont & May, and run by founder Sultan Khan, Hassett Green London prelaunches its extensive range of quality fragranced products offering 21 researched fragrances. The launch product range consists of fragrance diffusers in two sizes, scented sachets, scented wooden balls, drawer liners, refreshing hand gels and English hand poured candles in both 15oz and 20oz sizes. This competitively priced premium brand will offer your store a string range that is not over exposed in the high street. With a full launch in January 2018, retailers have a limited opportunity to buy this exclusive range for the upcoming Christmas season on an exclusive allocated basis. If you want to be one of the first stockists of Hassett Green London, please visit our website or call to arrange a sales visit. Hassett Green Tel: 01227 634142

Living Flame Candles Luminara, the world’s Living Flame brand leader, goes from strength to strength. Range developments in 2017 include longer battery life, now at 350 hrs, and a new Mini Pillar, a fully functional wax Luminara candle for under £20 retail. Innovative design has led to the introduction of Mercury Glass Luminara presented in stunning gift tube packaging. Be one of the first to offer the innovation of the brand leading Luminara candles in your store. Stop Press! Giant Luminara launched on allocation for Christmas 2017. Luminara Tel: 01622 845995 Email:



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An Audience With... Holly Tucker, MBE

Holly Tucker: The Lowdown

Inset: Holly Tucker MBE. Far right: Holly & Co has a bricks and mortar outlet on St Margarets in Twickenham.

l Holly received an MBE for her services

to small businesses in 2013. l In 2015, the PM appointed her the UK

Ambassador for Creative Small Businesses.

Small Business,

Big Dreams Holly & Co is the latest brainchild from entrepreneur Holly Tucker MBE, the co-founder of She recently took the stage at Top Drawer's PaperFest to share what she's learned about business, advising founders of small enterprises to put creativity at the heart of their businesses while playing to their strengths. There can't be many online consumers who haven't heard of the hugely successful website - set up by friends Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish in 2006 offering original, mostly handmade items to include homewares, fashion accessories, jewellery, stationery and greeting cards. Now Holly is flexing her entrepreneurial muscles once again with Holly & Co, a new venture for small businesses and artisans that connects with, and advises creatives, based on Holly's own journey as a businesswoman. "What creatives have in common is that what they do is completely unique to them, and that is the magic I see in small businesses," Holly enthuses.

"But to be successful, creative talent isn't enough. People have to know their own strengths and weaknesses and then play to them," she continues. "Right from the start, individuals have to work out who they are and what they are great at - as well as what they are not so great at - so that they can concentrate on what they do well, enabling them to progress from there. In fact, finding out who you are is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your business," she stresses. Such is her belief in the importance of creativity, that she believes that if today's big businesses could start all over again, they would put creativity at the forefront of what they do rather than letting the 'grey' seep in.

How To Stand Out Holly's advice to the owners of small businesses is for them to be true to themselves, and to be very, very good at what they do. "They need to be unique but niche too," she advises. "It's also about expanding an idea, such as starting out in paper products and moving into sectors such as jewellery. It's when you do something very well that people pick up on your idea and become interested."

"As the founder of a successful small artisan business, you have to do what other people don't do," she points out. "Holly & Co is about recognising that and celebrating the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. We are looking to change the language of being called an 'SME'. We are also setting out to change people's thinking. We want to highlight that small businesses have a future, and we're a forum with creatives feeding us. Getting together with creative minds makes you feel as though you have met your tribe, a tribe that you want to be a part of. It's about helping people to find their purpose. With good business roots, everything that grows out of it will be strong. Plus, we encourage individuals to learn to trust their gut instinct as it makes their future more obvious. It's this 'internal compass' that will navigate them through their journey, and it's as much of a business tool as a profit and loss statement." Describing how she feels about her own new business venture, Holly comments: "Holly & Co is about working together and not competing. In fact, I've never felt more connected to people and their dreams in my life. I don't know where it will lead but I do know that I'm very excited!" 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. Chris Dell, co-owner, White Mint, Berkhamsted and St Albans Medium sized gift shops on the high street CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

Ampersand: Tropical;

Very on trend products that are quite different to other suppliers. Clean, simple products that fit into most homes.

Present Time: across the board Home Fragrancing

Heaven Scent: bespoke candles and reed diffusers; Victorian: candles

This is our own range and is one of our biggest sellers. The quality is excellent. Beautiful styling and very contemporary, quality candles.


Mary Mary: handmade

Fun jewellery that is great for young people and those who love colour!

Greeting Cards


Good quality, contemporary cards at great prices.



Very busy, colourful wrap that gives us a point of difference.

Other Hot Hits

Talking Tables

Lovely ‘grown up’ balloons, banners and candles. We also do well with the paper products.

Nina Still, manager, The Green Room, Sawbridgeworth A small gift shop on a high street CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

Widdop and Co: special occasions;

Good for classy homewares at affordable prices and specifically for wedding and new baby gifts. One of our first 'go to' suppliers for Christmas stocking fillers.

Something Different: fair trade gifts

Home Fragrancing

Ashleigh & Burwood: reed diffusers; fragranced lamps; Lily Flame: candles

A great seller for special presents. The products not only smell great, but look classy and decorative. Great quality and strength of scent.


Eastar: across the board; D&X: across the board

Fashion forward, unusual, affordable jewellery. High end fashion designs at realistic prices. Excellent quality and variety.

Fashion Accessories

Milan: bags and purses; Pure: scarves

The company's multi-use purses have been the best selling item this year. An extensive range of gorgeous scarves with wide appeal.

Greeting Cards


Beautiful, well made cards at affordable price points.

Other Hot Hits

Powell Crafts: baby and children's

Excellent quality and value for money.



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James Webster, owner Josie's, Bideford A small lifestyle shop on a secondary site CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

Pacific Lifestyle: geometric lighting;

Very on trend lighting that flies out of the shop. Fantastic quality and affordable prices. Our customers love the designs.

Malini: cushions

Home Fragrancing

Vineyard Candles: Cocktail collection

Chelsea Candle Company: diffusers

Pina Colada smells incredible and was a fantastic seller during the summer. Long lasting diffusers made from natural essence and oils. Very popular with customers.

Greeting Cards

Card Nest

The company uses small designers that do quirky designs. They fit my customers perfectly!


Sass & Belle

Its cute collection features designs that include alpacas and cacti.

Other Hot Hits

Dutch Imports Unfinished: natural wood collection

Impeccable quality across a wide range of small furniture items to include a TV media unit and basket side tables.

Julie Pearson, owner, Cloudberry, Edinburgh (2 shops) The gift shops are both small and on secondary high streets CATEGORY



Decorative Home Accessories

The Just Slate Company: Copper Heart Bottle Stop;

The contemporary range of slate trays and accessories have all been best sellers. These sell steadily throughout the year.

CGB: silver and rose gold photo frames Home Fragrancing

Canova: Sara Miller London;

Isle of Skye Candle Company: across the board

Sara's colourful designs and Canova's combination of scents have been really popular with customers. An ongoing best seller. Great scents and natural, handmade candles.


Blaze Designs: fresh water pearls; semi precious stones; Hot Tomato: wrap around bracelets

Classic but modern bracelets and necklaces. Across the board, Hot Tomato's cool, effortless pieces have wide appeal.

Fashion Accessories

Powder: scarves; socks;

Fantastic designs and great packaging. A local company to us. Another Scottish company which has a huge range of well priced fashion scarves.

Miss Shorthair

Greeting Cards

Belly Button

The company continually adds to its fantastic ranges with something for everyone.



This is Belly Button's sister company. The wrap beautifully complements the card ranges.

Other Hot Hits

Rufus Rabbit; Rachel Ellen

Both companies offer well designed gifts for small people.



Sterling Silver Jewellery Charming designs in the spirit of the season. Beautiful sterling silver designs available in our New Autumn & Winter supplement

01271 329123

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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!

ASHLEIGH & BURWOOD T: 01932 267060 E: W:

HOT TOMATO T: 01225 422188 E: W:

WIDDOP & CO T: 0161 688 1228 E: W:

THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED T: 01332 290605 E: W:

HEAVEN SCENT T: 01225 868788 E: W:

ASHLEIGH & BURWOOD T: 01932 267060 E: W:

HOT TOMATO T: 01225 422188 E: W:

BELLY BUTTON DESIGNS T: 0161 902 0200 E: W:

TALKING TABLES T: 020 7627 6767 E: W: Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide


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On The Road David Lorimer David Lorimer has been a gift agent for 10 years, covering the South West and Wales. His principals are Culinary Concepts and Marmalade. Currently he's feeling bullish about the festive season, although he suggests that retailers have been leaving it slightly later to place their orders by comparison to last year. "Although most gift independents leave their Christmas buying until June or July, the benefit of placing orders in January, as the multiples do, is that they can get an idea of what's selling successfully early on in the year," highlights David. "The closer it gets to the festive season, there is always the risk that suppliers will start to sell out. However, for most gift retailers in coastal areas, Christmas is not as big as summer trading, so understandably, shops can be a bit nervous about it. Nevertheless, for those that had a good summer, there is often money around to spend in the fourth quarter. Also, for many retailers space can be an issue. Some only have small outlets, so they need to clear through before they can store new stock. This leads to them buying at the first showing of new products, and placing a second order when they know what's selling and what's not." One trend David has noticed this year is that both retailers and consumers are on the look-out for quality items. "Rather than fighting their way to the bottom, shops are looking to include more quality pieces," he continues. "For me, it's been about encouraging

retailers to be braver and look at higher ticket items. And the good news is that once they've had them in, they are becoming more confident. Also, I feel that shops are becoming better at working with the brands they stock. They want value, with the brand itself definitely becoming more important now." Looking to Christmas '17, David says he's feeling confident. "Retailers have gone through the process of it being very tough. Most businesses have streamlined their stock and most are more in control of their businesses than they were, accepting that their shop, and the way that they position it, is the only thing that they can control. They have also accepted Brexit, and the fact that prices have increased as a result. Many retailers have also had to deal with increased business rates, as well as other legislation that has impacted on the bigger picture, and now they're simply getting on with it. They know that people will continue to decorate their homes, buy gifts and entertain family and friends. As always, Christmas Day will come and go!"

Last Word Hilary (Billy) Green Hilary (Billy) Green, is the head designer at Dartington Crystal. She joined the company 30 years ago and has been responsible for introducing the colourful Flower Bottles that have gone on to be a best seller. Her work typifies the contemporary English style that Dartington has become known for. Here she tells PG&H about her garden and holidaying in the Outer Hebrides. l Three words that best describe you? "Creative, happy, friendly." l What was your first job? "I worked Royal Brierley Crystal, (coincidentally now owned by Dartington), as part of my RCA masters degree, although my very first job was selling ice creams at Longleat Safari Park at weekends and holiday time when I was still at school!" l What was the best piece of business advice you've received? "Never take no for an answer!" l What advice would you give to a new designer? "Never stop drawing. You hope you'll remember something but never do so it is a good habit to get into." l What are you currently reading? “Nora Webster by Colm Toibin.” 82

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

l What's your favourite TV programme? "Poldark." l What's your favourite film? “A Room With A View. I’m an old romantic!" l Where's your favourite place to go on holiday? "The Outer Hebrides. It's idyllic. I'll carry on going there forever." l How do you start day? "I try to go out into the garden first thing in the morning, come rain or come shine, for a quick look before work. I love growing things so Above: Hilary (Billy) Green that I can fill our house with flowers." with a Dartington Crystal l How do you end your day? "I read Flower Bottle. until I fall asleep." l What are your desert island must haves? "It would have to be a choice between pencils, pens, colouring pencils, sewing, knitting and patchwork. I must have something to do with my hands!"

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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: 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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