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May/June 2018

These collectable Fairy House lanterns are the hottest trending gift this season. Each lantern lights up and co omes gift boxed with the fairy’’s story on the box.. email: l sales@xy @ stos.co.uk

Contact

Tel: l +44 44 (0)1911 499 1570


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

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

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www.max-publishing.co.uk The home of market leading trade magazines

EXHIBITIONS

THE HOME OF MARKET LEADING TRADE AWARDS

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

Design & Production

This Month

@Prog_Gifts

With so much that’s deeply troubling going on in the world today, it’s been wonderful to have a Royal Wedding to look forward to this month, lifting the gloom and doom of the news bulletins, both at home and internationally. Royalist or not, it would be hard not to feel happy for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they say ‘I do’ at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19. With all the hype and publicity surrounding their big day, the good news is that both gift suppliers and Windsor gift retailers are receiving a very welcome sales boost, with commemorative Royal Wedding memorabilia hitting the spot. We take a look at who’s doing what on pages 7 and 9. The Royal Wedding has, of course, put weddings - and gifting - very much in the spotlight this year, with gift companies revealing what’s trending giftwise on pages 35-39. Although traditional wedding lists are far less popular than they once were, fortunately, the popularity of TV cookery shows such as The Great British Bake Off and MasterChef have invigorated the kitchen gifts market place, with design-led packaging elevating prosaic items to become very giftable. Ahead of Exclusively Housewares, which opens its doors on June 12-13, we spoke to some of the leading suppliers to discover what’s driving sales for the coming season. Turn to Cooking Up A Storm pages 57-61. Home fragrancing too, continues to up its game each season. With floral and fruity fragrances currently in pole position, suppliers have gone all out to capture the scents of summer. With so many calls on household budgets, candles and related items are now seen as non-negotiable - a small price to pay for an instant mood lift. See Making Scents of Summer on pages 41-47. Staying with summer and feeling good about yourself, it’s also very much about looking your best of course. Our Body Beautiful bath and body feature on pages 53-55 focuses on everything you need, with the sector getting a huge fillip thanks to men’s grooming products. But while it’s arguably been a good year for the industry in many ways - for one thing, export is continuing to boom - what has definitely been a damper has been the increasingly hard-to-read stories about the high street. Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand to turn the clock back to pre-online shopping days, but stores are continuing to open, and there’s plenty of encouraging news from a crosssection of gift indies who reported a surprisingly good first quarter. See our Feedback article on pages 25-27 to read what they had to say. As we go to press on April 20, The Greats Gift Retailer Awards are homing into view. And with days to go until this year’s fantastic winners are announced we couldn’t be more excited to recognise and reward them. (See page 11). Our Awards event may not be on the grand scale of a Royal Wedding (!), but for the gift industry at large, they provide plenty of pomp and ceremony of their own and an exciting reason to celebrate outstanding retail talent. Here’s to the Awards, and to Harry and Meghan! Happy reading! Above: Sue is shown with the ‘cardies’ at last year’s dedicated greeting card show PG Live, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in June. Turn to pages 31-33 to discover why it’s one show gift shops can’t afford to miss.

Cover: Collectable Fairy House Lanterns from SPLOSH. Exclusively, distributed in the UK 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: ianh@max-publishing.co.uk

Russell Sutton

Subscriptions enquiries maxsubscriptions@marketingreinforcements.co.uk Tel: 020 8943 9541 ISSN 2515-7523

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

PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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Inside 7-19

News

21

Gift Of The Gab TO WRAP OR NOT TO WRAP, THAT IS THE QUESTION

23

Sounding Off ENGAGING WITH OUR CUSTOMERS OF THE FUTURE

25-27 Feedback NOT BAD AT ALL 29

Trends: Botanicals SEEN TO BE GREEN

31-33 PG Live 2018 A PERFECT 10 PAGE 31

PAGE 37

35-39 Spotlight On... Wedding Gifts LOVE & MARRIAGE 41-47 Spotlight On... Home Fragrancing MAKING SCENTS OF SUMMER 53-55 Spotlight On . . Bath and Body BODY BEAUTIFUL 57-61 Spotlight On... Kitchen Gifts COOKING UP A STORM 74-75 Best Sellers 78

On The Road: Jane Hargreaves

78

Last Word: Jane Devonshire

Sue Marks Editor

Angie Bryant Advertisement Manager

Ian Hyder Publishing Director

suem@max-publishing.co.uk

angieb@max-publishing.co.uk

ianh@max-publishing.co.uk

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Industry News

A Right Royal Retail Weekend Local Gift Shops Get Ready To Party With crowds of people heading for Windsor to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry and his bride on Saturday May 19, local gift retailers will be hoping it’s a bumper one for commemorative giftware. Popular independent Windsor gift shop Vinegar Hill (one of 10 branches in the UK), will naturally be going all out to celebrate the Royal Wedding. “We’ll be decking out the window in traditional, commemorative bunting, mugs, tea towels and fridge magnets which have been designed by For Richer For Poorer, which donates the profits to the homeless of Windsor,” explains shop manager Lisa Ripley. “It’s been a big news story for the past few months and it’s a cause we’ve been promoting in the run-up to the wedding. They’re beautifully designed products that have a heart.” Lisa adds that the shop will also be having its very own Vinegar Hill street party. “Bunting, balloons and fancy dress will be the order of the day, along with the obligatory fairy cakes of course!” she enthuses. At Daniel’s department store in Windsor, a Royal warrant holder, MD Trudy Durkin highlights that visitors will find celebratory windows congratulating the happy couple. “We’re installing TV screen across the store to ensure that everyone has live coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan’s special day, with our French patisserie chefs making celebratory wedding cakes,” confirms Trudy. “We will also have a wide range of gift products on display to commemorate the Royal Wedding, to include Royal Scott special edition glasses, Caithness special edition paperweights, Halcyon Days mugs and limited edition Royal Windsor bags, along with bookmarks, trinket dishes, tea towels, flags and bunting, as well as many other gift items. So far, everything seems to be selling very well.” Meanwhile, a second Royal wedding is also imminent this year, with Princess Eugenie marrying Jack Brooksbank in October. The wedding will also be held at Windsor Castle. Top: Vinegar Hill is hoping to see commemorative giftware ring up sales. Above: A tea towel from For Richer For Poorer will see profits donated to the homeless of Windsor. Right: Royal Wedding memorabilia will also be available at Daniel’s department store, to include this Milly Green bone china mug.

Harry And Meghan Topple Trump With Royal Wedding masks all the rage, the Royal couple have now overtaken Donald Trump as Maskarade’s bestselling masks. As demand continued to increase in the run-up to the Royal Wedding, Maskarade pressed the button for a further 18,000 masks to go into production. “We love the fact that Donald Trump has been selling so well, but it will be nice to see the top sellers spreadsheet change,” commented Mask-arade’s commercial director Ray Duffy. “The nation has really got behind the new Royal couple and we’re seeing sales rising steadily. In fact, the Royal Wedding’s been a great early boost this year.” Above: In addition to Prince Harry and Meghan, the Mask-arade Royal collection also includes The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince William and Kate, as well as a corgi!

New Kid On The Block

Left: Philip Bier is shown at a Tiger store.

Having sold his share of Tiger UK in 2017, the company’s co-founder, Philip Bier, will be back on the UK’s high streets in May with the first franchise of own label French childrenswear and toy company, ID Kids, which will be opening in Wandsworth’s Southside Shopping Centre in South London. Following on from the demise of Toys R Us earlier this year, and with Mothercare continuing to struggle, Philip, who has set up Bier Brothers with his brother Jacob, is aiming to be the ‘go to’ partner for international retailers looking to get a foot in the door of the UK market place. His long terms goal is to open 50 ID Kids franchises, with Bier Brothers aiming to have six overseas brands by 2023.

New John Lewis Store To Open In a challenging year for John Lewis, and bricks and mortar retail across the board, the department store will be opening its 51st store in Cheltenham on October 18, with ‘partner’ Martin Bundy at the helm. The company has invested £23m in the 115,000 sq ft shop which will offer home, fashion and technology products and services. The opening follows hot on the heels of the new John Lewis store at London’s Westfield. Martin joined the Partnership as a shop floor assistant at the retailer’s Southsea department store 18 years ago, and has since held senior roles in several John Lewis shops including Southampton, Bluewater, Newbury, most recently managing John Lewis’s Chichester shop. Above: John Lewis, Cheltenham.

A Seat At The Table Following on from her visit to the House of Lords Genesis initiative meeting in March, Sarah Ward (right), chief executive of The Giftware Association, was subsequently invited to attend a Fringe Summit in mid-April to discuss SME finance, funding platforms, industry trends and emerging opportunities, particularly in relation to post-Brexit. She was one of only two representatives from the previous Genesis meeting to be invited. April’s meeting was part of the exclusive Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting London 2018 (CHOGM), which was hosted by the UK for the first time, with Sarah there to present the views of the Association’s members.

What’s New At Home & Gift Four new sectors - Taste, Design Now, Made and Design Home & Interiors - will be launched at July’s Home & Gift show in Harrogate, joining the Design-led Gift, Gift, Greetings & Stationery, Home Interiors, and Jewellery and Fashion sectors. The show, which will feature over 1,000 brands, will be opening its doors from July 15-18, with The Great Northern Retail Forum returning. Visit www.homeandgift.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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Industry News

Honoured!

Licensed To Thrill

Wild & Wolf Awarded OBE In Queen’s Birthday Honours Wild & Wolf has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2018 with the official announcement made on Saturday April 21 by Her Majesty, the date of her 92nd birthday. The company has been recognised for its excellence in international trade, demonstrating substantial international growth in overseas earnings, and commercial success within its sector. It is one of 238 organisations nationwide to be presented with the prestigious accolade. “It is a great honour to have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade,” stated Wild & Wolf’s ceo Paul Taylor. “We’ve experienced tremendous growth in our international trade, particularly in the last three years. Once a predominantly UK driven business, by the end of 2018, two thirds of our business will be outside of the UK, with the USA being our single biggest market.” Continues Paul: “We hope that winning this award will further drive prosperous international growth in markets such as Asia and in the EU. This coveted award is testament to the fantastic team we have here at Wild & Wolf, and we’re proud of our contribution in raising the global profile of great British design.” Above: Paul Taylor, ceo, Wild and Wolf. The company will celebrate its award during a Royal reception for Queen’s Awards winners in the summer. A trophy will also be presented by Royal appointment later in the year at their Manvers Street office. Wild and Wolf has enjoyed global success over the past 12 years, with its products now sold in over 60 countries worldwide through premium, specialty, mid-tier and department stores, as well as over 5000 independent destination lifestyle stores. The award comes at an exciting time. In January, the company relocated its head office to a unique, tailor-made office space in the centre of Bath on Manvers Street, designed to inspire creativity and innovation. The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are one of the UK’s most respected business awards. Judged solely on merit, the awards recognise and celebrate business excellence across the UK. First instigated by Royal Warrant in 1965, and now in their 52nd year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have a long history of recognising exceptional UK businesses. Founded in 2005, and now employing 150 people globally, Wild & Wolf creates design-led gifts and lifestyle products across a wide portfolio of popular licensed and own IP brands. From homewares to stationery, as well as toys and games, the company’s innovative product collections combine form and function with exceptional design.

Official Royal Wedding Ceramics As soon as Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle was announced, The Royal Collection Trust doubtless went into full production to commemorate the couple’s big day with official merchandise, commissioned by Buckingham Palace. Naturally Prince Harry and Meghan personally approved the English fine bone china, with the pieces featuring special details relating to their marriage. These include the border design which replicates the door of St George’s Chapel where the couple are getting married, and the couple’s initials, which are written in gold on all the pieces. The colourway is cornflower blue, finished with touches of white. Pieces include mugs, plates, a tankard and a pillbox. The collection has been made following traditional methods, with all profits from the sale of the items going to The Royal Collection Trust. l Among ther gift companies who have brought out Royal Wedding memorabilia are Dunoon, Lesser & Pavey, Widdop and Co., Ulster Weavers and Emma Bridgewater. Above: Some of the items in The Royal Collection Trust’s Royal Wedding range.

At the time of going to press on April 20, the winners are yet to be announced for The Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards with seven companies shortlisted in the Best Brand Licensing Gifting Product Range category. The category finalists are: Paladone, for its Discovery Science Gift Range; Portico Design for its Eden Project Garden Gfiting; The Einstein Collection from Professor Puzzle; Kimm & Miller’s Kellogg’s Gift Range, Pyramid International for its Ninetendo SNES Gift range, Wild & Wolf for its Orla Keily stationery collection and Blueprint Collection’s Yvonne Ellen collection. The Awards will take place at the Dorchester Hotel, London at the end of April, attended by over 400 retailers, licensees, brand owners and representatives. The event sets out to reward excellence in product innovation and brand licensing management as well as retail execution, within the ever evolving brand and lifestyle licensing arena. The Awards are owned and organised by Max Publishing, organisers of The Greats Awards. (See page 11). Below: Wild & Wolf’s Orla Kiely stationery collection.

Licensing Awards Open The Licensing Awards 2018 are now open for entry, with gift suppliers encouraged to send in licensed product. The winners will be announced at London’s Grosvenor House on Tuesday September 11. The Awards categories cover all aspects of the UK licensing industry, with the closing date for entries May 31, 2018.

Walking For Charity Boxer Gift’s strategic operations manager, Thomas O’Brien, will be among the ‘gifties’ and ‘cardies’ walking to help raise money for the annual Cardgains Charity Challenge. Thomas and other Cardgains members will be putting their best foot forward on a 27.5 mile walk in the Lake District covering two legs of the Cumbria Way. The Challenge, which will take place on Thursday June 21, is in aid of Cardgains charity of the year, the Motor Neurone Disease Association. There is still time to enter the event, just request a registration form from kerry@bridewelluk.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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Industry News

The Greats Finalists Hitting The Headlines To the delight of owners Kieron Cockley and David Lorimer, gift shop Brocante in Fowey, a finalist in the 2018 Independent Gift Retailer of the Year South West category, received a massive boost in the Daily Express. Writing in the newspaper, former TV presenter Judy Finegan – of Richard and Judy fame – named Brocante as her favourite gift shop! Bemoaning a wet Spring in Cornwall, Judy wrote: “Normally in April, I’m making plans for a mini house makeover: a visit to the Duchy of Cornwall nurseries to buy plants and tubs for the terrace, plus a trip to my favourite shop, Brocante in Fowey, for new vases, candles and cushions.” Meanwhile, since announcing The Greats 2018 finalists in March, gift shops have been making the most of their success by not only letting their local media know, but also by shouting about the news on social media platforms. Press coverage has included a feature in the local newspaper, the Epsom Guardian, as well as the KT Connections local magazine for Alligator Pear in Tadworth. “We also had had a fantastic response to our social media posts promoting our two finalist positions,” enthused owner Maggie Thornton. At Joco Interiors in Nuneaton, owner Jo Williams was thrilled to receive some lovely message from her customers on Facebook. l The Greats Awards 2018 take place on Thursday May 17 at the Grosvenor House, with this year’s theme The ‘Greats’ Gatsby. Tickets are available from event manager Clare Davies e: clare@createvents.co.uk or phone 01183 340085 with everyone who is a part of the gift industry invited to join in the celebrations. “It’s such a glamorous and exciting day,” comments PG&H’s editor Sue Marks. “We can’t wait to announce and congratulate the winners!” The Greats are owned by Max Publishing. Visit www.thegreatsawards.co.uk

Taking NY NOW To The Next Level NY NOW’s summer 2018 market has reverted to its traditional, preferred summer date pattern in mid-August, with the show taking place from August 12-15, 2018, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. “NY NOW is the epicenter for the latest trends in fashionable, designforward products from established and emerging brands,” said Randi Mohr, vice president and NY NOW director. “New for this season sees us taking the NY NOW experience to the next level. At the summer edition, buyers can expect to see new additions debuting on our market floor including exciting events and promotions, plus the expansion of our informative and educational seminar programming.” To connect attendees and brands with the products that are of most interest, NY NOW will be increasing its focus on matchmaking services that help make new connections. There will also be enhanced on-site show experiences, including more greeters, music on the floor and additional amenities including new lounges, more Happy Hours, morning Coffee Hours, giveaways and other events. Educational seminars will address some of today’s most talked about topics. Registration will open mid-May. Visit www.nynow.com

Top: The Brocante ‘plug’ that appeared in the Daily Express, written by Judy Finegan. Above: Alligator Pear’s Greats coverage in the Epsom Guardian. Right: Joco Interior’s Facebook post.

Consumer Spending Slows With the high street clearly struggling, March’s latest figures from the BRC/KPMG were disappointing. The total amount spent in retail rose by 2.3% in March, compared to March 2017, but this included sales generated by an early Easter. Sales of non-food products fell by 3%, reflecting a need for households to rein in spending on non-essentials. “There’s no doubt that the Beast from the East and its successor played a significant role in deterring shoppers from store visits,” commented Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Other retail findings from the BRC focused on trips to the shops slumping by 6%, largely affecting Greater London (down 7.5%), the South East (down 6.5%) and the East Midlands (down 5.6%). “We are seeing a longer term trend of reduced footfall which highlights that shoppers face more choice in terms of how, where and when they shop,” stated the BRC’s chief executive Helen Dickinson. Barclaycard too, confirmed that consumer spending slowed in March, growing by 2% compared to 3.8% in February, marking the lowest level of growth since April 2016. However, online sales of non-food items increased by 7.9% in March compared to the previous March. For how independent gift shops fared, please turn to Feedback on pages 25-27. l As online sales continue to bite, Debenhams has revealed that its half year profits have halved, with a 2.5% slump in like-for-like sales. Left: Debenhams is among the department stores seeing profits fall.

Positive Trading News For Dunelm Dunelm seems to be bucking the current retail trend, with homewares credited for enhancing the retailer’s position as a market leader. Dunelm’s third quarter trading update, covering the 13 week period ending on March 31, saw total revenue for the quarter rise by 5.1% to £268.2m. Total like-for-like revenue grew by 4.6%, continuing the growth trend seen in the first half. “Our continuing market share gains in the homewares category reflect the underlying strength of our brand and operating model. As a result, our expectations for the full year remain unchanged,” states Dunelm’s new chief executive Nick Wilkinson. Dunelm currently has 169 superstores with no plans to open any further stores in the remainder of the financial year. Above: Dunelm is currently among retail’s success stories.

PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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2018/19

Discover at Tendence the latest fashion accessory and jewellery must-haves, as well as lots of other highlights from the home and gift segments for the autumn/winter season and the coming spring/summer 2019. All details can be found at: tendence.messefrankfurt.com info@uk.messefrankfurt.com Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83

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Industry News

Tap Water Gets A Thumbs Up Re-Usable Bottles The Way Forward Following bottled water receiving a negative press - recent analysis revealed that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastic – lifestyle/gift retailers have even more scientifically proved reasons to encourage their customers to buy reusable bottles. Recent analysis of 259 bottles from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands found an average of 325 plastic particles for every litre of water being sold. The scientists who conducted the analysis in America said that they found twice as many plastic particles in bottled water than those found in a previous study of tap water. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water. Lifestyle retailer Oliver Bonas is among the independents who are encouraging customers to cut down on plastic waste. “Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact plastic water bottles are having on our environment, particularly oceans,” the company’s gift buyer Hannah Tait told PG&H. “The recent Blue Planet series definitely highlighted this message, and our customers are responding by cutting down their individual plastic waste through buying reusable, well designed water bottles that easily fit into their lifestyle. The plastic reducing, environmentally friendly message is also highlighted on our website.” Other gift/lifestyle stores seeing huge interest from sales of re-usable products include Brighton’s England At Home, where owner Bob England highlights the popularity of re-usable travel coffee cups. It’s a similar story at the other end of the country with Fiona Fabien, owner of Papyrus in Glasgow, confirming that the store is struggling to keep re-usable coffee cups in stock. See Feedback on pages 25-27. Left: Re-usable water bottles are driving business for Oliver Bonas.

Re-Usable Coffee Cups Distribution Showing its eco-credentials, Blue Eyed Sun recently signed a distribution deal with design-led German company Chic Mic to distribute BambooCup, SlideCup and BambooFriends brands of lifestyle giftware in the UK and Ireland. The company’s re-usable coffee cups - currently a big product trend for lifestyle and gift shops - were a huge hit at Spring Fair, providing sustainable eco solutions to the escalating problem of single use plastics. “We’ve been working with Chic Mic for several years in Germany and Austria, where they distribute Blue Eyed Sun’s handmade greeting cards to hundreds of stores,” explained Jeremy Corner, MD of Blue Eyed Sun, who becomes chairman of The Giftware Association this summer.

Exclusively’s Strong Seminar Line-Up Seminar speakers at June’s Exclusively Housewares show will include Phil Pond from trend forecasters Scarlet Opus. Phil, a familiar presenter at the show, will be revealing the three key consumer trends for 2018/2019, explaining how they translate into housewares products, and how retailers can use the knowledge to inform and inspire retail merchandising. Other speakers will be the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Laura Cohen, who will talk about the relevance of the trusted consumer champion, and Kelly Whitwick from market research company GFK, who will be presenting relevant market updates. Additionally, bira will be holding a panel discussion with selected members to discuss the issues faced by independents in today’s market place. The session will be followed by a Q&A. Trend tours will be again be taking place at the show, where Scarlet Opus have selected10 items to reflect the needs and wants of consumers. To book a place, visit www.exclusivelyhousewares.co.uk Meanwhile, a trend display area can also be browsed alongside the media centre which is situated above the Exclusively Electrical show. Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical, take place at London Business Design Centre on Tuesday June 12 and Wednesday June 13. See Cooking Up A Storm on pages 57-61. Above: Trends will be a major focus at the show.

Right: Blue Eyed Sun will be distributing BambooCup in the UK.

Festive Thinking New ‘Refill’ Initiative Going forward, people will be able to refill water bottles for free in tens of thousands of places in England following the recent announcement of a new national scheme by water companies joining forces with the Refill campaign. The new initiative is expected to cut plastic bottle use by tens of millions each year, with a network of refill stations network in high street retailers, coffee shops, businesses and local authorities in every major city and town in England by 2021. Some water companies are looking at installing new public drinking fountains and restoring some historical ones. Water UK chief executive Michael Roberts highlighted the environmental benefits. “This country has some of the best drinking water in the world and we want everyone to benefit from it,” he stated. “This scheme will do that by making it easier for people to refill their bottles wherever they work, rest, shop or play.” l Twenty new drinking fountains are being installed across London as part of a pilot scheme, while a bottle-refill initiative, in which businesses make tap water available to the public, has been set up in five areas of the capital. If the scheme is successful, a network of fountains and refill points will follow. Above: Refill Bristol is partnering with Bristol Water this year to help spread the refill message throughout the Bristol region.

Harrogate Christmas & Gift will be back at the Harrogate Convention Centre from January 1316, 2019. “Harrogate Christmas & Gift has seen significant growth in the past five or six years filling seven halls of the Harrogate Convention Centre and attracting almost 5,000 serious buyers,” says Simon Anslow, show organiser. “Products on show have diversified from simply Christmas decorations to a large range of toys, gifts, greetings cards, aromatherapy products, confectionery, garden ornaments and even furniture ranges. The show is a favourite with garden centre buyers – so almost anything found in this type of retail setting can now be sourced at the show.” Visit www.harrogatefair.com

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Industry News

Ahead Of The Trend Curve Pulse Reveals What’s New For Autumn/Winter Looking ahead to the second half of the year, Autumn/Winter 18/19 trends will be very much to the fore at Pulse, with new products, brand launches and Christmas collections showcased at London’s Olympia from May 13-15. “We are continuously on the hunt for talented new designer-makers and exciting new UK and international brands, making it easy for retailers to discover those unique gems, midseason,” says Pulse’s show director Louise Morris. “It’s the perfect place to shop the next big trends, the next best sellers and those stand out products that will really enhance a store’s offering and keep them one step ahead.” New to Pulse 2018 is the Jewellery Emporium, which will bring a unique selection of unseen Jewellery designers together at the show. Other Above: Some of the striking products highlights include Makers, an edit of products from talented new being showcased at Pulse in May. designer-makers; the highly edited Fashion; Brands, featuring new launches from leading brands showcased in one buying location, and Found, a sector dedicated to bringing buyers never-seenbefore international brands. Elsewhere, inspirational talks will be taking place at ShopTalk featuring keynote speaker Sophie Conran, along with experts from the V&A, Heals, Not On The High Street and Save the Hight Street. Visit www.pulse-london.com

Spot The Next Big Designer Could visitors to University of the Arts London’s (UAL) feature at Pulse discover the next Terence Conran, Stella McCartney or Susan Williams-Ellis? The university will present a hand-picked preview selection of design products by emerging designers, created by 13 of its students and alumni. Many have never exhibited at a trade show before. The stand will feature a diverse range of products from fashion accessories and stationery to prints, furniture and household products. Selections were based on the commercial viability and creativity of their products. “Our partnership with Pulse provides UAL students and graduates with a platform to launch their businesses to the world, making our stand the place to discover exciting up-and-coming designers,” said Vicky Creevey, enterprise & events manager, careers and employability at UAL. The 13 chosen design businesses are part of UAL’s prestigious network of alumni, which includes: Terence Conran, James Dyson, Margaret Calvert, Neville Brody, Susan Williams-Ellis, Tatty Devine’s Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden and Stella McCartney. Above: A quirky pair of earrings from UAL exhibitor Peggy Beards.

Sweet Smell Of Success

PEOPLE p Ahead of Exclusively Housewares, Nick Cornwell, previously MD at DKB Household, has been appointed as MD of Black + Blum, the award winning designled housewares company. Founded by Dan Black, Black + Blum is currently enjoying success in the UK and internationally with its new Eau Good water bottle collections and Box Appetit food-onthe-go ranges. Above: Nick Cornwell and Dan Black say ‘cheers’ to their new partnership.

p Fiona Burge (right) , has been appointed key account manager at Really Good/Soul, having previously held a similar position with gift company Apples to Pears. Fiona, whose father is Peter Reichwald, founder of Great British Card Company (GBCC), also spent seven years working for the company, subsequently setting up her own gift company, B Gifted. At Really Good, she will be working with existing, established key accounts while growing the business with development for new areas in the multiple sector. p Edd Cannan has joined the sales team at Lesser & Pavey as sales executive for the Midlands and Wales. MD Julian Hunt commented: “He brings with him youthful enthusiasm and years of retail experience.” Edd will be based in Sutton Coldfield.

Sadly Missed A gift industry veteran, John Rutter, sadly passed away earlier this year. Parlane’s MD Mike Burgess shares his memories: “It is with great sadness that I report that John Rutter passed away at his house in Spain earlier this year. He leaves his wife Britt. John founded Parlane 48 years ago and later went on to introduce SIA to the UK market. John and I were great friends and he very generously shared his knowledge with me. I will miss him.”

Ashleigh & Burwood’s Pinemingos is among the finalists in the prestigious Fragrance Foundation Awards, shortlisted in the Best New Home Fragrance category. “We are over the moon,” enthused Ashleigh & Burwood’s Anna Bourret. “We’re incredibly proud of the product and thrilled that the efforts of the A&B team are being recognised. Everyone who has helped create this collection, from the original inspirations and Putting Up The Closed Sign design to the optimisation of the Rising costs and a preference for online shopping has led to 16 stores formula for the perfect burn, closing every day, according to a report by Pricewaterhousecoopers. deserves to be celebrated.” Some 5,855 shops closed last year, the highest level since 2014. It The luxury scented candle is part of the company’s Wild Things compared to an average of 11 stores opening each day in 2017, collection which was launched last year, and is fragranced with reported to be the lowest figure for seven years. coconut and lychee. Major multiple retailers who have been forced to close stores include Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and New Look, with Toys R Us The winners will be announced on May 17 at the Brewery in the and Maplin going into administration earlier in the year. Also currently City of London. struggling for survival are Mothercare, Carpetright, B&Q and Moss Bros. Above: Pinemingos from Ashleigh & Burwood’s Wild Things collection.

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Industry News

In The Bag Charity Fundraiser From Caroline Gardner Gift, lifestyle and greeting card company Caroline Gardner recently took to the drawing board to design a jute charity shopper for Waitrose which has sold 10,000 units, raising significant sums for Meningitis Now. The Caroline Gardner X Meningitis Now jute/cotton bag design was inspired by one of Caroline’s designs for the Spring/Summer 18 collection called Green Dreamer. It went on sale in Waitrose in February for £5 with 50p from every sale going to Meningitis Now. Senior sales and marketing coordinator Luca Bridges enthused: “the bag has been a real success, with around 10,000 bags sold so far. We’re Above: The hugely popular absolutely delighted.” fund raising jute/cotton shopper designed by Caroline The fun, abstract floral print on the shopper is complemented by a Gardner for Waitrose. bold orange stripe in the gusset which can double up as beach bag. Meningitis Now is a cause very close to Caroline Gardner’s heart. Founders Caroline and Angus Gardner chose the charity 15 years ago, having had a personal experience with the illness when their then six-month-old son, Sebastian contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia. Thankfully he recovered and the family looked to help raise awareness through fund raising on behalf of Meningitis Now. During that time Caroline Gardner has also raised over £100,000 for the charity through the sale of Caroline Gardner Christmas cards. “We are so pleased to have been able to help bring this bag to the market,” comments Caroline. “Meningitis Now is a fabulous charity and I feel sure that the new Green Dreamer print will help build upon the success that these fabulous reusable bags enjoy in Waitrose.” Currently there are plans in the pipeline to produce another bag for Waitrose next year.

Bira Looks To The Future Gift shop owners (and past Greats winners) Emma Woodward and Samantha Yair, owners of Aspire Style, a chain of independent lifestyle and gift boutiques, will be among the speakers at this year’s bira National Conference which takes place on May 10 at Jurys Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire. (Aspire was also the winner of the bira Award for Independent Business of the Year in 2016). “Members from every sector will be coming together to network, share ideas and be inspired by the speaker line-up,” comments bira’s ceo Alan Hawkins. “Additional speakers include the brilliant Levi Roots, who will be talking us through his recipe to success, as well as speakers from Trouva and Vend who will talk about retail tech trends as well as using the internet to enhance your business,” explains Alan. “Promoting yourself online and using the tools available to you will be covered as well as a not-to-be-missed cyber-crime prevention session, to make retailers feel safe using the internet. As our Association heads into a new era, it is a good time to look to the future. Retail itself is changing at a record speed, and with the likes of Toys R Us closing its doors, it has never been more important to focus on what future retailing looks like and what retailers need to do to survive.” Delegates will also be able to choose from three ‘breakout’ sessions entitled Grow, Innovate and Challenge. The day will be rounded off with the bira Awards ceremony, hosted by radio presenter Reverend Richard Coles, formally from The Communards, and a recent contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Visit https://bira.co.uk/conference-2018/ Above right: Emma Woodward and Samantha Yair, co-owners of Aspire Style, are shown at The Greats Awards in 2015 where they won the Best Display category. Above: Bira’s keynote Conference speaker will be Levi Roots. Right: Alan Hawkins, ceo bira.

NEWS IN BRIEF p Defying the current woes of the high street, stationery, toy and book company The Works (right) is seeking a listing on the London Stock Exchange, and is looking at £100m float. The retailer, which currently has 400 UK stores, plans to open 50 new stores this year. p bira’s recent Quarterly Sales Monitor survey showed a decline for independent retailers in general when comparing Q4 of 2017 to Q4 of 2016 - although in Scotland and Northern Ireland, both experienced improvements. p More news from bira is that the organisation will be supporting Independents’ Day UK, a not-for-profit campaign that supports and promote independent retail businesses across the UK with an annual focus on July, ‘Independents’ Day’ itself. See at www.independentsdayuk.org. p Tobar International has acquired H. Grossman, Scotland’s largest toy company. Founded in 1973, Tobar is a multi-channel supplier and development centre for toys, gifts and gadgets. p Living rooms in new build homes are almost a third smaller than in living rooms of the 1970s. (Source: LABC Warranty)

Bira Heads To Paris Members are invited to join bira for a retail study tour to Paris in mid-October, including visits to independent boutiques and behind the scenes visits to department stores. “There are some hidden gems that we will be unearthing on our behind-thescenes shop tours, including visits to homewares and cookware independents,” comments bira’s event manager Lauren Chadwick. Reflecting on bira’s successful NYC Retail Study Tour in 2014, attendees from Barkers, Northallerton, Charles, Melanie, Ian and Guy Barker, said: “We had the opportunity to engage and question the owners and management of the stores and also to network with other retailers.” Contact Lauren Chadwick on 0121 446 6688 or email events@bira.co.uk Above: Award winning Parisian lifestyle retailer Merci.

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Industry News

On The Cards PG Live’s 10th Anniversary Progressive Greetings Live, which is the world’s only trade exhibition dedicated to the greeting card industry, celebrates its 10th milestone anniversary in June. Reflecting the industry it celebrates, the show is on course to be fun and vibrant, with the popular Springboard sector again playing host to up-and-coming publishers as well as a host of newbies. The two day show, held at the Business Design Centre in London’s trendy Islington, on June 5-6, will see over 250 greeting card publishers - 100 exclusive to the show - unveil thousands of their latest designs to retail buyers and distributors from all over the world. Above: PG Live will be opening its doors at the Business Design Centre, Islington, Renowned for its friendly atmosphere and hospitality on June 5-6. exhibitors and visitors will be able to enjoy a free lunch and refreshments on both days, along with free wi fi in the Henry Cole lounge - PG Live will be showcasing the best the industry has to offer from hundreds of exhibitors ranging from major publishers and leading brands to boutique names and new designers. l To celebrate PG Live’s 10th year, a special birthday party will be held in the Gallery Hall at the close of the first day of the show on June 5. Visit www.ProgressiveGreetingsLive.co.uk (See Perfect 10 on pages 31-33).

Card Sharp Report Recent research findings from Card Factory, carried out by OC&C, were revealed in ceo Karen Hubbard’s executive report - and it’s good news for gift shops stocking greeting cards. Encouraging findings showed that the market for single greeting cards is “well established, robust and resilient”, continuing to show a modest growth in terms of value, despite an expected slight decline in volume. The report also reveals that there has been an increase in the number of greeting cards purchased by Millennials, and that there continues to be no meaningful shift to digital greeting cards. “Fewer customer than ever are suggesting that they are replacing a physical card with a digital greeting,” confirms Karen. l The retail multiple saw its sales of cards and gifts shoot up by 6% (up to £422.1m) and like-for-like sales increase by 2.9% although pre-tax profits dropped by 11.9%. Card Factory currently trades from 900 stores, and will be continuing its retail strategy of opening 50 new stores every year. Above: Card Factory reports that sales are on the up.

Tools Reimagined Wild & Wolf is reinventing its first ever brand for a new audience. Pretty Useful Tools was the first collection Wild & Wolf released to the gifting industry in 2005, and was the first of its kind to design and manufacture floral prints directly onto tools. This later became the company’s V&A range, when they joined forces with the Victoria & Albert Museum to produce a licensed range of garden tools. “This is a great opportunity to set a new direction in the Above: The new, re-imagined modern gift market, and supply great products for a new Pretty Useful Tools collection generation of consumers,” comments brand director Dave Heffernan. from Wild & Wolf. The new collections span travel, outdoor, beauty and home, with unique products such as the credit card multi-tool, hideaway flashlight and travel manicure set.

Not So Charitable As PG&H’s recent Retail Barometer revealed, charity shops selling gifts are continuing to have a detrimental effect for gift shops, with 36% highlighting them as a threat. Now, a report from Demos has revealed that 50% of Britons think that there should be fewer charity shops on the high street, with a large proportion of consumers associating charity shops with the decline of the high street. Interestingly, the findings of the report highlighted that the predominance of charity shops on the high street are mainly as a result of fashion brands such as New Look closing their high street stores. Left: Are consumers falling out of love with charity shops?.

What’s Trending At Tendence Hall 11.0 will play host to a brand new sector at Tendence, which takes place from June 30-July 3 at Messe Frankfurt. The Paper & Friends area will showcase gift books and notebooks, alongside calendars, greeting cards and postcards. "We will be offering stationery, gift and lifestyle shop owners a product mix that is diverse, but where everything goes together,” says Bettina Bär, director, Tendence. "With its date in early summer, Tendence presents an ideal ordering platform for the whole range of Christmas stationery products.” Elsewhere, the show will be demonstrating various retail avenues in the special Tendence.Impulse area in Hall 11.0, including ways in which the retail trade can make their customers’ lives faster, simpler and, ultimately, more beautiful, say the organisers. Information, training and interaction will be available on the main theme, 'creating shopping experiences', which will be unveiled across four different sections. Further visitor inspiration will come from the Concept Store presentation area in Hall 9.0, with practical retailer business tips offered at the stage area in Hall 9.1. Visit www.tendence.messefrankfurt.com

Spot On At Top Drawer Calling all small businesses! Top Drawer’s September show is on the lookout for international brands looking to make their debut at a trade show across Gift, Greetings & Stationery, Fashion, Craft and Food. All Spotted brands receive a three year plan discount programme and are also eligible to enter the Spotted Award, a prestigious new prize judged by a panel of industry professionals. Awarded to the three most original, best designed and most promising brands at the showcase, the prizes include a free stand at Top Drawer Spring for the winner and a series of mentoring sessions with key designers, retailers, brand consultants and PRs for the three finalists. Spotted, which was first launched eight years ago, has helped to launch over 200 small business, and is a ‘must see’ sector for many buyers. Above: Stay Sixty, among the exhibitors at Top Drawer in September.

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Left: Nic Stone. Below: An overload of gift wrapping is taking up valuable stockroom space.

GIFT OF THE

GAB

To Wrap, Or Not To Wrap,

That Is The Question Do giftware suppliers really need to send retailers so much branded gift packaging?, muses columnist Nic Stone, owner of The Bottle Kiln in West Hallam. It takes up valuable stockroom space, and frankly, Nic would rather customers walked out with the shop’s own branded carrier bags. Also, in many instances, customers are perfectly happy to bring in their own bags. And yet, he can’t help recalling the flamboyant giftwrapping scene in the film Love Actually... just don’t call him Mr. Bean! “How many times has it happened to you? You’ve made a sale and you’re doing the whole fancy wrapping up thing, tissue, raffia, nice carrier etc, when the customer refers to the scene from Love Actually where Rowan Atkinson performs an elaborately exaggerated gift wrapping performance (which, in that instance, the customer doesn’t even want) in which the gift itself is all but eclipsed by the way it is packaged. Pot pourri, the lot! It has become a familiar reference which quite rightly satirises the over-wrapping which so often takes place now. You smile politely at the customer and pretend no-one has mentioned it before, though if you are going to compare me to anyone please God let it be anyone but Mr flipping Bean! I thought about it recently when tidying up our stockroom. We are lucky to have a good-sized space in which to keep additional stock, props, till rolls, spare light bulbs and all of the usual paraphernalia, and yet it is beginning to disappear under a growing mountain of bags, pouches, jewellery boxes, sleeves and packets. Some of them are our own branded bags and boxes which, to be fair, on their own cover pretty much all the bases. Most of it is the stuff that now comes with so many branded lines you buy. We have scarf and bag companies who send some kind of bag with every item, not to mention the jewellery people with their many different shaped boxes. They fondly imagine that

we live in an ideal world where the counter in your shop will tidily accommodate 25 different brands of packaging in all of their varying sizes, and every member of staff, no matter how part time, knows exactly which goes with which while the customer waits patiently. Anyone else live in that universe? Thought not. This is why the stuff builds up. It seems such a shame. Most of it is very nicely done and enhances the customer experience when it is got right, though if I am honest, I would rather people were walking out of the shop promoting our brand not someone else’s, especially having gone to considerable expense myself to get our own packaging looking good, in various different sizes and in huge quantities to get the unit price down. No-one watching the Blue Planet episode on plastic bags in the ocean can

have failed to reflect on the wastefulness and destructive capacity of our species. So much of what seems important to us on a day to day basis is utterly pointless in the great scheme of things and may be doing damage in ways we have never considered. Of course, if we pursue that train of thought for too long, the whole gift industry seems altogether a waste of time, but, as with all things, moderation and pragmatism go a long way. So my advice to suppliers would be this: go steady on the packaging; in reality most of us are probably using our own, or are using yours at a far slower rate than you are sending it. Why not ask each time if we need any more or if we want it at all? Is it an expense you really need to go to at all? It is heartbreaking for us to chuck it away unused but exasperating to have it take up our precious stockroom space as well. Small changes can have big effects; look at the plastic bag tax, and there is talk now of a tax on plastic bottles and maybe single-use coffee cups. These things ought to help. A small inconvenience to us now will make a big difference to the planet in the long run. Quite a few customers already prefer to use their own bags to save waste, and given that it saves me 10p or so when they do, who am I to argue? And yet... I still get a particular buzz when I wrap a simple gift up with a little more care and panache than the customer was expecting, and see the pleasant surprise spread across their face as it all comes together beautifully, and I drop it snugly into our smart waiting carrier and pass it across with a smile knowing how delighted the gift recipient is likely to be. Pot pourri anyone?” PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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LESLEY DUNNE

SOUNDING OFF

Engaging With Our Customers Of The Future

Above: Lesley Dunne. Below: The home page of Feathering Your Nest’s new website.

Eight years after her first foray into online retailing, Lesley Dunne, owner of Feathering Your Nest in Rayleigh, is back with a new website to stay in tune with her current - and future - customer base. “The winter hasn't been great news for retail lately with the sad demise of Maplin, Toys R Us and Carillion. Additionally, Tesco, New Look, Sainsbury's, M&S and Debenhams are all closing stores and making deep staff cuts. Nobody can deny retail isn't getting any easier. Everyone knows that both the face of retail and the face of the high street is changing. The good old days are gone and it's time to evolve or become extinct. It’s why we’ve gone back online. We tried it about eight years ago but (in reality) we didn't list the right products. Also, in those days, purchasing through the internet was fraught with problems and viewed suspiciously. It was a lot of work for little return. We resisted the pain for far too long but we know that it’s what customers expect today. Saying that, Mr D and I are both Baby Boomers, and back in the day, shops closed early Thursday and only CTNs and off licences were open Sundays! But it's no use stonewalling the changes of 24/7 retailing. We have to embrace them, through gritted teeth if need be! So thinking aloud, who are our customers? What's their average age? Where do they come from? Seriously, how long do you intend to keep your stores five, seven, ten years? Moreover, who will your customers be in five, seven, ten years from now? What are their shopping expectations, how will they shop? This point is particularly important. We have watched our customers’ children grow over 13 years, coming in with mum or nan, being school kids and shopping for their mates and mum's gifts. Now many are working or at uni, but they still return

with a reminiscent glimmer in their eye and brass in their pockets. We change the products trying to keep on trend, change the layout and change the colour of the shop, although our customer service remains the same. But we are constantly asked “Do you sell online?” or that they had already looked and found we didn't have a website. Their disappointment is obvious and that makes me feel bad. To me, it seems Generation Y (30ish) and Generation Z (teenagers) will be our customers in the coming ten years. Yes the customer service and retail experience will always be important, that goes (almost) without saying! But these smartphone savvy customers are constantly hitting their phones to find the best deals online long before they cross our bricks and mortar threshold. I'm not suggesting we try to undercut anyone - we independents don't have the capacity in our margins to

compete - but we can offer new product news, updates, choice, connection and an experience. For Baby Boomers, we are quite proactive on social media platforms but not great by any standards. It took us a while to realise the importance of keeping connected with our customers. It didn't happen overnight but we kept at it. The rewards are astounding at times: lovely feedback, new friends, likes, shares, fun and, of course, sales. So many sales come through the door because we put pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Interestingly, you get to realise that customers of different ages prefer different platforms, with the older generation, for example, preferring Facebook. How many retailers are connecting with their customers through social media? Many I know are not, but they have their own personal accounts on which they will happily post selfies etc., and then complain about business being bad. Social media is where so many of the customers are already hanging out, so why not grab their interest? I haven't got the answers but I do know that the social media boom isn't going away. It's here to stay and growing. I joined in the Instagram challenge #myshoplife2018 a 30 day challenge. It was great fun and helped me connect with lots of other businesses, sharing ideas, making friends and looking at products and displays. We shared the posts on Facebook too, which our customers loved. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at other businesses and seeing how they interact with their customers, having a look at how and what they do without leaving the shop. The way I view it is, if you are planning to stay in business for the next ten years then join the #social media, kicking and screaming if you must - but you must! Happy posting.” PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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Feedback First Quarter

Not Bad At All

Falling consumer confidence, higher inflation, reduced spending and rising costs: just some of the many challenges facing today’s retailers who are also grappling with business rates, rents, the national living wage and huge pressure from the increase in online shopping. It’s not a particularly pretty picture, with the Beast from the East impacting on footfall in the first quarter of the year, and rain driving away shoppers Inset: The Beast from the East took its toll on footfall. over the four day Easter weekend. It’s therefore no surprise that consumer spending has slowed. Surprise Performers But how have gift retailers fared? “At the end of the first quarter, I was pleasantly surprised that we finished 9% up on last year, despite early Spring seasons Surprisingly, the weather aside, the first three and the Beast from the East working against us,” confirms months have generally been pretty good say Fiona Fabien, owner of Papyrus, Glasgow. “The sectors a cross section of independents, with plenty showing the biggest increase were homewares and accessories. This contributed to a higher average spend as these products of ‘highs’ and some surprise product winners.

Up On Last Year “Overall, the beginning of 2018 has been positive with shop sales between Jan 1 - March 31 up 10% on last year and website sales up a huge 1056%,” confirms Jamie Webster, owner of Josie’s in Bideford. “Although my average spend in store dropped by 19%, customer numbers were up 36%, making up the difference. The drop is due to a change in store, with less higher ticket items of furniture, as I am preparing to open a new separate interiors store on May 3.” Unfortunately, Jamie says that the three big spring seasons gift dates were a bit disappointing. “I didn’t see increases with any of them,” he comments. “Easter started strong but, unfortunately, had a very poor end.” Although the average spend in store has dropped 19% due to different price points in store, Jamie highlights that online, his average spend has increased although very slightly. “Looking forward, I expect to see a huge increase in sales with the opening of my new interiors concept store alongside my current shop which will go back to being just a gift shop. My successful scores for the first quarter have been candles, lighting and the gift collection from Sass and Belle.”

have a higher average value. However, the surprise performers were reusable coffee cups. We have been stocking them for many years, but as environmental issues have increasingly come to the fore, this has affected customers’ choices. In fact, we’ve been struggling to keep them in stock.” As for the first gifting event of the year, Valentine’s Day, Fiona says that the shop’s turnover was up on last year. But Mother’s Day was a different story. “The snow hit us at a crucial time - 10 days before the event - and it lasted a good five days,” she highlights. “Glasgow ground to a halt and the public went into hibernation. We managed to open every day, but as the situation was out of our control, I didn’t stress at being down by 70% over those five days. Also, a very early Easter saw no respite in the miserably cold weather. Shopping centres fare well in these conditions, but not the high street. However, we were up 100% on Easter cards.” Looking to the rest of 2018, Fiona adds: “If the current trend continues, I’m optimistic for the rest of the year.” Below: Papyrus, Glasgow.

Above: Josie’s, Bideford.

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Feedback First Quarter An Eggscellent Easter Sunday “The first quarter has been fine apart, of course, from the snowy spells which obviously hurt trade on those days,” comments Bob England, owner of England At Home in Brighton. “Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day were similar to previous years, and although we don’t really do Easter themed products, the upturn in traffic due to the holidays was particularly pleasing. Easter Sunday trading was brilliant which was something of a surprise.” Bob adds that for obvious reasons, one particular product sector that has stood out this year has been re-useable travel coffee cups. “We sell several brands and all have regularly sold out as our suppliers have struggled to cope with demand.” As for the next quarter, Bob says he’s feeling optimistic. “I do feel good about the coming months,” he confirms. Below: England At Home, Brighton.

A Great Mother’s Day “We enjoyed our busiest day ever on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, selling out of numerous ‘mum’ gifts,” confirm Trudy Tebbutt and Tilley Rathie, co-owners of Marmalade Meringue in Hinckley. “Our most successful products continued to be fashion accessories - handbags, scarves, jewellery and travel wallets - with the average spend staying about the same.” Adds Tilley: “Our biggest highlight however, was launching an online store where we’ve been blown away by the response!” Above: Marmalade Meringue, Hinckley.

Rise In Turnover “A look back at our first quarter this year realised some surprising results,” comments Angela Jones, owner of Lily Blue in Hagley. “Despite the inevitable spikes in trade over the three main gifting events Valentine’s, Mother’s Day and Easter - at times, the shop felt quiet. Yet the average spend certainly increased across the board, revealing a fantastic overall 15.2% rise in turnover for the quarter. “Key accessory winners this season were, as always, Katie Loxton, but hot on their heels were Dansk jewellery and lux scarves, as well as Powder Design. Cadenza Italy, a newcomer for us, also flew off the shelves.” Angela says that looking ahead, she expects the next quarter to be steady and hopes to match sales figures against 2017. “This will stand us in good stead as we go through the year, giving us an opportunity to look at updating shop fittings, lighting, signage and retail selling spaces.” Above: Lily Blue, Hagley.

Easter Facts & Figures

Holding Steady “The word I’d use is ‘steady’ for the first quarter,” says Emma Paisey, owner, of Daisy Park in South Molton. “We were pretty much on a par with last year but feel the next quarter maybe tougher. With so many national and international issues, customers are holding onto every penny. The snow lost us a couple of days trading but our online sales increased as we think everyone was home looking for things to do.” She says that one of the shop’s biggest issues then was getting parcels out to customers. “They were delayed, and customers weren’t always happy, but the weather was out of our hands.” As for the three main gifting seasons, Emma confirms that they were all up on previous years, with Daisy Park having its best Mother’s Day and Easter. “Easter is growing year on year, and we ran out of cards early on, with decorations and gifts definitely on the up. It’s such a pretty season and we found that it was the smaller token gifts that were selling well in store, with prices under the £5 and £10 mark.” Above: Daisy Park, South Molton.

It’s Been OK

weekend, high street footfall was down compared to Easter 2017. l However, footfall was up by more than 5% at out-of-town shopping centres and retail parks on Good Friday and Easter Saturday compared to the previous year.

At Bromley & Co in Ipswich, co-owner Maxine Matthews confirms that so far, the year hasn’t been too bad at all. “We did have a week of snow, and local building work didn’t help, but the main Spring gifting seasons were better than in previous years for us. Gifts such as jewellery and bags have sold well this year, as has Wrendale, but unfortunately, housewares have declined. It’s hard to say why exactly, but I think it’s largely due to homes being built smaller, and people needing less to fill their rooms with. People don’t have the space that they used to.” Maxine adds that one product that has done very well is greeting cards. “At Easter for example, we sold more cards than usual.”

(Source: Springboard)

Left: Bromley & Co, Ipswich.

l Over the four day Easter

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TRENDS: Botanicals

Seen To Be Green Emerging trends are always a focal point at Pulse, taking place at London’s Olympia from May 13-15, with Crafted and Candied among the trends coming through for Autumn/Winter 2019. Meanwhile, with elements of ‘green’ currently big news across all gift and home sectors, PG&H highlights a selection of Pulse exhibitors whose giftware reflects the current Botanicals trend. (Pulse show sectors are shown in brackets).

Above: An unusual vase from Extra&ordinary. (UAL Now) Left: A gold leaf design necklace from A Weathered Penny. (Fashion) Below: A Botanical Species notebook from Catherine Lewis Designs. (Makers)

Above: A hand-painted gold and white jewellery dish showing a central botanical design by White Rain Designs. (Makers) Below: A colourful, leafy stationery design from Elvira van Vredenburgh Designs featuring bold colours. (Makers)

Above: Paradise Palms fabric travel bag from Nikki Strange. (Makers) Below: Lapuan Kankuri’s Makoto cushion cover. (Living)

Below: Studio Wald’s striking botanical tea towel. (Makers)

Below left: Larkspur in Green, part of the Ary Home collection, features spiralling leaves inspired by a William Morris pattern. (Brands)

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What I love most about PG Live is that it is compact, allowing us plenty of time with each exhibitor. Evelyn O’Flaherty and Sandra O’Connell Mooch Ealing

PG Live 2018 Tuesday 5 - Wednesday 6 June Business Design Centre, London +44 (0) 1635 297070 www.progressivegreetingslive.com @PGLiveLondon

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The Greatest Collection Of Greeting Cards In The World Celebrating ten years of showcasing design excellence, PG Live 2018 is proud to present the greatest collection of greeting cards in the world. Register online now to receive your free copy of the PG Live 2018 Show Preview, a fantastic glimpse behind the scenes of this year’s anniversary show, with exclusive launches and show-only offers from over 260 publishers, artists and designers.

Be InspIred Book Your Tickets Now

www.progressivegreetingslive.com

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A Perfect

PG Live 2018

Who’s Are The Newbies? Ten years on from the very first PG Live, launched in 2009, everyone’s favourite, dedicated greeting card show is back at the Business Design Centre in London’s Islington from June 5-6, where over 250 exhibitors - 100 exclusive to the show - will be fanfaring their latest card launches! But it’s not only the major publishers who will be revealing their newest collections. Newbies and start-ups can be found in the popular, expanding Springboard sector - a first port of call for many gift retailers looking to differentiate themselves from their local competitors. PG&H took a peek behind the scenes at what else will be giving the show an edge this year, and why gift retailers need to make PG Live the highlight in their card buying year. With the countdown to PG Live underway, Max Exhibitions’ joint show director Jakki Brown says she couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the show’s 10th milestone year with both exhibitors and visitors. “There’s more creativity and talent on show this year than ever,” she enthuses. “Over the past 10 years, we’ve loved watching industry

friendships develop, with everyone working together to help celebrate the wonderful, heart-warming greeting card industry that we all love so much. In addition, because all of our exhibitors expend such an incredible amount of effort, dedication and care into their new launches, nothing makes us happier than seeing retailers of all shapes and sizes, and across a wide card buying spectrum, coming along to the show.” Adds fellow joint show director Warren Lomax: “Each year, our exhibitors manage to go several steps further in terms of originality, imagination and quality. We couldn’t be prouder of what PG Live has become over the past decade.” Renowned for its huge energy, friendly atmosphere and artistic vibe, the show gives buyers the opportunity to really focus on greeting cards - with many leading

The Springboard section will again play host to over 120 up-and-coming publishers such as Bexy Boo, Coulson Macleod and Earlybird Designs who will all be returning, as well as newcomers such as Hue Tribe, HH and Rumble Cards. Other ‘Springboarders’ include Alljoy Designs, Jessica Hogarth Designs, Little Paperie and Pippi & Me. Above: "Welcome to PG Live, the show is officially open!" say organisers Max Exhibitions. Below left: There are always a host of special promotions and initiatives taking place. Below: Busy aisles at last year's show.

independents attending the show year on year to make their buying selections for the next 12 months. (That said, there will be some fabulous giftwrappings, party products and other treats there too!). For gift shops who are serious about greeting cards, it’s a win/win, ‘must attend’ show that, in its milestone 10th year, is continuing to go from strength to strength. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

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PG Live 2018

PG Live: Show Essentials DATE: VENUE: TEL: E-MAIL: WEB: VISITOR

Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 June, 2018 Business Design Centre, London +44 (0)1635 297070 warren@progressivegreetingslive.com www.progressivegreetingslive.com REGISTRATION: www.progressivegreetingslive.com

Left: The Business Design Centre, Islington. Below: It's time to party. Exhibitors and visitors are shown at the postshow drinks reception.

You’re Invited To The 10th Birthday Party! Everyone who attends PG Live on June 5 either as an exhibitor or a visitor - is invited to the 10th anniversary after show party! The drinks are on PG Live, and as always, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the company of industry friends and contacts in a relaxed social setting. This year’s very special birthday party takes place in the Gallery Hall from 5.45pm, so be sure you join in the party!

Bring On The Bubbles As in previous years, a champagne reception will be held for Greats winners and finalists on both days of the show, where retailers will able to see their store’s name on the fabulous Wall of Fame. In addition, this year’s finalists will have a £50 PG Live voucher to spend with the publisher of their choice at the show. Left: Recognition for achievement. Greats winners and finalists past and present clink glasses at the Greats Wall of Fame pre-lunch drinks party.

Things To Do At PG Live 2018 l Enjoy a free lunch on both days of the show

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courtesy of show organisers Max Exhibitions. Choose from hot and cold dishes or a selection of sandwiches. Keep energy levels up with free refreshments throughout the day, thanks to tea trolleys, sponsored by Fedrigoni, regularly doing the rounds. Gasping for water? There are free water stations too. Check emails by popping into the Henry Cole lounge where there’s free wi fi, provided by Skylight Media. Pick up a free goody bag designed by Hallmark, with a free catalogue inside.

What Gift Retailers Said...

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cards

l The UK greeting card market is widely

recognised as a world leader in greeting card design and publishing. l Interestingly, it is acknowledged to be 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in terms of design. l Britons buy more cards per person than any other nation - 33 each a year. l Some 85% of all cards are bought by women. l The vast majority of greeting cards are still bought in bricks and mortar stores, rather than online, and they remain an important, highly-profitable product for all types of retailers, being sold in one in six retail outlets. l The total retail value of single cards sales in the UK stood at over £1.526bn in 2016. l Everyday cards are now worth £1.178.8bn an increase of £28.7m from 2015, with sales of ages, occasions and relations showing the greatest growth to £680.6m. l Nearly 100m Christmas single cards were sold, bringing the total for the Christmas card market to 1bn cards sold in the UK. l Greeting cards are stocked in more types of outlet than any other product. l Charities estimate that £50m is raised for good causes through the sales of charity Christmas cards each year. (The latest Greeting Card Association report, which covers sales from JanuaryDecember 2016, is the only research based on actual retail sales figures, with data confidentially submitted by UK publishers to market analysts Ebiquity)

l "We were specifically looking for quirky,

individual companies and started on the ground floor and worked our way up. What I loved most about PG Live is that it is compact. We had plenty of time to spend with exhibitors as there was no need to rush." Evelyn O'Flaherty and Sandra OConnell, owners of Mooch in Ealing, West London l "I only wish I had been able to attend in previous years because this has to be one of the

best trade shows I’ve visited. There were so many fabulous cards and publishers to choose from that I was spoilt for choice! Stands were well laid out, there was a lovely free lunch with free refreshments, which all helped to make it a great day!" Jenny Morrison, owner of Top Drawer in St Andrews l "It was my second time at the show and I especially came to see the publishers in the

Springboard section. We're a small, artisan gift shop and I like to feel that I'm supporting start-up businesses on their journey." Cathy Frost, owner of Loveone in Ipswich l “We love the show, it's one of the nicest we go to. It's so friendly. It was our third time

there, and we were looking for new publishers. Springboard was our first port of call and we placed three orders in the first hour. Overall, we placed eight orders and acquired five new suppliers into our fold!" Julianne Moore, owner of MiMi (hw) in Hartley Wintney

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Gift Giving‌all wrapped up Enesco Limited, Head Office & Customer Services, Brunthill Road, Kingstown, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 0EN. Tel: 01228 404022 email: trade@enesco.co.uk Overseas Customer Services: Tel: +44 1228 404066 email: eurosales@enesco.co.uk Š Hallmark Cards, Inc.

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Spotlight On... Wedding Gifts

Love& Marriage The wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, later this month is sure to elicit a happy tear or two from both fans of the couple and Royalists. Everyone loves a wedding, and a Royal wedding at that! Yet a recent report from the Church of England reveals that the majority of Millennials are in no hurry to say ‘I do’ - for now anyway although millions of couples of all ages are still, of course, very happy to tie the knot. With the order of the day honeymoon funds rather than gifts for the home, PG&H walked down the aisle to take a look at the changing face of weddings, which nowadays sees the bride and groom among the most generous of gift buyers. Not that long ago, buying a wedding gift was pretty straightforward. There was a wedding list left at a department store such as John Lewis, with guests able pick and choose what to give according to their budget. Of course, today, it’s a very different matter, with wedding lists largely a thing of the past for modern couples, supplanted by requests for honeymoon contributions and much else besides. (Harry and Meghan for example, have asked their guests to donate to the charities that are closest to their hearts). With the majority of couples living together before they marry, few are collecting china, or looking for another toaster or

casserole dish - although gin and prosecco glasses still seem to be right up there! However, far from impacting on the wedding gift sector, the evolution of wedding gifting has simply adapted and changed, with the market splitting into several gifting areas: guests buying for the bride and groom; the bride and groom buying for the wedding party – primarily immediate family, bridesmaids, the best man and ushers – with an add-on being that the happy couple also want wedding accessories to help them personalise their big day. “Weddings continue to provide a significant focus for the giftware industry,

Below: Welcome to our wedding! A wood effect metal sign from PMC. Below middle A humorous wedding sign from Transomnia. Bottom: Widdop and Co’s Amore collection of wedding gifts has been expanded to include bridal shower gifts and decorative accessories.

especially as we enter the traditional wedding season,” concurs Rod O’Mahony, director, Transomnia. “After a period in which marriage appeared to be in decline, the number of UK weddings has been rising again, and this trend seems set to continue, especially with the fillip provided by Harry and Meghan’s nuptials.” He points to two main categories of wedding-related gifts: those given to the happy couple, which can encompass anything from a ‘his ‘n’ her’ photo frame to a set of saucepans, and those which are used as favours and/or decorations at the wedding reception. “The second category in

Storing Memories “A key trend across the giftware market is for items which are not only decorative but also have a function,” says Rod O’Mahony, director, Transomnia. “Wedding memories photo storage boxes are proving a real hit, as is our message heart photo frame, which not only allows the recipient to encapsulate a wedding memory, but also invites the guests in attendance to write and insert their own message from the special day.”

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Adding to the romance and elegance of Amore’s Wedding and Anniversary ranges...

Bridal Shower

To ďƒžnd out more about the Amore brand or to become a stockist visit www.amoregifts.co.uk

Broadgate, Broadway Business Park, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 9XE UK T: +44(0)161 688 1226 I F: +44(0)161 682 6808 I sales@widdop.co.uk I www.widdop.co.uk

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Spotlight On... Wedding Gifts particular has grown enormously in recent years, as the average amount spent on UK weddings has grown to more than £25,000, and looks set to continue rising as couples pull out all the stops for their big day.” With this in mind, the company has doubled the size of its wedding collection this year, with two themed ranges in the perennial wedding colours of cream and white. “With the LED trend in giftware still growing, we’ve extended our popular LED lanterns into the wedding collection,” confirms Rod. Also new for 2018 are LED strings of cream-coloured roses to provide the finishing touch to the wedding breakfast table. And as Rod observes: “Humour at weddings is no longer confined to the best

man’s speech, with our wide range of humorous signs including many aimed at newlyweds on and around the wedding day.” Widdop and Co’s marketing manager Sue Grant says that this year sees the culmination of several trends within the wedding market. “As more couples are marrying in unconventional locations, such as a converted barn or a stately home, decoration around the event is important. As a result we are seeing an increase in demand for signs, bunting, table confetti and decorations.” She highlights that the second trend is the enhancement of the wedding itself, with an injection of fun added into the proceedings. “Many couples are adding song request cards or wedding advice cards to their wedding day shopping list,” points out Sue. “Innovative versions of Above: Enesco’s Love Always. Left: Joe Davies’ gold foiled wedding wish and fund box.

Making It Personal With virtually everything able to be personalised these days, ‘bespoke’ gifts for the happy couple ensure that memories will last a lifetime. “With the development of personalised items, weddings nowadays are a premium industry, allowing couples to choose their own ways of making their day bespoke, and it won’t be slowing down any time soon,” says Signature Gifts’ trade marketing manager Kat Whittingham. “Whether it’s a thank you from the bride and groom, or a congratulatory gift for the happy couple, there’s an abundance of gifts. We cater to this market with our premium ranges of personalised alcohol, and also with book gifts centred around the date of the wedding day.” “Related gifts to the wedding season is a sector that seems to be growing year on year,” agrees Dominique Fracasso-Stroud, director, La de da! Living. “Trends seem to have branched out with a focus on specific and more personalised bridal party member gifts and keepsakes. Our personalised vintage cutlery has always been popular for wedding season, allowing our stockists to offer a bespoke service in-store. Our fragranced sentiment candles too, are ideal for the wedding season, featuring fun, witty quotes.”

guest books such as a heart token message box are now taking centre stage, allowing a twist on recording special messages and words of encouragement.” Although hen parties remain a popular event, Sue says that they’re not the choice of all brides. “More and more, bridal showers have started to make an appearance, possibly down to the average age of brides rising, with a gentle bridal shower sometimes preferred to a raucous hen party, with gifts for the bride including party game kits, sashes and an album to record the best - or worst! - moments.” Continued on page 39

At the Personalised Memento Company (PMC), marketing and product co-ordinator David Richardson says that small personalised keepsakes, such as wedding favours for guests, include small hanging decorations, sweets, chocolates and fridge magnets. “Our personalised ‘message in a bottle’ decorations are excellent examples of this, and fit well with rustic and natural themes.” Highlighting personalised venue decorations, he says that there’s a particular focus on metal decorations and signs. “In fact, these were some of our top sellers in wedding gifts for 2017,” he confirms. “Driving sales are natural colours, such as greens and browns, along with wood textures, as shown with the exceptional sales of our personalised woodgrain metal sign. Additionally, consumers are going back to basics with green design elements massive in all areas of gifts and homeware. A great example of this is our Fresh Botanical wedding range.” And even place cards are getting a make-over. As Thomas O’Brien, strategic operations director at Boxer Gifts comments “Our animal nose cups are a great way of saying ‘thank you’ to guests.” Above: A personalised gift for the father of the bride from Signature Gifts. Right: La de da! Living’s wedding candles.

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SEE THE FULL RANGE ON OUR WEBSITE

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Spotlight On... Wedding Gifts She adds that gifts for the bridal party, often with a sentimental thank you message, continue to go from strength to strength, with interesting additions such as a fragranced candle for a special bridesmaid or a whisky glass and coaster for the best man. “Gifts that tie-in with the actual wedding celebrations are trending heavily for the 2018 wedding season,” concurs Steve Davies, MD, Joe Davies. “Wedding wish boxes, fund boxes and LED jars and bottles are perfect examples of items that are being used to enhance the event. These attractive, fun wedding jars and bottles, conveying gold foiled messages, make stunning decorations for wedding tables, as well as the popular wedding wish boxes, and are a perfect way for friends and family to leave their messages and advice for the newlyweds.” Underlines Steve: “Fund boxes are driving sales within the gift market, and wedding fund boxes in particular are proving very popular. They’re a fun way to save for the happy day.” Of course, social media is playing a big role in the choices that couples are making. “Brides are looking for something more bespoke for their big day,” emphasises Enesco’s director of marketing Helen Cottrill. “Pinterest is playing a huge part in wedding planning now, and rather than relying on the wedding venue to ‘prop’ the big day it’s

Above: The new Mad Dots bracelets from Lesser & Pavey. Below right: A photo album from Really Good’s Imagine range. Below left: Bridesmaid’s Starlight bottle from Boxer Gifts.

become part of the planning and theme. We see a lot of retro and vintage inspired theming, which has resulted in our Love Always collection. Available in cream and duck egg blue, with metallic accents and an art deco feel, the product fits perfectly with the trend.” Yet the range doesn’t only focus on the wedding, but on the pre-planning too, with travel bags for the bride to take essentials to the venue, and clutch bags as a modern alternative for the bride. The collection also features stemless toasting glasses and mugs for the honeymoon breakfast. Unsurprisingly, Helen adds that Willow Tree is still the company’s best seller in the wedding figurine category, with Together and Promise riding high as top sellers for over 15 years. “Whatever the theme of the wedding, everyone can afford a gift that oozes style, with our Mad Dot range, under licence from Heart Designs, continuing to be a huge success,” says Julian Hunt, MD, Lesser & Pavey. “The range features diamante heart and gold scroll sentiment

writing, with messages of love for the happy couple and all those involved.” Brand new is a Mad Dot range of bracelets which Julian says make ideal wedding gifts for the proud mums of the bride and groom, as well as for the bridesmaids. Boxer Gifts’ strategic operations director, Thomas O’Brien, concurs that while gifts for the bride and groom are still a very important part of weddings, what’s really becoming the norm are gifts for guests and the bridesmaids for example, such as Boxer’s bridesmaid Starlight bottle and lustre prosecco glasses. “Using personal decorations in wedding venues too, is becoming important to brides and grooms,” says Thomas. “Unique products such as our Stars in Jars make for elegant table centre pieces and add a personal atmosphere to the room, making the special day even more memorable.” Wedding stationery too, has an important role to play. “Our existing Imagine range has now been extended with a set of wedding

stationery decorated with flora, fauna and birds,” says Fiona Burge, key account manager at Really Good/Soul. “As white and cream seem to be fading away as a popular colourway for weddings, this range features beautiful pastels and flashes of bolder colours. Wedding gifts now tend to lean towards design-led, fun or personalised.” On the gift front, clearly it’s as much about the ‘I Do’ – But Not Just Now! wedding party and guests as it l Marriages among the younger generation are plummeting. l Most Millennials say they are not in a hurry to get married, is about the new Mr and Mrs, although they do want to get married one day. with everyone from the best l Some 13% said they had no real interest or intention of man and the bridesmaids, to ever tying the knot. parents and parents-in-law, in l The average age of bride and grooms is now mid-30’s line for a little something to (2013), compared to mid to late 20’s in 1972. (Source: Church of England) say 'thank you'. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

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Scents

Spotlight On... Home Fragrancing

Making

Of Summer

Imagine an idyllic summer - hours of interrupted sunshine, colourful flowers, soft juicy fruits, far flung holiday destinations and exotic cocktails! And the good news is that, thanks to home fragrancing manufacturers and suppliers, these summertime feelgood moments have been encapsulated in brand new collections of candles, reed diffusers, fragranced sachets and more. Also trending are colours that reflect today’s interiors. PG&H went through the home fragrance ‘look book’ to reveal what’s sure to be hot this season. Home fragrance collections have become a staple for almost all gift shops, with irresistible scents and striking packaging encouraging customers to return time and time again. Vessels too, have upped their game, moving from the prosaic to the ‘show off’, as decorative home accessories in their own right. “Matching your fragrance with your interiors is a huge trend this year,” concurs Louise Dooley, commercial director at Stoneglow. “Dark navy, cool greys and dusty pinks are splashed all over social media, with home owners taking pride in the end result. Plus, fragrancing your home with your own signature scent, and having it in a matching vessel, adds the finishing touch, as reflected by our Luna collection. In addition, following on from a long, cold winter, fresh packaging and beautiful florals that transport people to sunnier climes, along with fragrances of flower filled gardens are in demand, as seen by our Botanic range.”

Above: Stoneglow’s Luna range tumblers. Below left: Bridgewater’s Sweet Grace, distributed by Heart of the Country. Below left: Wild Things’ Don’t Be Koi from Ashleigh & Burwood.

Also emphasising the importance of colour is Anna Bourret, new product development manager at Ashleigh & Burwood: “Colour is incredibly important for this season,” she states. “A colour injection from product vessels and packaging welcomes in brighter days, with the vibrant colours of our latest fragrance lamp gift sets specially selected for their feel good factor.” Adds Anna: “After many years of simple, filled jar candles and clear glass diffusers dominating the purchasing options in home scenting, consumers are looking for more decorative home fragrancing options. They are being drawn to elaborately designed vessels that make a statement in the home such as our Wild Things collection which customers love for its vibrant bold designs and luxurious styling.” Ben Stubbs, director, Heart of the Country, says that both fine and fresh fragrances continue to be in demand as customers tastes become more and more refined, and as the range of choice becomes increasingly vast. “Subdued pale and pastel colours, which work with, rather than against home décor colours, show no signs of slowing down,” says Ben. “Bridgewater Candle Company’s Sweet Grace, with its fine perfume-like fragrance and grey shades, is a case in point.” Safety too, plays an important role when fragrancing the home, says Ben. Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

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Spotlight On... Home Fragrancing “Safety of use and earth friendly credentials are becoming more and more important to customers. Scented sachets fragrance passively with no flame, heat or liquid and with 100% biodegradable and essential oil credentials they tick all the boxes.” Staying with colour, Price’s sales manager Laurence Whiting comments that the last few years have been dominated by pastel colours, with 2017 and 2018 moving towards bolder, brighter options. “We have always produced more subtle and realistic fragrances as standard and this is now bearing fruit, with colourful merchandising creating a visual impact.” At Wax Lyrical, summer florals continue to be a strong trend with vibrant colour palettes twinned with fresh, true to life floral fragrances. “All year round gifting and occasions take inspiration from some of our GiftsScents occasions such as Mother’s Day, Thank You Teacher, New Home etc,” comments MD Joanne Barber. “We will also

Left: Price’s Lime and Basil jar candle. Below right: Tropical Jungle from Yankee Candles’ Just Go collection. Bottom left: Part of the brand new Yvonne Ellen collection from Wax Lyrical. Bottom right: Village Candle’s Shimmering Metallic collection combines opulent colour, décor and complex fragrances.

be launching the Yvonne Ellen collection at the beginning of May, a new line of design-led summer gifting which is bright, bold and interior inspired.” As Hannah Jenkins, brand activation and channel marketing director EMEA at Yankee Candle points out: “Summer is all about exploring and escapism and it’s this carefree attitude that has inspired our new Just Go range.” Continues Hannah: “The vibrant palette, inspired by the colours of the world, helps to bring a touch of the exotic to both the home and to outdoor living spaces. Each of the four hero fragrances takes users on a different adventure.” Additionally, the Just Go collection also includes a range of accessories and gift sets.

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For Xystos, this year is about innovation and newness. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Village Candle which has a strong customer base for its dual wick technology,” says director Tom Sykes. “In the crowded candle market, retailers are always looking for something that will set them apart from their competitors, with Village Candle a manufacturer that’s determined to break new ground, as evidenced by its new Shimmering Metallic collection. Also new are Xystos’s own brand Cello Birch Bark hand crafted candles, which include four fragranced candles in metal containers, with Tom highlighting that the company has also been delighted with the reception given to its on trend Himalayan Glow salt crystal candle holders and lamps. “Flame and fragrance is now such a staple of the gift industry that more and more retailers are appreciating that it’s not enough to buy any old wax product. Fragrances are, of course,

“Getting to know your products is key, as is being passionate about them.” Marvin Lomax, MD, Aromatize “A beautiful fragrance will often evoke a stronger reaction than a display. Burn candles, and place reed diffusers and scented sachets so that customers are hit with beautiful fragrances as soon as they walk in your shop.” Ben Stubbs, director, Heart of the Country “Testers are a must for diffusers. Customers are fragrance knowledgeable so they want to smell, touch and see before they buy. Free testers help capture the sale.” Louise Dooley, commercial director, Stoneglow “Being able to handle home fragrancing products often makes the desire to purchase much stronger.” Anna Bourret, new product development manager, Ashleigh & Burwood “Keeping products within easy reach and at eye level for customers to be able to smell them, or being directed to the fragrance department by a good use of POS, can certainly help.” Laurence Whiting, sales manager, Price’s ”Strong displays, made easy with elegant packaging, really help to boost sales.” David Cree, sales manager, Joe Davies important, but so too is design and packaging - responsible for so many sales and the ability of a product to display well.” Although not a new trend, summer cocktail fragrances too, are continuing to drive sales in the home fragrancing sector. “As we enter the summer months, we’re noticing a rise in popularity of our alcohol scented candles, such as Peach Bellini, Pinot Noir and Coconut Colada which are fragrances from our Kittredge candle collection,” comments Marvin Lomax, MD of Continued on page 45

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Spotlight On... Home Fragrancing

Aromatize. “The bright pastel colours from Kittredge are also proving to be a hit.” The company has also recently released its second season of Woodbridge products with a brand new look featuring eight new fruity, fresh fragrances in glass bell jars and silver packaging. “We saw a brilliant reaction to them at Spring Fair and are looking forward to seeing this continue,” comments Marvin. “With winter behind us, the top fragrances on consumers’ minds will be those which evoke sunshine and cocktails,

Above left: Kitteridge Candle’s Peach Bellini and Lemon Rind are distributed by Aromatize. Above right: Sumer Lovin’ from Heart & Home. Below left: A Tracey Russell Presecco Time candle from Best Kept Secrets. Below right: A Touch of Sun reed diffuser from Bolsius.

with our new trio of summer scents reflecting this theme which is all about Summer Lovin,” says Heart & Home’s group marketing & communications manager Jacquie Russo. “Our distinctive vegan soywax blend is a key USP for us as there are so many advantages to using this natural ingredient.” Brand new from Heart and Home this summer are scent cups, a new format brimming with the company’s natural soy-blend wax. “They offer customers an ideal way to sample the newest fragrances,” points out Jacquie. “They’re larger than tealights, without the need for containers, and all our bestsellers are covered. Continued on page 47

Burning Bright Electric melt burners too, are continuing to ring up sales in the home fragrancing market place. “While the category is not a massive one, Cello is probably the number one brand within it, thanks to the success of its vessels in mosaic, translucent porcelain, metal and other mediums,” states Tom Sykes, director, Xystos. He reveals that, following trials with customers, another Cello flame and fragrance project has also been in product development for the past three years and will launched at Home & Gift in Harrogate this July. “Aside from candles and fragranced products, popularity in electric accessories has soared this season,” confirms Marvin Lomax, MD, Aromatize. “Our 3D electric burners have provided something new and eye catching, and both customers and consumers have loved them. Thinking outside the box and providing fresh new products, such as ultrasonic diffusers, will entice consumers to look at the full product range.” Left: An ultrasonic diffuser from Woodbridge, distributed by Aromatize.

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Best Kept Secrets Ltd Morpeth, NE61 6JT Tel: 01670 512222 Email: sales@bestkeptsecrets.co.uk Web: www.bestkeptsecrets.co.uk

Seriously Scented Candles Please get in touch with Best Kept Secrets to discuss the full range.

Different fun messages for friends, family and special occasions Seriously Scented fragrances with sparkly toppings and plenty of glitter!! 46_GH_May 2018.indd 46

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Spotlight On... Home Fragrancing The summer scent cups also come in a gift pack,” she adds. As Denise Edwards, director, Best Kept Secrets says: “Trends come and go but the fundamentals of a great fragrance remain the same, a careful balance between top, middle and bottom notes. Fruit and floral fragrances are still very popular, and colour is always a purchasing influencer with pink, purple and blue in strong demand.” Continues Denise: “We have recently combined with Tracey Russell Design to offer a unique candle product - a visual experience with a strong message coupled with wonderful fragrances.” New from Bolsius this year is Accents, an everyday, affordable luxury range. “The scented collection features ten blended fragrance notes, taking inspiration from everyday moments, with each scent designed to resonate emotionally and brighten the home,” explains Mark Smith, sales manager UK & Ireland. They include A

Sleep Inducing Everyone wants a good night’s sleep, with Wax Lyrical’s MD Joanne Barber highlighting that the company is finding that the work/life balance trend is still prominent. “Our Silentnight collaboration gives customers the opportunity to enjoy home fragrance with relaxation and downtime in mind,” she states. “Lavender continues to be a popular, successful fragrance as it links directly to the relaxation trend we’re experiencing.”

Touch of Sun and Welcome Home, a warm scent with subtle floral notes. At Joe Davies, sales manager David Cree points out that home fragrance gifts are now taking many forms. “Our Fragrant Garden collection includes diffusers, scented candles, hanging scent sachets and drawer liners which come in detailed packaging and feature floral scents,” comments David. “Additionally, as distributors of Landon Tyler’s collection of

candles and reed diffusers, we know how important it is to have excellent contemporary packaging that adds value. It’s also vitally important that customers have access to the scent and want to pick it up. This is particularly key when the item is a gift, with fragrance gifts an important part of any successful gift retailer’s collection.” Concurs Sandy Bay’s owner/director Sandy Burns: “While the colours of our Retreat collection - Sublime, Decadence, Heavenly and Radiance - draw consumers in, it’s the fragrances that ‘seal the deal.” Sultan Khan, director, Hasnett Green, adds: “Fragrance products have a great advantage over other product categories in so far as the retailer can use the fragrance itself to promote the product, to include having products in use by the front door to tempt passersby to pop in.” Vessels too, inspire people to buy fragrance products, with Paddywax, distributed by The Eclectic Lifestyle Company, offering three new trends this season: a Glow candle collection of iridescent ceramic vessels in pastel hues; Confetti, featuring a range of tapered porcelain vessels hand painted with a design emulating a Terrazzo finish, and the Sonora range of concrete vessels. As always, retailers are spoilt for choice, but this season, it’s all about bringing the scents of summer into the home.

Top: Joe Davies’ Fragrant Garden collection comes in different fragrancing formats. Above: Among the fragrances in Sandy Bay’s Retreat collection. Above right: Hassett Green’s summer scents include Summer Raspberry. The collection features bright colours and fruity fragrances. Inset: Paddywax’s Glow range.

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

Natural Botanics The Botanic Collection of candles are handmade in the UK by our skilled craftsmen and women on the outskirts of London. Each candle is made with natural botanicals and skilfully placed by hand. This charming range contains seven beautiful fragrances each a visual delight. Matching diffusers and refills also available. Made in the UK.

Natural Wax Stoneglow have just launched the new Infusion collection of natural wax candles with wooden wicks and matching high fragrance diffusers. Refresh your senses with this empowering range of uplifting fragrances to boost your wellbeing and transform your mood, while the soft crackle of an alluring fire relaxes and soothes. Pre-order now for August delivery.

Stoneglow Candles Tel: 020 8595 8878 Email: sales@stoneglowcandles.co.uk www.stoneglowcandles.co.uk

Stoneglow Candles Tel: 020 8595 8878 Email: sales@stoneglowcandles.co.uk www.stoneglowcandles.co.uk

Village Beauty The Shimmering Metallic collection from Village Candle combines the beauty of opulent colour, décor and complex fragrances – inspired by mood, season and a new, modern artisan label and look. Available in the UK from Xystos, it features a range of 14 luxurious colours and new fragrances, Trend colours include a purple that ties in with Ultra Violet, Pantone Colour of the Year, in a Berry Cardamom fragrance and Rose Gold, offering a juicy and sweet Guava Tangerine fragrance experience.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: sales@xystos.co.uk www.xystostrade.co.uk

Handcrafted Candles Xystos has introduced its own-brand Cello Birch Bark hand crafted candles, which are mainly unscented statement pieces, with RRPs between £7.99 and £49.99. There are also four fragranced candles in metal containers (RRP £9.99). Xystos is also the leading supplier of electric melt burners, with Cello vessels in mosaic, translucent porcelain, metal and other mediums.

Salt Crystal Glow Xystos, have a tremendous back story. For 2,000 years the salt crystals have been mined by hand in the Himalayan Mountains. Each piece is chosen for its translucent pink colour and faceted beauty. The salt lamp, when lit, gives off an almost primordial glow – one part sunset, one part molten lava - creating a light source that captivates people. Price points range from £7.99 to £59.99.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: sales@xystos.co.uk www.xystostrade.co.uk

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: sales@xystos.co.uk www.xystostrade.co.uk

Fizz And Fuzz On trend ‘summer fizz’ products from Baylis & Harding – which include this rose prosecco fragranced luxury diffuser – have hit the spot with buyers, while the company’s Fuzzy Duck Beard Grooming Kit has been racking up impressive Father’s Day sales. Xystos is also distributing personal care products from Woods of Windsor, whose Gardeners Range has proved to be a winner in garden centres and other retail outlets. The unisex line comprises a hand wash, hand scrub, hand cream and hand balm/butter.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:sales@xystos.co.uk www.xystostrade.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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

Glamorous Velvet Fragrance Launching into Lamp Fragrance and The Scented Home Reed Diffusers, one of Ashleigh & Burwood’s uplifting new scents this season is White Velvet. The velvet petals of white orchid and moonlit jasmine entwine at the heart of this fragrance, nurtured by a creamy base of rich sandalwood and vanilla. Sultry and soft, this sophisticated accord will add a touch of glamour to the home.

Wild New Design I Zee You Baby is one of three striking new designs to join the Wild Things collection this season. The fragrance invites you to discover an unusual companion deep in gardens of rambling flower bushes, fragrant with velvety roses, sun-dappled peonies and delicate honeysuckle. Made with high quality formulations for the best possible fragrance experience, every Wild Things design is available as a luxury scented candle and luxury reed diffuser.

Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email: info@ashleigh-burwood.co.uk www.ashleigh-burwood-trade.co.uk

Ashleigh & Burwood Tel: +44 (0) 1932 267060 Email: info@ashleigh-burwood.co.uk www.ashleigh-burwood-trade.co.uk

Unique Occasion Candles Best Kept Secrets has joined forces with Tracey Russell Design to offer a unique new candle product. Tracey has a countrywide and an international reputation as one of the leading designers of greeting cards in Great Britain and has now turned her design flair towards candles. The result is an amazing set of occasion candles. There are many different designs and sentiments which means that there really is something for every event, ceremony and celebration

Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email: sales@bestkeptsecrets.co.uk www.bestkeptsecrets.co.uk

In Partnership 2018 is the beginning of the Wax Lyrical and Yvonne Ellen partnership. Yvonne's passion for quirky, decorative illustration means that our home fragrance collection combines unique style with expertly blended, hand-chosen fragrances. Like us, Yvonne believes that British is best, which is why every piece of our home fragrance collection is lovingly designed and manufactured here in Britain. Between the two brands, we pride ourselves on offering only the highest quality of products with exceptional attention to detail and finish.

Wax Lyrical Tel: 01229 461140 Email: info@wax-lyrical.co.uk www.wax-lyrical.com

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

Yankee Candle Tel: 0117 316 1200 Email: sales@yankeecandle.co.uk www.yankeecandle.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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Creative lakeland artisan supplier w.l.t.m. partners for long term relationship... www.agnesandcat.org 52_GH_May 2018.indd 52

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Spotlight On... Bath & Body

Body Beautiful Looking and feeling their best is a given for many people nowadays, whether it’s through adopting a healthy diet, exercising, or simply making time for a bit of pampering to help them relax. So much so that there’s even an annual Global Wellness Day which will be taking place on June 9 this year. And, of course, thanks to the trend for beards, men too, are in on the act, wanting to present their best face to the world. It’s great news for the bath and body sector, with suppliers looking to innovate in terms of new products and accessories. From suds, soaps and skincare to shaving brushes and shampoo, PG&H looked at what’s trending this season for both men and women. Millennials, ‘me time’, mindfulness and meditation - a selection of topical ‘m’ words that would seem to sum up today’s world of wellness and wellbeing. It’s Millennial men for example, who are driving the trend for male grooming, with the majority sporting beards of all shapes, sizes and density that regularly need trimming and cultivating! Naturally, bath and body suppliers have been fast off the mark in spotting a trend, with many bringing out male grooming and skincare kits that are not only practical but very giftable too. “Certainly within our area of sheet masks and skincare, we are seeing a demand for gifting which comprises of a selection of products,” says Anthony Veloso, digital marketing and brand manager at award winning British brand Barber Pro. “Consumers want to be able to purchase one product - the gift set - which provides them with everything they need, which, in our case, is the ultimate skincare regime.” He adds that packaging, and the look and feel of the product, is also naturally very

important to the company. “Typically, bath and body products can be seen as ‘maintenance’ products, so it's important to inject some life and fun into how they are presented.” With beards still very much on trend, Tom Sykes, director, Xystos, highlights the Fuzzy Duck Beard Grooming Kit from Baylis & Harding, confirming that it has been racking up impressive sales for Father’s Day. Staying with beards, Rex London’s head buyer Candy Smith says: “With some hip dudes starting to wield the razor and cut back on face fuzz we hear that the

Above: Modern Man from Rex London. Below left: Barber Pro’s Skin Revival Kit. Below: Mr Soap from The Somerset Toiletries Company. Bottom: Baylis & Harding’s Beard Grooming Kit, distributed by Xystos.

moustache is back again - the full Magnum P.I./Tom Selleck look! Whether the upper lip plumage will survive is yet to be seen, but for lovers of this look, inspired by the jazz hipsters of the swinging 1950s, we have created the Modern Man range of male grooming accessories that includes shaving sets, soap and balm, plus other essential grooming tools.” At The Somerset Toiletries Company, marketing and PR manager Lisa Moon concurs that the male grooming market continues to boom as men increasingly take an interest in their appearance. “This

has driven the demand for skincare, hair care and shaving products specifically designed with men in mind,” comments Lisa. “Consequently, having produced bath and body products predominately for women over the past two decades, and in response to the growing male market, we have developed a luxury range of gifts for men.” Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

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Spotlight On... Bath & Body From a female perspective, it’s all about getting beach body beautiful in time for the summer, say NPW. “This Spring/Summer, bathing is all about eco-luxe - think glimmering bath bombs to get skin summer party ready, beautiful fragrances from natural botanical extracts, and sustainable eco-friendly packaging,” says the company’s Tiam Safari, beauty product manager. “People are rightly starting to treat the skin on their body as well as they treat the skin on their faces, so body care products are continuing to be developed with specific skincare concerns in mind. Our products are formulated with subtle fragrances based on the key natural botanical extracts in the products.” Tiam continues that relaxation and treating yourself is also a key trend, with the company’s Cooling Eye Pads developed to help de-puff eyes while the user relaxes. “The fun glittery shades have definite Insta-luxe appeal!” adds Tiam. A major distributor in the bath and body sector is, of course, Xystos which has hit the ground running this year, with fruit and floral fragrances once more to the fore this summer. It’s typified by Di Palomo’s Orange Blossom and White Grape products, along with the company’s Black Cherry/Almond Indulge Yourself, one of several gift sets on offer. Personal care products from Woods of Windsor, also distributed by Xystos, include a Gardening range featuring a hand wash, hand scrub, hand cream and hand balm/butter. In addition, the Naked Bee Travel Kit and Mini Bee Kit will be coming into their own this season, says Xystos director Tom Sykes, as people make the most of weekends and holidays. “Consumers are increasingly careful about what they put on their skin, and Naked Bee is an easyto-carry range of products that contains all the good stuff and none of the bad stuff.” Tom highlights. “The Orange Blossom Honey bath and body line has personal care needs

Left: NPW’s Cooling Eye Pads. Below left: Di Palomo’s Black Cherry Indulge Yourself gift set, distributed by Xystos. Below right: Rose & Co, which comes in new floral packaging, is distributed by Joe Davies.

covered from head to toe - from shampoo to restoration foot balm.” Another company that focuses on natural products is Best Kept Secrets, with product for 2018 including a collection of handmade natural soaps along with a range of handmade natural bath bursts. “By their very nature, bath and body products need a special approach to fragrance choice,” says director Denise Edwards. “The customer is effectively choosing the fragrance with which they wish to represent themselves to the world, so the successful design of bath and body fragrances requires a very specialised approach.” While lavender, patchouli and lime are always in great demand, she says it’s also important to take account of the needs of customers with sensitive skins. “Calendula and aloe vera without fragrances fulfil an important choice for this group of people,” she points out. “Overall, the fragrance, the colour and the feel all contribute to a winning product.” With holidays in mind, Heathcote & Ivory has taken inspiration from the scents and warmth of the Mediterranean. “Soft, fresh Below left: You Are My Sunshine handmade, natural soap from Best Kept Secrets. Below right: Heathcote & Ivory’s new floral collection, Neroli & Lime Leaves.

and clean tones suggest a feeling of wellbeing and romance, with the blending of sweet florals and crisp citrus notes,” says the company’s marketing, PR and business development manager Amanda Pullen. With packaging more subtle this season, and with an increasing trend in tactile methods of design, the company has also introduced applique embellishments on some of its newest cosmetic bags. At Joe Davies, which distributes UK made Rose & Co., bath and body products remain a particularly strong gift. “There are

a huge number of additions to this special range of soaps, bath melts, bath bombs, hand creams and lip gloss, which are all in elegant new floral packaging to be bang on trend,” says Joe Davies’ sales manager David Cree. “Presentation is absolutely key with this type of item and retailers who produce interesting displays achieve better sales.” For gift retailers, bath and body products that catch the eye or smell delicious, make great impulse gift purchases at the till, and can be just the thing to up the transactional value of a sale, prettily bringing together both form and function.

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Spotlight On... Kitchen Gifts

Cooking Up A Storm

The exceptionally high standard of this year’s MasterChef competition proved, yet again, what fantastic home cooks there are out there. And while not everyone who cooks can, or wants to, reach giddy culinary heights, foodies, as well as people who simply like to cook and bake, are demanding kitchenware products that are not only functional but beautiful to look at too. With more and more products packaged to make them giftable, kitchen gifts are fast becoming a ‘must have’ for gift shops. Ahead of the Exclusively Housewares exhibition, which opens its doors in mid-June, PG&H previews some of the trends in the market place. Above: MasterChef presenters Gregg Thanks to TV cookery shows, product innovation, bloggers and Instagram, kitchenware has come out of drawers and cupboards in recent years, standing proud on cookers and kitchen counters. No longer will basic products do. Today’s consumers want beautiful design-led, functional products that are often a talking point. “There’s currently a great emphasis on experiences, having fun and sharing good times with friends,” comments Claire Budgen, marketing director at KitchenCraft. “Very much on trend now are fun, vibrant Tiki/Tropicana-inspired designs as can be seen in our new BarCraft Tropicana collection, which includes lines such as a glass cactus

Wallace and John Torode with 2018’s winner Kenny Tatt. (See Last Word on page 78). Left: The Fred Como Tea Llama tea infuser from KitchenCraft. Right: Edited from Creative Tops.

drink jars, a Tiki glass gift set, bottle stoppers featuring a flamingo, a cactus and a pineapple. There’s even a tropical-shaped ice cube tray to set the scene. For more sophisticated gatherings, our new lustre glassware range and rainbow barware accessories inject an element of on trend style to the fun.” The company has also recently introduced a new Como Téa Llama, a Peruvian tea infuser in the Fred brand along with a unicorn egg/pancake mould, both of which come gift packaged.

“For gift shops to be seen to be leading the way with trend driven, sought after lines is essential, whatever the type of gift,” says Claire. “It instils an element of confidence in the shop for those looking for a ‘must-have’ or a gift with a difference. There is a very thin line between housewares and giftware, and introducing housewares-type gifts to gift shops offers new options and greater choice for gift buyers.” At Creative Tops, marketing and public relations manager Katrina Lawton adds that functional products for the home, with on trend design and gift packaging, is all-important. “Giftable kitchenware has to be ‘counter worthy’ as well as functional, with sensory appeal in its shape, colour and materials.” Katrina states that, once again, black is a key statement colour, paired with dramatic metallic or softening matte finishes, while minimal luxury is still a key trend for homeware with high shine metals. “Our

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Spotlight On... Kitchen Gifts Edited collection by La Cafetière combines brushed gold with minimalist product shapes to capture this understated luxury in the kitchen and this year we have added matte black mugs and storage jars to the coffee and tea collection. Our Edited products are presented in matte black boxes with gold lettering, making it a sophisticated gift with a masculine edge.” Staying with trends, Mike Burgess, MD of Parlane, says that reactive glazes that are applied to stoneware is are currently a huge trend in kitchenware. “We’ve used this technique on handcrafted mugs, ovenware and bowls with the finished look being very modern and rustic. By the nature of the process, the glaze on each piece is

individual therefore adding value and making it ideal for giftware.” Mike adds that marble also continues to be a popular material to have in the kitchen. “To bring it bang up to the minute, we’ve combined marble with brass or wood,” he points out. “Using these combinations for chopping boards and coasters adds an interesting twist to everyday items.”

Left: A Bubbly personalised lasered board from T&G Woodware. Below left: Glazed, handcrafted mugs from Parlane. Right: Boxer’s gin bloom glasses. Below right: Paladone’s panda hug mug.

For anyone who enjoys a tipple, T&G Woodware has introduced a range of bar boards. “There’s Gin, Cocktail and Bubbly, ideal as a gift or self-purchase to add a bit of fun,” says head of marketing, Jenny Handley. With personalisation becoming ever more popular, the company has also introduced a new laser engraving service. “It adds an exclusive design, branding or a name to many of our products,” confirms Jenny. New for 2018 sees the mix and match theme continuing alongside the rustic casual dining look. “However, still popular are the vintage and retro trends which sit well alongside gifts for the home - products with a function and a lifestyle story,” says Jenny. As Thomas O’Brien, strategic operations director at Boxer Gifts concurs: “Gin and prosecco sales are showing no signs of slowing down. House and kitchenware gifts inspired by these favourite tipples are on the rise, from essential glassware such as our gin bloom glasses and lustre prosecco glasses, to ‘must have’ accessories, such as our prosecco stoppers. People are looking for ways to make their drinks more exciting, with our gin cubes providing consumers with a great alternative to boring ice cubes! These drink inspired products, combined with minimalistic designs, bold colours and sentiments add a personal

touch, which is what people are looking for. Additionally, craft beers are still going strong,” he points out, “and with the Tour De Yorkshire fast approaching, our Bike Chain bottle opener is ideal for gift shops.” Alex Ryan, sales manager at Paladone says: “We’ve seen the tropical trend for a while now, and it shows no sign of slowing as we approach the peak 2018 trading season. Whether it’s tropical animals or tropical plants, people love to buy hot climate related products. For Christmas 2018, our related products are a set of straws that look like bamboo with pandas climbing up them, a mug with a biscuit pocket, where the panda looks like it’s hugging the biscuit, and a twist on the jam jar glass trend with our pineapple shaped glass thata has a screw-on lid and straw. Also, people can’t seem to get enough of our egg cups, with current favourites Spiderman, a unicorn and Harry Potter.”

Right: A Frida Kahlo kitchen canister from Ian Snow.

Observes Alex: “Everyone has a friend, family member of colleague who loves to cook, or has a quirky lunch box or mug, or that loves to entertain, with kitchen gifts and novelties the perfect pick-up gift for this kind of person. It shows thought and delivers functionality.” Continued on page 61

Colourful Tableware For Kids Getting children to eat what’s on their plate can often be challenging for parents, with design and colour helping to make mealtimes more fun. “Ice cream/pastel colours are this season’s hot interior trend – from baby pink to minty greens and everything inbetween,” says Rex London’s head buyer Candy Smith. “It’s a colour palette our designers have used extensively in our latest kids’ collections, particularly in our new Bonnie The Bunny, Miko The Panda and Cookie the Cat melamine and eco-friendly bamboo children’s dinnerware ranges.” Left: Rex London’s Miko The Panda children’s collection.

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Spotlight On... Kitchen Gifts Also looking to licensed kitchen gifts is Ian Snow. “We’re finding anything with Frida Khalo on it is particularly strong driven by the V&A’s Frida Kahlo exhibition on the Mexican artist which starts in June. It’s one of the factors that has created such a massive demand,” says director Jakki Boase. Of course, home décor is another driver. “Ranges need to complement interior design trends and the modern day kitchen, and we feel that our new Grey classic kitchen range achieves this,” says Lesser & Pavey’s MD Julian Hunt. “Practical as well as pleasing to the eye, it’s why kitchen items are a hit with the consumer as a gift purchase. Whether it’s for a new home or a new kitchen, our ranges are individually gift packaged to allow for a selection of pieces. Quality is essential to us in the packaging and the

Exclusively Housewares: Show Essentials DATES: VENUE: TEL: WEB:

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finished product, ensuring that the canisters have sealed tops to keep the product inside fresh, and the teapot pours properly without burning the handler.” Looking to spice things up meanwhile is Spice Kitchen, winner of the Gift of the Year 2018’s Gift Food category. The company offers an Indian Spice tin presented in unusual giftwrap - a silk sari - making it very giftable. “We source high quality spices from approved suppliers all over the world, making spice and tea blends in small batches here in the UK to ensure freshness and flavour,” explains co-founder Sanjay Aggarwal. For gift shops looking to diversify this year, it could be that kitchen gifts are just the thing! Left: Lesser & Pavey’s Grey classic kitchen range. Above: Spice Kitchen’s Indian spice tin comes in a handmade silk sari. Below: Fitness coach, food writer and TV presenter Joe Wicks recently wowed visitors on the Meyer stand at Spring Fair in February.

Manning Up Men are definitely upping their game when it comes to cooking, with many men tasked to cook for the family. But it helps to keep it lighthearted says Thomas O’Brien, strategic operations director at Boxer Gifts. “Kitchenware aimed at men might seem like a niche market but actually a lot of blokes love a practical gift for the kitchen, whether it’s a personal magnetic bottle opener or a personalised bar sign for their own man space.”

Kitchen Gifts: Shop Talk

l “Retailers should display the kitchen range with complementary products and set the scene so that the consumer can see where in their home or a friend’s home they would be placed.” Julian Hunt, MD, Lesser & Pavey l ”Shops should make the most of available merchandising aids such as CDU’s, merchandising units, point of sale aids etc., to help create informative and eye-catching displays.” Claire Budgen, marketing director, KitchenCraft l “Kitchen products stand out in gifts shops. People are looking to buy more practical gifts for friends and family and, with gin and prosecco still trending, gift shops should be taking advantage of the ongoing trend. However, the retailer needs to make sure that trending products stand out and are not overcrowded.” Thomas O’Brien, senior operations director, Boxer Gifts l ”Retailers should think about setting the scene with tablecloths under displays, or a kitchen-style wall mural behind. Additionally, they should break out one of the products and get them set up with a prop or two such as a fake boiled egg and some faux toast. It makes all the difference.” Alex Ryan, sales manager, Paladone l “Pastel colours look fantastic and will always catch the eye and attract attention. With kitchen products, it’s about persuading your customers to replace what they most likely already have with something more desirable.” Candy Smith, head buyer, Rex London

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

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w w w.t h e l i b r a c o mp a n y. c o . u k Open Week, 13th – 18th May, Libra Showrooms, Cambridge Road, Linton, Cambridge, CB21 4NN

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

Animal Instincts Whether you’re barking mad about dogs, like to stomp around like elephants or roar with dinosaurs, you can be like your favourite animals with Boxer’s Animal Nose Cups. Just tip your head and take a drink to instantly transform to one of eight creatures. There are four wild generic designs and 92 name designs to choose from.

Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955 595 Email: sales@boxergifts.com www.boxergifts.com

Rack And Roll Established in 1979, RTA Global is the largest single producer of wine racks in Europe. Its Traditional Wine Rack range is produced in the UK with high quality FSC certified Brazilian pine using its patented manufacturing process. The company is now launching an addition to the range, a Traditional Display Rack which is available to order.

Disney Organic Bamboo Dinner Sets Enesco has launched three new dinner sets into its Disney Enchanting Collection. Among these is the Snow White Organic Bamboo Dinner Set, which includes a plate, cup and cutlery comprising of a spoon and fork, all made from organic bamboo and dishwasher safe. The Rapunzel Organic Bamboo Dinner Set and the Cinderella Organic Bamboo Dinner Set, makes up the three. Each set is presented in 100% biodegradable brown cardboard packaging with a SRP of £22.00 each.

RTA Global Tel: 01917070101 Email: sales@rtaglobal.co.uk www.rtaglobal.co.uk Exclusively Housewares: Stand 120

Man’s Best Friend

Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email: uksales@enesco.co.uk www.enesco.co.uk

Ulster Weavers is bound to appeal to those with a love of animals creating products featuring a fun design based around walking man’s (or woman’s) best friend. The dogs have all taken on wonderful characteristics of their owners.

Ulster Weavers Tel: 028 90 329494 Email: sales @ulsterweavers.com www.trade.ulsterweavers.com

Royal Wedding’s Feeling’s Nuptial Ulster Weavers has launched two Royal wedding tea towel designs. Designed and made in Northern Ireland, the designs offer a choice between a bright contemporary design and a more traditional collectable tea towel. Both designs are available immediately - and watch out for the new Royal baby tea towel.

Ulster Weavers Tel: 02890 329494 Email: sales@ulsterweavers.com www.trade.ulsterweavers.com

Essentially Environmental The Aromatherapy Company has been creating premium environmentally friendly and mindful products for the last 30 years. With its products, made in New Zealand using ‘essential oils’, the brand is now available in the UK through Widdop and Co. The specific formulations and fragrances are designed for the kitchen to help eliminate kitchen odours and keep hands healthy and germ free. The range includes diffusers, candles, hand lotion, hand wash and hand cream.

Widdop and Co Tel: 0161 688 1226 Email: sales@widdop.co.uk www.widdop.co.uk

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It’s a Dogs life

Life is Better at the Beach

Believe in Magic

Nature Trail

Tropical Delights

Birds in Paradise

Giddy Up!

Bloomin’ Lovely

Go Wild!

Fun and quirky motifs of the moment Exclusive designs, beautiful gifts, £15-£40rrp See our brand new retailer website and request our latest 2018 catalogue. Contact us to arrange a full presentation.

Sterling Silver Jewellery

www.kitheathretailer.com

01271 329123

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sales@kitheath.com

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

The Feeling’s Nuptial Enesco has welcomed a new Mickey and Minnie Mouse Wedding Figurine in its Disney Britto Collection depicts two of Walt Disney’s most loved characters. Using bright colours, bold designs and with silver glitter accents, the Mickey and Minnie Mouse Wedding Figurine showcases Disney’s loved-up pair dressed in their wedding attire. The Mickey and Minnie Mouse Wedding Figurine is available from Enesco with a SRP of £83.00.

Gifts For Any Occasion

Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email: uksales@enesco.co.uk www.enesco.co.uk

Botanicals In The Frame With botanical themes all the rage this wedding season, PMC has unveiled its collection of brand new box photo frames, which include this stylish Fresh Botanical design. The frame can be personalised with a message of your choice and fits a standard size 5”x7” print, making it perfect for hanging or displaying on a flat surface.

Brand new from Lesser and Pavey is the Mad Dots range of bracelets carrying messages for Mum, Grandma, Nan, a Fabulous Friend as well as with Sparkle and Dreams. This new range is perfect as wedding gifts for the proud mums of the bride and groom and the bridesmaids. Mad Dots is a large range offered by Lesser and Pavey licensed by Hearts Designs. These new additions form part of the Mad Dots Collection which has been a huge success and continues to grow. It has just had a new wedding tabletop range of ceramics added.

Lesser & Pavey Tel: 01322 279225 Email sales@leonarod.co.uk www.leonardo.co.uk

PMC Tel: 01782 744900 Email: sales@personalisedmemento.co.uk www.personalisedmemento.co.uk

Love Story One wedding trend that looks like it’s here to stay is the rustic theme as many couples opt to get married celebrating the great outdoors, including in a barn. Taking its inspiration from this trend, Love Story is an ideal collection with a host of ideas for decorating the venue or simply to give the happy couple as a memento of the day. Widdop and Co’s Love Story collection features a range of frames, hanging plaques and storage items that make for wonderful accessories for the home as well as wedding day decoration. The range uses a muted colour palette of greys, creams and pinks often with distressed wood designs and features a heart and love bird theme throughout.

Clock This Shruti’s new Time & Co. clocks for SS18 come giftboxed in three sizes and four colourways. A freestanding mantle clock with a 14cms diameter, a wall size with a 29cms diameter, and the ever-popular oversized feature wall clock at 50cms. Each size is available in neutral contemporary matte colours - Cotswold Blue, Antique White, Slate Grey and Bamboo - to complement the modern home. All in lightweight wood finish, and battery operated.

Shruti Tel: 01985 847774 Email: michaela@shrutidesigns.co.uk www.junction18.com

Widdop and Co Tel: 0161 688 1226 Email: sales@widdop.co.uk www.widdop.co.uk

Boxing Clever These stylish new wish boxes from Joe Davies are right on trend, perfect for weddings and special occasions. They provide the opportunity to collect kind wishes and words of wisdom in the form of inspiration and advice from friends and relatives which become treasured keepsakes for years to come. The use of gold foiled wording and the clever use of colours adds a touch of glamour.

Joe Davies Tel: 0161 975 6300 Email sales@joedavies.co.uk www.joedavies.co.uk

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What’s New Progressive Gifts and Home highlights some of the latests products for the Bath & Body market to be showcased this month

Soap On A Rope

Fragrant Celebrations This fun collection of occasion handmade soaps, celebrates family, friends and special moments. They come beautifully wrapped and presented featuring the company’s Rosey Geranium and Ylang Ylang fragrances.

Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email: sales@bestkeptsecrets.co.uk www.bestkeptsecrets.co.uk

New from Agnes+Cat, is a naturally artisan Soap on a Rope range with an eccentric and eclectic feel. Inspired by the Lake District and fresh from the Agnes + Cat Hawkshead design studio, the products are created with beautiful exclusive fragrances. These include the evocative Seasalt & Moss (think low tide at Morecambe Bay) or vibrant Rhubarb Rhubarb, so good we named it twice!

Agnes+Cat Tel: 0114 267 7723 Emai: trade@agnesandcat.org www.agnesandcat.org

Adding Fizz A new slant on bath bombs, these artisan bath fizzes from Agnes+Cat are lovely to display, can be broken in half by your customers. Lovely fragrances that make an easy sale and also available in arty gift boxes that hold three fizzes making a perfect gift. Currently there are 12 exclusive fragrances in the range, including a relaxing Windermere fragrance, and lively Fresh Citrus.

Agnes+Cat Tel: 0114 267 7723 Email: trade@agnesandcat.org www.agnesandcat.org

Nature’s fragrances Fruit and floral fragrances are once more to the fore this summer, typified by Di Palomo’s Orange Blossom and White Grape bath and body products, while its Black Cherry/Almond ‘Indulge Yourself’ is one of several gift sets that are flying out, The Naked Bee personal care Travel Kit and Mini Bee Kit will come into their own this summer as people make the most of weekends and holidays. Its Orange Blossom Honey bath and body line has personal care needs covered from head to toe – from shampoo to restoration foot balm.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:sales@xystos.co.uk www.xystostrade.co.uk

Dig This! Woods of Windsor’s Gardeners Range from Xystos has sold extremely well in garden centres and other retail outlets. The unisex line comprises a hand wash, hand scrub, hand cream and hand balm/butter. There is also a counter display which holds four hand washes; five hand scrubs; five hand creams and six hand butters.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email: sales@xystos.co.uk www.xystostrade.co.uk

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

Seriously Scented Best Kept Secrets had great success with the Just Because range at Spring Fair. A fun collection of occasion candles celebrating family, friends and special moments. Its great success demonstrated a gap in the market for a fun but seriously scented candle with an important message for those we care about.

Best Kept Secrets Tel: 01670 512222 Email: sales@bestkeptsecrets.co.uk www.bestkeptsecrets.co.uk

Home Fragrance For All Seasons Joe Davies has recently acquired distribution of the prestigious Landon Tyler home fragrance collection featuring candles and diffusers for all seasons. This high quality range has been exclusively developed using the finest ingredients and is available in 12 ragrances, which include floral, citrus and berry fragrances. Luxurious, coordinated packaging completes the look of this fabulous collection. Joe Davies specialise in supplying to the independent retailer in their trademark ‘little and often’ quantities with carriage paid orders of just £100.

Lights, Movement, Sales Some 132 brilliantly lit, slowly rotating, quickly selling items in a 76cm wide space. All designed by ourselves, and featuring Swarovski crystals. Most are made in Devon by our skilled team. Two x 27w led bulbs and lit signage create a magnetic display for your customers. Free with a minimum spend. Register on our website.

Wild Things Gifts Tel: 01392 211268 Email: sales@wildthingsgifts.com www.wildthingsgifts.com

Joe Davies Tel: 0161-975 6300 Email sales@joedavies.co.uk www.joedavies.co.uk

Crystal Fantasies The originals from Wild Things. British made in Devon using only the best Swarovski and other carefully chosen crystals. Accept no substitutes! We can even make to your design subject to certain minimum quantities. Current motifs include birds, trees, cats, dogs, butterflies and dragonflies, fairies, unicorns, sealife and many others. Coming soon - British wildlife and farm animals.

Wild Things Gifts Tel: 01392 211268 Email: sales@wildthingsgifts.com www.wildthingsgifts.com

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

Yankee Candle Tel: 0117 316 1200 Email: sales@yankeecandle.co.uk www.yankeecandle.co.uk

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

Grow A Narwhal Like their on land counterpart unicorns, narwhals are a magical creature. Although rarely seen, the unicorns of the sea have made their way to Boxer Gifts and now you can have your very own. Simply pop your Grow A Narwhal into its natural habitat and watch it magically grow.

Sentiment Bracelets We are so loving these sentiment bracelets from Hot Tomato. Timeless, understated and new in stock as part of their mid-season launch we reckon love must definitely be in the air this summer – anyone might think there’s a wedding on the cards!

Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955 595 Email: sales@boxergifts.com www.boxergifts.com

Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Email: sales@hot-tom.com www.hot-tom.com

Pip Plush Launches successful collection. Fans of the social media sensation are fiercely loyal and keep up-to-date with Pusheen’s sidekicks too, namely her younger siblings, Stormy and Pip. The Pip plush is suitable for children aged one year and over, is hand washable and comes with a lenticular hand tag. Pip plush retails with a SRP of £18.00 and will be a welcome addition to any Pusheen super-fan’s collection.

Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email: uksales@enesco.co.uk www.gund.co.uk

Sassy Suede Hot Tomato’s mid-season launch includes these super elegant suede lariats. Placing the look you’re after firmly in your own hands – be it choker or pendant, with bow or without, knotted or not, the combinations are endless and faultlessly flattering. We think the genius of this design is how the simple shapes work so effortlessly with the layering and tying off of the lace – another hot trend from this hot little company!

Hot Tomato Tel: 01225 422188 Email: sales@hot-tom.com www.hot-tom.com

Framed Pictures Inspired By Nature Contemporary gift retailer Enesco has launched a new sub-collection in its ever-popular Demdaco range, giving people even more ways to express their emotions through the art of gift giving. The Sharon Nowlan Collection uses nature as inspiration for immortalising precious moments in life. New into the collection - making the perfect present for newly engaged couples, or for the bride and groom celebrating their wedding day as two families blend into one - is Time Together and From This Moment.

Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email: uksales@enesco.co.uk www.enesco.co.uk

All Lit Up Fairy Houses – battery-operated night lights for a child’s nursery or bedroom – have been flying out. With a £9.99 RRP they are part of the product range from Australian lifestyle brand Splosh, for whom Xystos has taken over sole UK distribution. The company is also offering Splosh’s pet-themed Adopt a Doorstop pieces and Mugs to Give, which carry sentimentdriven messages and are in handbag-style packaging. Xystos is also taking on existing Splosh lines such as Signature photo frames, Numbers and Moneyboxes.

Xystos Tel: 0191 499 1570 Email:sales@xystos.co.uk www.xystostrade.co.uk

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

Simply Topping One is now enough when it comes to a glass of wine. Simply top your tipple with a Tipple Topper then sit back and relax knowing there are no more unnecessary walks to the fridge. With three generic and two age designs to choose from they are a perfect gift idea for any wine lover!

Boxer Gifts Tel: 01133 955 595 Email: sales@boxergifts.com www.boxergifts.com

Witty And Wise Adding to its hugely popular Say What? range from About Face Designs for 2018, Enesco has unveiled new products that allow the gift giver to say everything they’d ever like to express and more! The Beer in Hand beer mug is an ideal buy as a birthday treat, or for Father’s Day, with the Dad Rocks Rocks glass also sure to raise a smile. Retailing with an SRP of £9.95 and £4.95 respectively, both are dishwasher safe too.

Enesco Tel: 01228 404022 Email: uksales@enesco.co.uk www.enesco.co.uk

Secret Garden Collection Inspired by the current trend for all things mystical, this quirky Secret Garden Collection from Joe Davies is the perfect way to create your very own secret fairy garden. This pretty collection of metal fairy garden accessories features exquisitely detailed fairy houses, doors, wishing well and much, much more…what fairy could possibly resist!

A Little Ray Of Sunshine Carrie Elspeth’s new Summer 2018 collection is bursting with style and colour that will add a little ray of sunshine to any summer outfit. Using a variety of materials, ranging from semi-precious stones, agates and Czech glass to tactile polymer clay and ceramics, there is something for everyone and every occasion. There are also more of Carrie Elspeth’s popular stand-alone earrings in every colourway imaginable. With every piece lovingly handmade in Wales, the company is championing the ‘support local’ sentiment this summer.

Carrie Elspeth Tel: 01446 771271 Email: sales@carrieelspeth.com www.carrieelspeth.com

Simply Hannah A set of 12 designs on Dunoon’s Orkney fine bone china shape, these are by a new artist to Dunoon, Hannah Longmuir. The designs feature very simple studies of wild animals, birds and insects drawn in Hannah’s inimitable style and coloured with delicate watercolour washes. Each mug has its own endearing subject, whether it be blue tits, hedgehogs or robins to name but a few.

Dunoon Tel: 01785 817414 Email: sales@dunoonmugs.co.uk www.dunoonmugs.co.uk

Joe Davies Tel: 0161-975 6300 Email sales@joedavies.co.uk www.joedavies.co.uk

Flamingo Bag Collection The fabulous new Equilibrium flamingo collection of bags from Joe Davies is a hugely popular addition to this already established brand. Offering great value and fabulous quality, these fun, vibrant tote bags, shoulder bags and handbags are right on trend for Summer 2018 and are sure to make a show-stopping display in your store. Joe Davies

Joe Davies Tel: 0161-975 6300 Email sales@joedavies.co.uk www.joedavies.co.uk 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. Louise Bawcutt, owner, The Present, Barnet A medium sized gift shop on a high street CATEGORY

SUPPLIERS/RANGES

COMMENT

Decorative Home Accessories

Parlane: across the board;

A beautiful range of contemporary products that are always on trend. A large range of varied products with some lovely pieces for the home.

Shruti Ltd: across the board

Fragranced Giftware

Heaven Scent: candles and reed diffusers; Peppermint Grove: candles

Jewellery

Joe Davies: Equilibrium; Jambo Jewellery: sterling silver

Fashion Accessories

Katie Loxton: pouches Powder: socks, bags, scarves

Products are made in the UK. They’re organic, paraben free and branded for The Present at fantastic prices. The candles are handmade in Australia and smell amazing. Our customers can’t resist the scents and beautiful packaging. The range sells out regularly. Great packaging, perfectly priced, with lovely sentiments. Well priced for today’s market with great fashion-led designs.

Our customers particularly love the pouches which come in an array of gorgeous colours and are packaged in a smart, branded gift bag. Fabulous colours and beautiful packaging.

Greeting Cards

Five Dollar Shake

We are constantly selling out, even though they are our highest priced cards. Customers come in specifically for them. Always ahead of the game.

Giftwrap

Roger la Borde

Their double sided designs are fabulous.

Other Hot Hits

Jellycat: soft toys; Powell Craft: baby clothes

Beautifully made. Customers return again and again for them. 100% cotton products that are made in the UK and affordably priced.

Olivia Reilly, owner, Little Boat Gifts, Brightlingsea A small gift shop in a seaside village CATEGORY

SUPPLIERS/RANGES

COMMENT

Decorative Home Accessories

Parlane: nautical;

Heaven Sends: Shabby Chic

Because we’re by the sea, nautical is always popular with visitors and locals alike. Design-led and affordable.

Fragranced Giftware

The Country Candle Company: Polka Dot; Regent House: simmering granules

The fragrances encourage repeat business. Easier to use than oils, the granules attract regular customers.

Licensed Giftware

Portmeirion Group: Wrendale Designs

As we are quite countrified here, the designs work really well. We are also building on the Wrendale ‘story’ with a range of licensed stationery.

Greeting Cards

Blue Eyed Sun

The embroidered vintage look sits well with our other ‘looks’ in the shop. The cards are very high quality, making them an easy purchase.

Giftwrap

The Unique Paper Company

Lovely luxury designs that feature glitter.

Other Hot Hits

Orange Tree Toys: kitchen play set

The classic wooden toys, such as the kitchen play set, fit in well with our other ranges.

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Amanda Oscroft, co-owner, Love It, Bury St Edmunds and Stamford Small independent gift shops in a secondary position CATEGORY

SUPPLIERS/RANGES

COMMENT

Decorative Home Accessories

Alex Clark: cushions;

Adorable animal artwork loved by young and old. Popular with customers interested in their spiritual meaning and healing properties.

British Fossils: salt lamps and amethyst pieces

Jewellery

Kali Ma: silver and gem set;

Talbot Import: costume jewellery

A stunning range of wellpriced silver earrings, pendants and bracelets. Unbelievable value for money. Bang on trend and beautifully boxed.

Fashion Accessories

F&J Collection: scarves; Disaster Designs: purses and make-up bags

Fantastic prices and designs – from flamingos to florals. The Candy Pop range is quirky and brightly coloured, adorned with glitter and pom poms.

Greeting Cards

Second Nature

The Buttoned Up range is among our best sellers. It features very eyecatching colours with a luxury, handmade look at a fantastic price.

Giftwrap

Soul

Super quality double-sided sheets featuring stunning, on trend designs with a hint of shimmer.

Other Hot Hits

Brightminds: T-shirts

These T-shirts are suitable for any age. Slogans feature humorous sayings and images.

Nicky Stephenson, co-owner, The Tutbury Present Company, Tutbury A medium sized gift shop in a village mews, just off the high street CATEGORY

SUPPLIERS/RANGES

COMMENT

Decorative Home Accessories

Namaste: homeware and giftware;

Beautiful designs, great quality, fairly traded products that are something a bit different. The contemporary designs and muted colour palette are ideal for today’s interiors.

Art Marketing: Thomas Kent mantel clocks

Fragranced Giftware

Yankee Candle: Classic jars;

Stoneglow: Nature’s Gift Jewellery

Joma: ‘a little’ bracelets; Espree: silver

Fashion Accessories

Powder: bamboo socks; Disaster Designs: across the board

An instantly recognisable brand. Our customers have their favourites which they go to time and again. It’s a new addition for us this year which is really proving popular. Perfectly gift packaged bracelets with little charms. They come in a wide variety of styles. Classic, timeless pieces. Our customers love the simple elegance and ready-to-gift packaging. These were an instant hit when we introduced them last year thanks to their fun, colourful designs and super-soft bamboo feel. The travel wallets and purses are very well made, with customers drawn to the innovative designs.

Greeting Cards

Pigment

Happy Jackson is a fun, youthful, colourful range that inspires across open, relations and occasions captions.

Giftwrap

Glick

Glick is our ‘go to’ supplier. Their wrap is design-led with something for every occasion. Fantastic patterns and great quality.

Other Hot Hits

Wild & Wolf: Happy Jackson; Ridleys toys; Heathcote & Ivory: Cath Kidston toiletries

Perfect pick-up gifts with an emphasis on fun, these ranges sell across all ages. Pretty packaging, floral scents and great price points.

PROGRESSIVE GIFTS & HOME WORLDWIDE

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PG Live continues to be the BIG show of the year for the card trade. We had a great day... sore feet and head on Wednesday, but worth it! Mark & Leona Janson-Smith, Postmark, London

PG Live 2018 Tuesday 5 - Wednesday 6 June Business Design Centre, London +44 (0) 1635 297070 www.progressivegreetingslive.com @PGLiveLondon

72_GH_May 2018.indd 72

The Greatest Collection Of Greeting Cards In The World Celebrating ten years of showcasing design excellence, PG Live 2018 is proud to present the greatest collection of greeting cards in the world. Register online now to receive your free copy of the PG Live 2018 Show Preview, a fantastic glimpse behind the scenes of this year’s anniversary show, with exclusive launches and show-only offers from over 260 publishers, artists and designers.

Be InspIred Book Your Tickets Now

www.progressivegreetingslive.com

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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!

TALBOT FASHIONS T: 01273 776415 E: info@talbotfashions.com W: www.talbotfashions.com

JOE DAVIES T: 0161 975 6300 E: sales@joedavies.co.uk W: joedavies.co.uk

GLICK T: 01274 655980 E: info@glick.co.uk W: www.glick.co.uk

ORANGE TREE TOYS T: 01242 244500 E: sales@orangetreetoys.com W: www.orangetreetoys.com

HEATHCOTE & IVORY T: 0207 483 8383 E: Info@heathcote-ivory.com W: www.heathcote-ivory.com

SHRUTI LTD T: 01985 847774 E: sales@junction18.com W: www.junction18.com

PIGMENT PRODUCTIONS T: 01423 520098 E: sally@pigmentproductions.com W: www.pigmentproductions.com

WILD & WOLF T: + 44 (0) 1225 789 909 E: sales@wildandwolf.com W: www.wildandwolf.co.uk

STONEGLOW CANDLES T: 020 8595 8878 E: sales@stoneglowcandles.co.uk W: www.stoneglowcandles.co.uk Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

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ON THE ROAD

Jane Hargreaves

Above: Jane Hargreaves. Right: Colwyn Bay town centre.

Jane Hargreaves has been ‘on the road’ as an agent in Wales for almost six years. Her principals include (in alphabetical order): Carrie Elspeth, Inis (Fragrance of Ireland), Janie Wilson, Powder, Star Editions, Transomnia, Wrendale and WPL Gifts. Jane says it hasn’t been the greatest start to the year, but she’s hopeful that business will pick up during the coming months, especially once the weather improves.

“In Wales, gift retailers have been very cautious with their buying so far this year,” confirms Jane. “Mother’s Day and Easter were both early, and unfortunately, poor trading and snow dampened trade significantly just before Mother’s Day in mid-March. There was a similar forecast for rain and snow in the run-up to Easter at the end of March, which didn’t help to drum up much enthusiasm either!” While shops did their best to gear up for customers, many found them disappointingly thin on the ground.

As for how retailers approached their buying this year, Jane says that there is usually a mix of planning ahead, and topping up on core products. “When buyers visit the key trade shows in January and February they’re usually fired up with enthusiasm to plan ahead for the season. However this year, cash flow has been so tight that many retailers chose to top up from their core suppliers in preference to investing in specific Mother’s Day or Easter ranges - although, of course, there was an

upsurge of interest in greeting cards and chocolate,” she adds. Inevitably, disappointing footfall in the first three months has had the knock-on effect of making shop owners reluctant or even unable - to invest in new product for the coming season. “Currently, summer seems too far away to be planning for until trading picks up,” concurs Jane. “Ultimately, it all comes down to cash flow.” She says if she had a magic wand, she would wave it to encourage people to

spend just £100 a year more - less than £2 a week - with the local businesses in their area. As she puts it: “It would put a significant amount of money back into our economy, and keep independent businesses trading on the high streets. If we don’t use them, we’ll lose them!”

LAST WORD

Jane Devonshire

Above: MasterChef 2016 winner Jane Devonshire. Right: Koh Samui is one of Jane’s favourite holiday destinations.

Jane Devonshire has not only worked with many of the UK’s leading chefs since lifting the MasterChef trophy two years ago but has also presented numerous food and drink shows, given talks to schools, appeared on TV. She is currently working on a gluten free cookbook. She spoke to PG&H on the TCC Global stand at Retail Week Live.

Three words that best describe you? “Happy, passionate and grounded.” Something we don’t know about you? “My children entered me for MasterChef - I didn’t think I was good enough. To discover that I was, aged 50, was wonderful, and I now stand up to give talks about food in front of hundreds of people, something I couldn’t have imagined doing! MasterChef has opened the doors to a fantastic career in food.” What was your first job? “Working in IT marketing.” What was the best piece of business advice you were given? “My dad said, 74

Progressive Gifts & Home Worldwide

you don’t get something for nothing love. Life ain’t easy.” What would piece of advice would you give to a young person today? “Be yourself, and do something that you’re passionate about.” What are you currently reading? “Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook, Sweet.” What’s your favourite film? “I love musicals! My favourite films are West Side Story and Carmen.” Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday? “Thailand, especially Koh Samui.” What would your last meal be? “My

mum’s roast dinners, chicken soup or shepherd’s pie. More extravagantly, lobster, skinny chips and garlic mayo!” Which piece of kitchen equipment would you buy for someone as a gift? “Everyone who cooks needs a very good knife, plus measuring spoons. It might also be wooden boards which I love, or some bowls, something I spend a fortune on!” How do you start your day and how do you end it? “I’m an early riser. I take the dogs for a walk in the woods, then come home to have breakfast and a cup of tea. I end my day curled up on the sofa with my dogs, cats and my husband!” Which one thing would you take to a desert island? “My cooker, and if I was allowed something else too, it would have to be books.” (See Cooking Up A Storm on pages 57-61)


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BESPOKE

GIFT IMPORTERS & DISTRIBUTORS

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: sales@homsquare.co.uk www.homsquare.co.uk

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

www.joedavies.co.uk

GIFTS & GREETINGS

TRADE ASSOCIATION

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: www.ga-uk.org Email: enquiries@ga-uk.org Tel: 0121 237 1104 10 Vyse St, Birmingham B18 6LT

Giftsandhome.net - launching May 3, 2018 Launching on 3 May 2018, GiftsandHome.net will be the new online resource for the entire gifts and home sector. From the publishers of Progressive Gifts & Home, and the organisers of The Greats gift retailer awards, this new e-newsflash portal and website will deliver and be the hub of the very latest news, views, and analysis from across the gifts arena, covering both the supplier and retailer aspects of the trade. Launching with an unrivalled email subscriber base of over 8,000 readers, a twice-weekly newsflash (sent every Monday and Thursday) will land directly in the inboxes of everyone in this fast-paced sector. A modern, easy to navigate website will provide a central resource for the trade too, offering pithy news, indepth articles, an industry jobs board, retail analysis, digital issues of Progressive Gifts & Home, and much, much more. All advertising on the website is duplicated to each and every newsflash, giving advertisers huge visibility and a direct connection with retail buyers for a whole calendar month. GiftsandHome.net is published by gift sector experts, for gift trade experts. We’d love you to be part of it!

Advertising and Commercial Opportunities:

Advertisement Manager - Angie Bryant angieb@max-publishing.co.uk

Editorial and Content Opportunities:

Editor - Sue Marks sue@suemarks.co.uk

@Prog_Gifts

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Progressive Gifts & Home May/June 2018  
Progressive Gifts & Home May/June 2018