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On The Cards


Pomp and ceremony! Let’s face it, whatever our political views we are all suckers for a bit of it. And we in the greeting card industry have certainly had our fair share of it in the last few weeks. Firstly, Warren and I felt very privileged recently to be asked to unveil a plaque to officially open the impressive new Hallmark UK hub in Bradford, with Don Hall, the grandson of the great Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark, who had flown in especially from Kansas for the event (see pages 42-43). Then the next week, we were in Nottingham to witness The Art File officially receive its Queen’s Award for International Trade (see page 18). The Art File follows in the footsteps of Blue Eyed Sun, which received this prestigious award last year. As well as feeling immensely proud of The Art File’s co-founders Ged and Karen Mace, and their great team, of their achievements both in the UK and overseas, it was a wonderful testament to the sterling work our industry is doing to help our balance of payments! And of course, last month we held The Retas at the fabulous Dorchester Hotel in London, where the finest retailers of greeting cards were recognised, celebrated and rewarded! There were some great winners and some great ‘back stories’, and anyone who has visited one of Mark and Leona Janson-Smith’s Postmark stores, would not dispute that it was a worthy recipient of Above right: (Left-right) The Art File’s James Mace and Ged Mace with Jakki Brown (PG), Lord Lieutenant Sir John Peace and Warren Lomax (PG) at the recent event in Nottingham at which the publisher received its Queen’s Award. Right: Don Hall jnr (second right) and Steve Wright, ceo of Hallmark UK, with PG’s Warren Lomax and Jakki Brown at the official opening of Hallmark’s new HQ. Below: The PG team at The Retas (right-left) Gale Astley, Warren Lomax, Jakki Brown and Ian Hyder, embracing the ‘enchanted tails’ theme.

the overall Greeting Card Retailer of the Year - a great triumph for the independent card retail sector! And just for good measure, we at PG are launching another industry award event this November. This time, it is not for greeting card publishing excellence like The Henries or greeting card retailing excellence like The Retas, but for another closely aligned paper product. The Calendar Industry Awards, or The Calies as they will become known, will give recognition to an oft forgotten sector. Over 16 million calendars are sold in the UK annually, most of those by retailers who are also strong in greeting cards (see page 13). We felt it was about time those involved in the calendar industry deserved a bit of pomp and ceremony too!

PS There are still a few places available for The Ladder club seminars that take place on September 19 and 20 (see page 15). THE HOME OF MARKET LEADING TRADE MAGAZINES


The B2B Publication For Preschool Products and Retailers


Max Publishing Ltd, United House, North Road, London N7 9DP Tel: 020 7700 6740 Fax: 020 7607 6411 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


every picture a new range of contemporary quotation cards designed by see the entire collection at

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What’s Inside 27

Within This Issue:


11-21 News




Jeremy’s Journal

The Retas Awards Winners 2017

Telling Tales Blue Eyed Sun’s Jeremy Corner discusses the importance of sharing your brand’s story.

22-23 Over The Counter

I Am The Resurrection… Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, ponders how failure can lead to success.

58-59 Retailer Face To Face

Retailing In The Fast Lane


PG journeys along the M6 to meet Sarah Dunning, chairman of Westmorland, the company that’s re-invented retail in motorway service stations.

Innovations 42-43


Face To Face


Hall Of Fame


Let’s Talk About Spring!

At Hallmark UK’s new headquarters in Bradford, PG caught up with Don Hall jnr, the president and ceo of Hallmark Cards group.

The New Designers Show Art Source

Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.



What’s Hot?



Worldly Wise

The Retas 2017

International visitors to PG Live this year reveal if Brexit has impacted on trade with UK publishers.

An Enchanting Afternoon


Party pictures from The Retas Awards’ ‘Enchanted Tails’ themed event last month.

Classified 79

Appointments Progressive Greetings is a monthly business magazine. SUBSCRIPTIONS:

UK subscription:

One year £50 Two year £85 Three year £110 Overseas subscription: One year £75 Jakki Brown

Warren Lomax

Gale Astley

Michelle Board


Advertisement Director

Deputy Editor

News Editor

Copyright© 2017. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of publication, 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.


Use your smartphone app to scan the QR code to visit our website.

PG is the official magazine for the Greeting Card Association GCA: Sharon Little 020 7619 0396 Email: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



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Educated Greetings

Below: A design from Poet and Painter Below left: A display of graduation gifts in Zo And Co, Disbury.

Thank you teacher and graduation cards given full marks The greeting card industry increasingly has a lot to thank the education system for – with sales of thank you teacher cards, followed by exam congratulations making the grade for so many card stockists. With the end of the school term comes over-excited children, parents wondering just how they’re going to juggle everything over the next six weeks – and a pleasant profit boost for the greeting card industry.

It’s now not just a case of buying their class teacher a thank you card or present when school gets out, as many children and adults alike want to show teaching assistants, dinner ladies and even lollipop men and ladies their appreciation as well. Ros Jones, from Celtic Company, Welshpool said: “While families have always made a point of thanking teachers – particularly at Primary School level – often with a card or token present, this has definitely been more of an event for us this

year than in the past,” with the fortnight leading up to the end of the summer term resulting in a “significant uplift” in sales. While she says that retailers’ increased efforts in this direction, the greater choice of products available, as well as peer pressure from children and their parents, have contributed to the growth of this area, she also cites a shift in the way educators are perceived is changing. “Our customers see that they, along with other public sector workers, appear to be less valued by central government than previously and are keen to let them know that their contribution has mattered to them as parents and to their child or children,” says Ros. The scale of buying is certainly altering as well. As Mark Janson-Smith, co-owner of Postmark in London said: “It is getting wider and wider. It used to be just teachers, but now teaching assistants are given cards too, plus dinner ladies”, with 'Lollipop Lady' cards being another ask for retailers. Andrea Pinder, owner of Unit 7 Cards and Gift shops in Manchester and Birmingham, points out that this summer’s season of ‘thank you teacher’, closely followed by graduation and exam congratulations, makes this something of a “big retail event.” As well as cards, “Congratulation gifts are big for us,” says Andrea. With the GCSE and A Level results still to be released, followed by the ‘off to Uni’ flurry, it is something of an ‘educated summer’ for card retailers.

CBG swots up for My Dinky Bear’s launch As over 300 independent retailers take delivery of Carte Blanche Greetings’ new brand, My Dinky Bear, the publisher has been doing some homework to help ensure a pull through from youngsters by forging links with schools. The launch of Tatty Teddy’s new ‘sibling’ is debuting now exclusively in independent retailers (on a range of plush, accessories as well as a select card range), with My Dinky Bear aimed as a ‘friend’ to its target audience of 4-9 year-olds. To boost awareness and engagement with the new brand, the Sussex-based publisher has created a Schools’ Pack for teachers which positions Dinky as a class mascot, as well as encouraging youngsters to further embrace the brand through adventure journals. The school packs (including adventure journals and free products) will be distributed to 600 school classes at the start of the school term next month, only a few weeks after Dinky will have launched into independent stores on specially created FSDUs. As Julia Andrews, CBG’s trade marketing manager explained: “Creating these schools’ packs isn’t just about reaching our primary audience it is also a wonderful opportunity to engage with children in a way that encourages literacy, being active and also celebrates the uniqueness of every child.” Above: The My Dinky Bear FSDU which highlights the plush’s magnetic paws.

The caring power of cards Having autism can sometimes mean it’s hard for children to make friends, but both Ben Jackson (above) and his mum Lisa were left heartbroken when no one turned up to his 10th birthday party. Many from the greeting card industry are among those who have ensured it was not a lonely 11th birthday for Ben this year. Determined that things would be different for his 11th birthday, Lisa put out an appeal on social media asking if people would be willing to send Ben a card – and they responded in their droves from all over the world. Royal Mail delivered over 10,000 cards, some from as far away as India, South Africa and Australia, and dedicated postal trolleys were set up at Portsmouth sorting office to handle Ben’s birthday card haul. “My other birthday was awful – this one is a big improvement,” Ben said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have so many cards I’m astonished - thank you everyone.”

GF Smith’s Paper City moves to London GF Smith attracted huge interest in its ‘world’s favourite colour’ initiative, as well as for its Paper City art installation trail which formed part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 celebrations, so the specialist paper supplier to the trade is continuing the activity in London. GF Smith worked with eight leading creatives to create ‘Paper City’, a series of beautiful, surprising and colourful temporary installations across a range of sites in Hull city centre, made from GF Smith’s Colorplan range of paper. Some of these installations have now been transported to London, to be displayed in GF Smith’s Show Space. Above: One of the art installations that formed part of Paper City.



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Call Out For The Calies Date set for new UK Calendar Awards The UK Calendar Industry Awards, to become known as The Calies, are to make their debut this year. These new awards will recognise excellence in the calendar, Advent calendar and diaries sector, including retail, charity and corporate titles. The retail categories will be judged by retailers and the corporate titles by a panel of industry and design experts. Being launched by Max Publishing, owners of Progressive Greetings, with the support from the calendar and diary sector, the winners of The Calies will be unveiled at a memorable afternoon awards event to be held on Wednesday 29 November 2017 at the historic Stationers’ Hall, in the City of London. The Calies is a successor to the National Calendar Awards (NCA), which have run for the last decade (which in

turn were a progression from the National Business Calendar Awards, which initially only recognised business calendars). "The calendar and diaries sector has been close to our hearts for many, many years through Progressive Greetings and Progressive Calendars. We were delighted to be given the opportunity and support from calendar publishers large and small to build on the success of the NCA with The Calies," commented Warren Lomax, joint managing director of Max Publishing, which also owns and organises The Retas and The Henries awards in the greeting card sector as well as other awards programmes. "We are looking forward to combining our experience of organising leading awards with the important input from calendar experts, on the retailing and publishing sides." Danilo’s operations director Daniel Prince paid tribute to the former

Below: The Calies awards event will take place in Stationers’ Hall, London in November. Below left: Retailers such as Calendar Club will be invited to vote for the best calendars in The Calies.

organsers of the NCAs - Pat Batley and Kay Hurrell – who are now “taking a well earned rest” having run the awards for the last decade, but also welcomed the opportunity to launch a fine-tuned, reinvigorated awards programme in The Calies. “The calendar market is still a very vibrant sector - over 16 million calendars are sold alone every year in the UK, with one in three homes having a calendar on their walls - that continues to prosper. There are over 40 different calendar publishers in the UK market, let alone those who produce diaries and Advents. This new event will provide a great opportunity for the industry to join together and celebrate the coming year’s calendars,” says Daniel. The Calies will build on the heritage of the NCAs with the new timing of the event moving to end of November (the NCAs used to take place in January) will allow winners and finalists to maximise the marketing potential of the awards in both trade and consumer press following the event, while the judging process will also be significantly expanded to have more retailer involvement. David Pike, managing director of Calendar Club and Carousel, added his endorsement: “We are pleased to see the Calendar Awards being re-vitalised and broadened, in terms of both the publishers and the retailers taking part,” David said. “We are also excited that the rejuvenation of the awards represents an opportunity to promote calendars as a product to retailers and the end-customer.” The website for The Calies will go live in a few weeks from which downloadable entry forms for all categories encompassing both retail and corporate titles, Advent calendars and diaries. The awards will be free to enter to enable companies of all sizes to participate.

Simon Elvin launches sibling brand Greetings Leading wholesale publisher Simon Elvin is making a “substantial” additional investment in the wholesale sector by launching a dedicated value for money standalone stock control brand called Greetings. What prompted the Greetings launch was Hallmark’s decision to exit the wholesale sector earlier this year, thereby taking away Hambledon Studios’ Gold stock control option for wholesalers and their customers. “We talked to our wholesale customers who were concerned by the loss of Hambledon Gold. I didn’t feel we could just sit back and do nothing so we undertook to create Greetings,” Simon Elvin explained. He stresses that the new brand is very much in addition to the publisher’s existing wholesale brand, not instead of. “The Greetings collection has been created very much with the card shop in mind. The Greetings collection has been created by a totally different design and editorial team and the cards do not make any mention of the Simon Elvin name,” Simon said. The new Greetings collection, which launches into wholesalers in August comprises 300 designs across four price points and sizes, which could fill a 16’ display. Top: The new stock control brand debuts at wholesalers in August. Above: There are a wide variety of designs within the Greetings selection.

Best in the nest In an ‘early bird’ offer and competition on its stand at Harrogate Home & Gift, publisher Molly Mae offered any retailer placing an order at last month’s show the chance to win their Spring order for free. PG’s deputy editor Gale Astley was on hand to draw Helen Bufton from The Gift Room in Heswall as the winning name. Jude Kenney, director of Molly Mae, says, “Helen was delighted when we gave her the good news, she said…. ‘Oh I’m so thrilled, you know I love Molly Mae cards and have stocked them since we both started our businesses eight years ago’.” Above: PG’s Gale Astley (right) with Molly Mae’s Jude Kenney picking the winning name.



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Lynn’s Memorial date set

Triumphs At The Retas Winners’ ‘tails’ reach the media and Parliament The UK’s best greeting card retailers were officially recognised at The Retas greeting card retail awards ceremony, which took place on July 12 at The Dorchester Hotel, London - and the winners have not wasted a minute since in spreading the news of their success taking to social media and the press like never before. The sell out event, which this year took on an ‘Enchanted Tails’ forest and animal theme, was attended by over 400 greeting card retailers, publishers and suppliers. Hosted by comedian Charlie Baker, The Retas 2017 saw greeting card retail stockists from right across the retail spectrum recognised, rewarded and celebrated. Welcoming guests, Jakki Brown, editor and co-owner of PG (which owns and organises The Retas) said: “Making your way through the deep retailing forest is not easy, and it takes a special breed of retailing animal that have used their talents and instincts to emerge from the undergrowth and climb to the highest of the tree tops.” Kicking off the awards ceremony, a huge cheer went out when Medici Gallery’s Tim Reynolds was pronounced Retail Employee of the Year. And the applause continued right through the ceremony that built to a crescendo when Postmark, the progressive London-based retail group, won the Greeting Card Retailer of the Year award

Below: The Retas Awards winners 2017.

(having also won the Best Retail Initiative category for its Feelgood Friday initiative). Commenting on winning the ‘top award’, Mark Janson-Smith, co-owner of Postmark, which comprises of four card shops in London said: “Winning this award is easily my biggest achievement to date and for me to pick up the award with my mum there was just amazing. Every award we have ever won has always motivated and inspired us onto bigger and better things. So we’ll take a few weeks to enjoy this and then it’s heads down and back to the drawing board to make sure we keep things fresh and exciting at Postmark!” l The charity raffle at The Retas raised £6,000 for The Light Fund, the industrywide charity, thanks to the generosity of attendees as well as the amazing prizes that were donated. (See pages 44-57 for all winners and photos from the event, with more hosted on The Retas website

Spreading the news The news that Buckie and Elgin-based retailer that trades under Pozzi and Bijou had won the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Scotland award in The Retas reached those in high places. Having been alerted of the award for the retail group, co-owned by David Robertson and his parents Lynda and Jim, the Scottish MP for Moray (and Cabinet Minister for Rural Affairs and Environment in the Scottish Parliament) Richard Lockhead ensured that his fellow cabinet ministers and politicians were made aware of the independent retailer’s triumph. The MSP posted the news on the daily bulletin, which was circulated to all members of the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood. ‘The Parliament congratulates all at Pozzi’ began the notification, highlighting how the retail business employs 70 staff in Moray. “Winning any award always makes you proud, but this year it felt even more important,” commented David Robertson. In less that a week after taking home the coveted Retas trophy for Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Home Counties, Lara Wares, owner of Threads in Harpenden had commissioned a poster to be designed and had planned a striking new window display that will feature a monochrome theme with cards cascading from the ceiling to celebrate the triumph. “Winning our Retas award is already making a difference to the shop and we’re planning a big night out with all the staff to celebrate. I like to think our win validates the unique, quirky quality of our store,” said Lara. Above: The special poster that Threads had designed to celebrate its win.

To celebrate the enormous contribution Lynn Tait (pictured below centre) made to the greeting card industry, a memorial event for the special lady is being arranged to take place on Friday September 15, in London. Being organised by PG’s Jakki Brown, the memorial will be an afternoon event (2.30pm-5pm) being held at The Depot, adjacent to PG’s offices near Kings Cross. “It feels only right that we in the industry create an event that celebrates the wonderful Lynn. I am keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in speaking, giving a reading or sharing a memory. Everyone will be welcome, as Lynn loved a good party!” commented PG’s Jakki Brown.

Ladder Club 2017 bookings It will be bittersweet Ladder Club seminars this year (19 and 20 September); the first without founder Lynn Tait, who sadly passed away recently. As the bookings grow, The Ladder Club team is busy working away behind the scenes to make this year’s seminar sessions something Lynn would be really proud of. Among the top speakers to have already pledged their support include John and Jennie Procter, co-founders of Scribbler, Andrea Pinder, co-owner of Unit 7 card shops and, all the way from Sydney, Jenny Cummins, md of McMillan Cards, a major Australian distributor of UK publishers. Leading names from the publishing world, include Wendy Jones-Blackett, co-founder of the eponymous publisher; Megan Purdie, founder of Megan Claire; Jessica Hogarth of Jessica Hogarth Designs; Ged Mace, md of The Art File and Jeremy Corner, md of Blue Eyed Sun who will also be sharing their knowledge and giving invaluable tips at the seminars. The two one day seminars will take place on Tuesday 19 September and Wednesday 20 September, taking place at Westcliff on Sea, Essex. Cost of attending each day is £65 (including VAT), including lunch and refreshments. To book a place on one of The Ladder Club seminars and for a list of local accommodation options contact Clare Davies on or 01183 340085.




Discover the latest and greatest cards, wrapping, notebooks and all things paper for your store. Your customers will be sure to take note.


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NEWS AG’s ad tackles infertility


Clintons’ trading update Retailer says it is “satisfied” with the progress AG Retail, the official name for Clintons’ UK retail business, has issued a bullish trading statement to help counter the retailer’s disappointing financial results for the year 2016. The Times newspaper was among the first to share the news that Clintons’ 2016 financial results showed a loss of £19 million, up from a £9 million loss the year previous, on a £200 million turnover (down from £206 million the year before). The increase in losses are being attributed to the fall in the value of sterling, but in truth because American Greetings is the owner of Clintons and is its major trading partner, it is difficult to work out the true significance of these results. Much of the losses could be holding company AG’s gain and could be a result of intercompany transactions. Commenting on the 2016/2017 period, Clintons’ VP marketing and commerce, Tim Fairs said: “Within a difficult trading environment, we are satisfied with the progress being made as part of our on going transformation strategy.” He said that Clintons’ performance exceeded other high street retailers, gratified that it was “able to offset high

Below: Clintons is seeing an increase in its gift sales.

street traffic declines during the back half of the year, caused by uncertainty post-Brexit affecting consumer confidence and traffic.” He confirmed that although sales had dipped very slightly (down 1%) the increase value of the ‘customer basket’ was taking things in the right direction, revealing that improvements in its gift offer and “more effective merchandising techniques” have helped to deliver “a midsingle digit increase” in its gifting business. Clintons’ anewed consumer PR campaign has continued to raise awareness of the retailer as well as the category as a whole. “Our research continues to tell us that customers are enjoying our market leading range, superior quality and best in sector service,” added Tim.

Great-great expectations One of Clintons’ recent PR pushes was to highlight how an ageing population is reflected on the card racks. Clintons revealed that it is considering extending the range of great-grandparent specific cards it stocks after seeing sales of cards for those aged 70 and over rise by 116% in the last year. There are currently around 500,000 people in the UK aged 90 plus, with just under 15,000 centenarians - a 65% increase over the past decade. It is expected that 100,000 cards will be sold to those celebrating 90th, 95th and 100th birthdays in 2017. Tim Fairs, VP of marketing at Clintons said: “Most people of my generation have no memory of their great-grandparents, yet today many play an active role in family life. It’s great that younger generations have access to the love, experience and history of their elderly relatives and it’s fascinating that demographics are shifting so rapidly.”

UKG’s parent company, American Greetings has delivered another masterstroke in making a serious point about the way that greeting cards can help in difficult situations. That powerful mix of relief and hope you feel upon realising that you are not alone in dealing with a tough situation can be difficult to put into words. That feeling, its impact, and the reminder that relationships are important are the focus of American Greetings’ second instalment of its Give Meaning campaign, a video entitled Not Alone. The video follows a young couple and their struggle with infertility. In the ad, the young woman is given a ‘thinking of you’ card after attending a baby shower for another friend. At this poignant moment you can see the relief on her face as she knows that she is not alone. The ad concludes by telling us a card isn’t just a card, ‘In the right moment, it can mean everything.’ Below: A poignant moment in AG’s Not Alone ad.

Little arrivals, big story! Hallmark is bringing more Disney joy to retailers - in the form of the latest additions to its Itty Bittys range. It’s been just over two years since the Itty Bittys collection launched in the UK, and Disney characters are now being ‘itty bittyfied’ to launch into stores from October. Having been first unveiled at PG Live back in June, characters including Belle and the Beast, Frozen’s Anna, Elsa, Sven and Olaf and the Disney Princesses will join the existing array of plush products.

A tour de force While Chris Froome and Team Sky were busy conquering the torturous mountains in The Tour De France, another bunch were hot on their bike trail, a group from Katie Phythian Design, who had set themselves the task of cycling unsupported from the start line in Dusseldorf, Germany to the Eiffel Tower in Paris over eight days. The impressive journey was initiated to help raise awareness and funds for Wood Street Mission in Manchester, a charity that helps support families through difficult times. They arrived at the end of their epic 600 km journey in one piece, the day before Chris Froome passed the Paris finishing line, travelling through six countries to complete the task. Whilst in Reims, France, they were interviewed and featured in a local paper about their journey and the discussion turned to Katie’s greeting card company. The result was a surge of hits from the French region on the Katie Phythian website and a nod to the UK card industry back home. "We are very tired now it's all over and a little sad. We just want to thank everyone who helped us spread the word. Including the French journalist who was keen to share our story in their local paper," says Katie. To donate visit: or

A fully fledged trade and consumer marketing plan is kicking off now “which is fun and engaging, with elements like wish lists and use of social media something we expect will appeal to Disney fans nationwide,” says Esther Key, licensing manager at Hallmark. A Christmas stocking filler Itty Bittys campaign is also being planned to coincide with the launch of the Star Wars film release in December.

Above: The Katie Phythian Team’s reaching the end of their journey in Paris. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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A proud day for The Art File Publisher receives the Queen’s Award for export “Our company celebrates its 21st birthday next year and I can’t think of a better way than to kick start the celebrations than by winning the Queen’s Award for International Trade,” said Ged Mace, md of The Art File (who co-founded the company with Karen Mace) welcoming suppliers, customers and staff who had been invited to witness the presentation of the official Grant of Appointment scroll as well as a commemorative crystal vase by Lord Lieutenant Sir John Peace (the Queen’s representative) and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Richard Bullock. Ged went on to highlight the strength of the UK greeting card industry, both domestically and overseas. “Despite the many channels of communication now available, greeting cards remain the nation’s favourite way to show someone they really care,” said Ged, before going on to praise The Art File’s talented design team as well as its printers for making the publisher’s products the envy of many, now exported to over 20 territories - and growing, with expansion into Poland, South Africa, Middle East and Asia now in its sights.

The event, which took place in The Art File’s home city of Nottingham, followed on from Ged and his son and colleague James being invited to Buckingham Palace along with the other Queen’s Award 2017 winners. While at the Palace, James discovered that it is not just the Queen who is a fan of greeting cards. Having asked James the nature of The Art File’s business, the Duke of Edinburgh responded enthusiastically: “Very good. I still send greeting cards on a regular basis.” The Art File can use the Queen’s award accreditation for the next five years.

Peter Reichwald hands over the reins of GBCC “I have had the time of my life, but it’s time for old farts like me to make way for the new generation,” Peter Reichwald (below), the ebullient founder of GBCC told PG about his decision to retire, aged 75, handing the running of the business over to his long-time co-director Chris Wilcox who has become managing director. Peter is to continue as chairman and remains the majority shareholder of the company. Peter stresses this really is the end of a era for him – he tried to retire once before, 10 years ago, but had to step back in when the incumbent md did not work out. “Yup, this time it’s final. I’m too bloody old to keep my fingers on the pulse! Chris is a good guy and he and the co-directors will do a great job.” Peter has been involved in the greeting card industry since the 1970s. As for the advice he would give to his younger self starting out as a card publisher? “Don’t try and build your business too big too quickly. Keep it small, tight and profitable. Do not go for empire building,” purports Peter.

Above: The Art File’s Ged, Karen and James Mace with many of the company’s staff and Lord Lieutenant Sir John Peace and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Richard Bullock.

A Royal visit for Liverpool cardies Card publishers Hype Associates and April Rose Illustration enjoyed a visit from royalty when Prince Edward (left) visited the historic building where the two businesses are based in Liverpool. Prince Edward, HRH The Earl of Wessex recently visited The Bluecoat Art Gallery and Studios in Liverpool, the oldest building in the city, which celebrates its 300 year anniversary this year. Siobhan Harrison, creator behind the April Rose brand, has a studio overlooking the central courtyard garden, while fellow publisher, Hype Associates also has offices in the building.

Janie Wilson ignites Gold Leaf sales with candles Janie Wilson (below) is not someone who does things by half. Not only has the plucky publisher diversified from greeting cards into candles, but the company is producing them onsite at its Yorkshire premises. Janie Wilson, owner of the eponymous card company, admitted that its venture into candles, which launched at Harrogate Home & Gift last month, represented a “significant commitment”, not just financially, but in time through learning the art of candle making first hand. The inaugural Janie Wilson candle range, which was a huge hit at the recent Home & Gift show, comprises 18 tins and 10 jars using 10 different fragrances. The candles’ labels echo the publisher’s popular Gold Leaf card range, which has recently been extended by 40 designs. “This is the first time we have diversified with a gift range so it was both exciting as well as daunting,” admits Janie. “After much research we decided to hand pour all the candles ourselves, as with our cards we wanted full control of production. This meant we had to learn about fragrances, how different wicks are needed for different fragrances and what conditions are crucial when hand-pouring wax,” she added. The candle tins cover different sending occasions while the jars are suited as gifts or self-purchase. 18


All Good Gifts to close After over 30 years of trading on London’s Northcote Road, in Battersea, prominent card and gift retailer, All Good Gifts is to sadly shut its doors for good in early August, but will be paying all suppliers’ bills. “A combination of a 50% rent increase, extortionate high street business rates, Brexit (grr), Paperchase (double grr - due to it opening a store almost opposite) and the creep of Amazon and the like has just made running an independent, family-run, local gift shop unsustainable in the current climate,” said Jacqueline and Matt Shearing, the mother and son co-owners of the business in their announcement to suppliers. They surrender the lease on their shop premises on August 7. Jacqueline and Matt have sent out a “massive thanks” to everyone who has been involved in the business over the last three decades. One possibility is that they will revamp the All Good Gifts’ website ( Above: All Good Gifts has been a landmark store on Battersea’s Northcote Road for 30 years.

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Card Factory expands into Eire Value retailer appoints Jo Bennett as studio director Card Factory has opened in Dublin, its first store in the Republic of Ireland; held its first ever Christmas press event and added considerable expertise to its creative team with the key appointment of former Hallmark exec. In what represents a significant development step for the growing value retail chain, is news that it has recruited former Hallmark creative maestro, Jo Bennett as its studio director. Jo has now left Hallmark, for whom she worked for the last 20 years, latterly as group studio director. Her start date at Card Factory has yet to be announced. Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory, explained the appointment to the company’s staff: “We have very ambitious plans with ongoing quality designs for both cards and non-card. As we look to continue to innovate the ranges in our stores, we require a studio director that can provide strong leadership, who has a good understanding of the card industry and is both successful and has a respected track record in their own right.” Jo will join the 60-strong design team at Card Factory’s in-house studio that is overseen by Stuart Middleton, creative director and major shareholder in the company. Commenting on Jo’s departure from Hallmark, Matt Critchlow, the company’s

Paperchase’s Christmas trends draw in the press

Above: Jo Bennett is to join Card Factory.

sales director said: “We of course wish Jo the best. Full credit to her, she has left a very strong legacy of a very talented creative leadership team of over 100 people.” lCard Factory staged its first ever ‘Christmas in July’ press showcase last month to pique interest in consumer titles and with bloggers. The retailer showcased an extensive range of products, including a considerable expansion of its online personalised gifts portfolio (that will be available through its portal). It predicts that this year its giftwrappings will be used to wrap 32 million presents, eight million of which will be in its gift bags.

Scribbler opens bonnie Scottish flagship store Scribbler has just opened a brand new flagship store in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street, reinstating the retail brand back in this prestigious location, its previous one having been forced to close due to redevelopment. Jennie Procter, co-owner of Scribbler, describes the new 600 sq foot store as “something of the 'mothership' in Glasgow” to its two other smaller stores in the Scottish city. “We are so pleased to be back in Buchanan Street,” Jennie said. “As it is the second busiest thoroughfare in the country after Oxford Street, we are confident that it will represent a flagship for us,” she added. Scribbler expects to be trading from 40 stores by the end of the year. Above: Scribbler is once again trading on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street in a new flagship store.

Paperchase kicked off the festive season with record attendance to its Christmas Press Event, which took place at its flagship Tottenham Court Road store. Approaching 400 editors, journalists and bloggers flocked to the store’s second floor, where a glittering festive emporium had been created to showcase the major themes the retailer is adopting across cards, wrap, decorations and gifts for this year’s Christmas season. Commenting on the positive response to its Christmas Press Event, Hazel Walker, senior card buyer told PG: “The unsurpassed interest from so many women’s lifestyle magazines, national press and leading bloggers is testament to the fashionable status stationery and Christmas product now command.” Among the key festive themes being adopted by the design-led retailer this year on the Christmas decorations front include: Christmas Rodeo (echoes of Mexico with cacti, llamas, pom poms and a touch of vintage) and Christmas Frost (a glittering white and metallic world inhabited by animals and mythical creatures including rabbits and cats with antlers). Paperchase is continuing its strong support of charities with own brand Christmas card packs supporting 24 different charities being published, including three that are new for this year - Good Gym, Centrepoint and Hand in Hand for Syria. The retailer donated £270,00 to charities as a result of its Christmas card sales last year. Top: Paperchase buyer Hazel Walker (left) introduces the Christmas Rodeo theme to PG’s Jakki Brown. Below: Paperchase’s Christmas Frost theme features some unexpected mythical creatures, including cats with antlers!

Manchester’s Stationery Show-case After a successful introduction at the London Stationery Show in April, the event’s new sister show in Manchester is now to include a ‘LaunchPad’ section to showcase fledgling suppliers looking to break into the vibrant stationery market. The show organiser, Ocean Media, has launched a competition to find six companies to introduce at the Manchester Stationery Show, taking place at the Victoria Warehouse, Old Trafford, on 31 October - 1 November, that judges will think are of real interest to the stationery industry as a whole. Entrants will need to show clear thought and execution when it comes to the branding and offer and a value in proportion to the suggested retail price. Entry forms can be found online at:, and send a sample of products or designs for consideration. Closing date for entries is Friday, 8 September. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Top Of The Trees Greeting card industry scores on green front The greeting card industry has been praised for its environmental credentials in an important charity report. Every two years the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reveals the findings of its Timber Scorecard Report, rating businesses on the visibility of their timber sourcing policies - or paper sourcing in the case of cards - and steps taken to improve that performance. The GCA was one of only seven trading associations singled out for their work in this area, and with several greetings manufacturers, including IG Design Group and UK Greetings, awarded the charity’s prestigious ‘3 Trees’ rating, it was good news all round. Hallmark Cards received a ‘2 Trees’ grading, while Clinton Cards and The Great British Card Company received a ‘1 Tree’ rating - an improvement on 0 Trees in the previous report. The latest report stated: ‘The Greeting Card Association with its Paper Sourcing Guidance has produced a simple and easily accessible three-page guide to sourcing sustainable boards with recommendations, tips and suggested statements for drafting a paper sourcing policy. ‘It has also made some clear recommendations to card publishers on

Below: WWF gives the greeting industry a green ‘thumbs up’. Below left: A green and pleasant landscape on UKG card.

lNitin Dhanda of Party Buz in Farnborough is the winner of UKG’s PG Live competition – which the publisher initiated as part of the launch of its new Star Wars and Marvel ranges. Interested retailers were invited to enjoy being on the Star Wars ‘stage set’ by trying out the new sound effect light saber and pop-up cards. Above: Robert Marsden, UKG’s south east regional sales manager and Luisa Vowles, south east regional sales exec and Nitin Dhanda.

where they can make a real difference, including good housekeeping that promotes cost saving measures.’ Commenting, Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA said: “I’m delighted that the hard work the GCA and our industry has done on this has been recognised by the WWF.” UK Greetings was rightly thrilled with its move upwards from a ‘2 Trees’ to ‘3 Trees’ grading. “During the past few years we have made various step changes to transfer our materials to FSC/SFI grade within our supply chain,” commented Julie Huntingdon-Dale, UKG’s customer operations manager. “To put this into context our previous grading was 2 Trees with approximately 70% of our volume manufactured on FSC/SFI compliant material. By 2016 100% of orders raised by UKG utilised FSC or SFI certified paper stocks,” she added.

End of an era for Salmon? Calendar and post card publisher Salmon is proposing to withdraw from publishing at the end of 2017, after well over 100 years of trading. The fifth generation family company, which is now run by brothers Charles and Harry Salmon as joint mds, has entered a consultation process with the staff at its Sevenoaks HQ. J Salmon is believed to be the oldest calendar and postcard publisher in the UK. The Kent-based publisher cites a lack of succession management options, together with Above: Salmon company’s origins go back to 1880 when economic considerations as being among the main reasons for Joseph Salmon, who had been a bookseller in London, the proposed changes. acquired a stationer’s shop with a general printing business in Sevenoaks, Kent. In a statement issued by Charles and Harry, they said: ‘It is with great regret that the company is today announcing a proposal to withdraw from publishing. Increasingly challenging trading conditions and changes to the nature and size of the market for its publications have resulted in uncertainty over the viability of its trade going forward, and its current structure as a UK based printer publisher. We have also had to consider that there are no more members of the family who wish to join the business.” The company has been owned by the Salmon family since it was founded in 1880. A letter has been sent to the company’s many retail customers thanking them for their support over the years and giving the assurance that ‘the company will continue to trade normally until the end of 2017’ and will supply the full range of its products until then. While calendars and postcards remain at the core of the business, its portfolio also includes greeting cards, diaries, guide books, gift books, recipe books, prints and placemats. All its products are designed and printed in Britain, at its site in Sevenoaks.

Cath Tate Card’s Guardian of the galaxy It’s been more than 30 years since Cath Tate took a photo of a friend with her toddler and, combined with the then Tory Prime Minister, used it as inspiration for the clever and witty postcard that would help launch her hugely successful greeting card business. Last month saw the Guardian newspaper pick up on this greeting card industry stalwart’s achievements. That card’s ‘Prevent Street Crime’ slogan and montage featuring Maggie Thatcher seemingly stealing the young mother’s purse are now legend – but Cath, who runs the Brixton-based family business with her designer daughter Rosie, says that it was only when the Guardian newspaper approached her Above: Cath Tate’s card about an interview featuring Margaret Thatcher. that she started thinking about just how far she’s come. “I must say I was very chuffed when the Guardian asked to interview me about Cath Tate Cards,” Cath told PG. “It was only when the journalist started asking me about how I started that it sunk in how I had gone from running a small business on the kitchen table with a couple of small children round my ankles, to running a much bigger business with one of those children working with me. “When you are living through it the changes happen gradually and you don’t notice they are happening.” Cath, who specialises in cards that are: ‘witty, gritty, right on, switched on, political, ethical, sceptical, poetical and just plain funny,” told the newspaper how, after her Thatcher image began to sell well in alternative bookshops she came to be introduced to a group of female cartoonists and began producing their work as cards. What prompted the Guardian to get in touch was as Cath has just completed a life-long dream of helping to curate the Inking Woman Exhibition, featuring female cartoonists’ work at London’s Cartoon Museum. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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I Am The Resurrection... Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, discusses why success begins with failure. Left: ‘Rowl With It’ - a design from Owl My Love. Below: Business man and philanthropist, Bill Gates.

Gallagher, Brown, Ryder, some of the classic surnames of the Brit-pop era. These names suggest tremendous success with music, money and all the trappings that come with it, yet all in some way have had to resurrect their careers in recent years. In the world of music their demise, or perhaps challenges, were due to various excesses. It may have been everything from women to drugs to lawsuits - the classic sex, drugs and rock and roll story if you will. But now in 2017 they are all relaunching, repackaging and are back at it - doing what they do best. In the last few weeks I have seen Liam Gallagher and The Stones Roses live, and both sounded fresh, clear and totally focused on success… and proving they are right back on form. In every way possible they looked like they had reset. It looked like they had decided that this was ‘what they had to do’. In Liam’s case it is about proving he is and always was one of the best front men ever. In the case of The Roses it is about them going out on top (if they really have retired again). The other biggest phenomenon at the minute, and someone else who knows ‘what he had to do’, is the fighter Conor McGregor. Four years ago he was broke, on welfare and fighting in front of 500 people for £188. Next month he will fight Mayweather in the 22


attraction of a generation (tickets are impossible to get) and he will bank a rumoured £75 million pounds. Conor has said: “I'm not going to get somewhere and say, 'OK, I'm done.' Success is never final; I'll just keep on going. The same way as failure never being fatal. Just keep going. I'm going to the stars and then past them.” McGregor is box office - a new breed of celeb and star. He has come from very little, yet has instinctive timing both in fights and outside the ring, as well seemingly knowing exactly what to say and do. Brash and in your face, you don’t have to like him but you can’t not respect him. Yet, he has lost and failed. Famously lost in fact, only 18 months ago, submitting to a guy he fought on short notice. His reaction? He changed and fought the guy again and won and became an even bigger star. Business is like this. You are that frontman or you are that fighter. You need to feed off the crowd. You need to react to what they want and you need to thrive under the pressure to win both the individual battles and the longer fights. Each challenge is different. Each fighter poses a new problem. Each crowd will react to a different song. It is up to you to interpret this and then to evolve and change to be successful. Adapt... Why success always starts with a failure. A few years ago I was gifted a book by Tim Harford, an economist who writes for the FT. The very beginning of the book focuses on

one thing, and that is that very few of our failures in life are fatal. It argues strongly that failure is not the problem it is the way we react to it. The way we acknowledge it. The way our egos stop us actually doing something about it is far more damaging than the failure or issue itself. “It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” - Bill Gates Fast forward to 2017 and there have been some major failures in our industry this year, yet in truth many of these could and should have been avoided. The majority of them are because these businesses’ core cost base was too high. The rent and rates simply killed them and I have to be honest and say a lot of that was based on ego. The guys who were running it wanted the biggest shop, or a certain location or the most elaborate refit. These are just some of the common denominators with how things have failed, but the bottom-line, the book argues, and I agree, is how quickly you change course... how quickly you adapt, and the simple truth is that most of the industry failures this year couldn't change as they were tied into leases or had run up debts or simply weren't there enough so that they couldn't get out of it despite huge opportunities to do so. Success at any level, whether a market stall, small shop or large chain, comes when you check your ego and come back with a smarter, stronger approach. It comes with tackling your failures head on and rapidly fixing things rather than getting everything right first time.

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OVER THE COUNTER So what are the typical reactions to failure? Denial... Naturally of course we go on the defensive, basically to save a bit of face. No one likes to say that they were wrong so they deny it and this is by far the worst thing to do. You need to judge like a fighter when it’s the time to attack or when it’s the time to defend or move on. It is instinctive and should be something we should be good at as it is a common occurrence in retail. Everything has a shelf life otherwise we would all be still selling Garfield and Sad Sam and Honey cards. Don’t chase your losses... Some of the most successful business guys I know have little sentiment. If they have a store that isn’t working it is quickly closed down. One of my best friends in our industry is perhaps that best I know at this and I admire how he looks at it coldly and professionally. In truth it is why he is so successful. Or, in the case of a publisher, if a range has bombed they sell it off quickly and move onto the next. All truly successful people can draw that line and they do it quickly. Don’t engage in hedonic editing... So what does that mean? Well basically it means that we somehow re-think our failures and view them as successes or wins. If they are failures accept it. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” - Richard Branson So IF you find yourself in a difficult position in your business how do you adapt? What are the strategies? What can you do cheaply/easily and effectively to make a difference? Where do you start? Well, the first thing is don't be precious and hold on to something that is failing or beginning to fail. Check that ego and this will be the first step in turning things round. And the second is don’t bury your head or hope things will improve on their own. Action needs to be taken and you need to be decisive with it. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford Time and money... Look carefully at everything you do and see how you can make savings, both in terms of cost and time. Go through the process of looking carefully at your operating budget. Do this two or three times and make a list of things you need to

save or cut entirely. A great example in my own business is the scary amount we spend on window cleaning. I am now looking into purchasing the equipment myself and doing it myself. We could literally save £100’s of pounds in the first year alone. In terms of time, it is much more difficult. I feel like I spend all day chasing my tail and then actually work at night. I am sure if I was disciplined and blocked part of my day off that this would be easier but somehow I never seem to get round to taking my own advice. Honest opinions... Gather feedback from each of your core team. You need to speak to those that are working with you closely and also those that you can really trust and will be honest with you. You need to know what is happening NOT what you think is happening. As the leader or business owner this can be difficult as staff may not want to say what they think for many reasons but you do need to listen. Good staff are hard to find and I would argue strongly that any member of staff that will voice an opinion is worth their weight in gold. Also it can be a good time to look at what professional help is out there. Business Gateway, town centre management groups and, if it gets to that stage, specialist bankruptcy lawyers can all help to guide you but the aim is to turn around the business not to simply put it in to bankruptcy. Innovate... Be different, try new things. Successful businesses are always exposing themselves to new people and new ideas. Social media gives us a window into many, many different brands and I personally get lots of ideas from it, both in terms of product and shop display. Not only should we look at what others are doing but we should speak to them and learn and listen from their experiences. Attending trade fairs is crucial to this, as is the interaction with reps/agents/owners, which provide reassurance as well as knowledge. If you really believe in your business model and have the Top: David celebrating his recent Retas Awards win with PG’s Jakki Brown. Above: Retas congratulations cards from well wishers. Left: Be disciplined with your time - a gold block foiled Pitch Black design from Louise Tiler.

numbers/theories to back it up you could go for a loan from the bank, your family and friends or investors, but this will of course bring another added pressure. It is also important if the business is failing not to let it stagnate with old product. You need to experiment and try new things perhaps bring in £200 of a totally different card range. Try a different way to promote through social media. Expand on your service element, relocate to a better site, invest in

equipment that will ultimately make your business more cost efficient. In fact try anything that won’t jeopardise the overall survival of the business. "Failure isn't fatal, but failure to change might be." - John Wooden Companies fail for lots of reasons - poor business planning, ineffective management, unattainable business model, bad economy, lack of focus or work ethic - but the lesson here is about timing, self belief and the will to win and succeed. The interesting thing of course is how do you measure that? Is it in £pounds? Is it in awards? Is it in personal satisfaction? Well, that is a whole other question. “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Thomas A. Edison To contact David email: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Let’s Talk About Spring! As we are now well in to our glorious summer, or the ‘Silly Season’ as the tabloid newspapers used to dub this period, it may seem a little inappropriate for Cardsharp to talk about next spring. It’s bad enough that in a few weeks time we will be counting down the shopping days to Christmas, and that it only seems like yesterday that it was Father’s Day! But we can’t put it off, reflects Cardsharp. All sections of the greeting card industry need to urgently engage in a serious grown-up discussion about Spring Seasons, otherwise the ramifications will come back and bite the industry on its proverbial posterior. Although the GCA statistics for the value of Spring Seasons cards in 2016 are not quite out yet, the figures for 2015 show that the four Spring Season events were worth £155 million on card purchases alone. Of these £58.4 million was spent on Mother’s Day, £44.5 million on Valentine’s Day, £38.6 million on Father’s Day and £13 million on Easter cards. Going on anecdotal evidence, Cardsharp expects the figures to be broadly similar for 2016, with perhaps Valentine’s suffering a bit of a decline, while Easter, formerly the runt in the litter, likely to show decent growth, although admittedly from a low base. The expansion into more captions for Mother’s Day was even more noticeable this year than last, with ‘like a mum to me’, ‘Step-Mum’, ‘Grandma on Mother’s Day’ encouraging the multi send. Shame that



the ‘Gal-entines’ habit of sending Valentine’s Day cards to friends as in the States hasn’t caught on here, but ho hum. Anyhow, to Cardsharp’s mind, even at the 2015 figures, £155 million retail sales on these four distinct events should be embraced, protected and nurtured. Plus, added to their financial value, the Spring Seasons are at the very heart and soul of

Above: Maureen Lipman featured in the old BT adverts. Below: Easter cards are ‘boxing' for increased space on the card racks as their popularity rises

the greeting card industry. They define our wealth and health. They give us a boost after the retail drudgery of January. The Spring Seasons get the consumer engaged in greeting card sending after Christmas at a time that without them would be totally reliant on birthdays and occasions. They reinforce fundamental relationships with members of our family and, in the case of Easter, provide an opportunity to make contact with those we do not perhaps see as often as we would like. Yet for all this, Cardsharp is concerned that we are in danger of destroying this Golden Goose. And why? Because more and more publishers declare (outwardly as well as under their breath) that despite this high level of retail sales, they just can’t make any profit out of them. And without profit there is no point in publishing. The complaints are numerous. The selling period is just far too short. The dates are unpredictable, and with respect to Valentine’s Day, the day of the week on which it occurs causes headaches. They are heavily

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CARDSHARP “Cardsharp is concerned that we are in danger of destroying this Golden Goose. And why? Because more and more publishers declare (outwardly as well as under their breath) that despite this high level of retail sales, they just can’t make any profit out of them.” influenced by the UK’s unpredictable early spring weather. The consumer is increasingly adopting a ‘just in time’ buying policy, thereby shortening the selling period even more and increasing the pressure for full displays right until the final hour. All these are frequently mentioned, but by far the most common complaint is that many retailers’ policy of insisting on ‘Sale or Return’ on Spring Seasons has made publishing for the events uneconomic. Cardsharp has heard stories of some quite major publishers cutting back on their Spring Seasons offer for 2018. While some are going so far as to say they are pulling them altogether, others are cherrypicking and just doing Mother’s Day designs, or catering for two of the four occasions. Yet this is despite a quite astonishing rise in Easter as a card sending event and Father’s Day being in the ascendance in some quarters too. Furthermore, some of the publishers that are publishing are now refusing to supply to the big publishing brokers that serve the supermarkets and some garden centres, because added to the low margins they normally make on brokerage, with Spring Seasons they have the additional cost of paying for lots of returned unsold stock. Are there solutions? Cardsharp can’t wave a magic wand, but surely it is not beyond the whit of the brilliant brains in the greeting card industry to find a way that everyone involved in the supply chain can make a profit, especially as we are talking about at least £155 million worth of sales here. The Greeting Card Association and the major publishers do a sterling job of promoting Spring Season greeting card sales, with viral videos, media appearances and by actively working with the Royal Mail to encourage sending. But all this is in vain if card publishers feel reluctant to produce the product. Perhaps a new frankness is needed in the discussion. Retailers, both independents and multiples, need to listen and speak their mind. Publishers as a group need to stand

Above: A Father's Day design with a paper pom pom from Caroline Gardner. Below: Adorable Mother’s Day designs from Cinnamon Aitch.

firm. Retailers need to accept they can’t just over order willy-nilly, and if they do they need to accept the consequences financially. Cardsharp hears too many stories of literally boxes and boxes of Spring Seasons cards being returned unopened. Perhaps return levels could by agreement be limited to just 5% in the short-term. But ultimately Cardsharp believes for the longterm health of the Spring Seasons as greeting card events we need to end the whole practice of sale or return. Some retailers will wail with anguish, exclaiming that they need to have full displays right up to and on the day, which means inevitably there will be returns. But if the price of Spring Seasons continuing is a few empty pockets on the last day, or a little bit of a loss on unsold stock, surely that is a price worth paying? And if retailers do run short of stock at the last minute, what’s wrong with a bit of double facing? Or retailers could always nip down to their nearest wholesale cash and carry and top up straight away. Cardsharp knows this may be anathema to certain retailers who insist they only buy direct to retail but they might be surprised at the quality of some of the cards published by the likes of Simon Elvin, and the margin they offer by pricing them up above RRP is pretty

mouth watering and well worth the cost in fuel. And it’s certainly a lot better than having empty pockets with a day to go. Years ago Simon Elvin used to run an advert in Progressive Greetings every January showing how last minute sales were for Spring Season events, and showing how a trip to a cash and carry could help. Cardsharp suspects that these days, the percentage of last minute sales is even more pronounced. Perhaps the great man should consider running that advert again next January. And, as well as retailers getting real, perhaps the large publishing brokers need to reconsider the deal on Spring Seasons for participating publishers. The big boys need other publishers’ products to give their seasonal displays a point of difference. They know they can’t just fill them with their own cards. So surely if the brokers are finding it difficult to find enough quality suppliers to provide balance they need to relook at the Spring Seasons terms they offer. Perhaps a different pricing model that makes it more attractive for supplying publishers to participate can be worked out. Because without enough of an offering, greeting cards as a category will lose space in the grocers and garden centres to flowers, gifts

and confectionery, making greeting cards per say far less visible. It is great that as an industry we are so closely linked to four events that create such a focus to our business cycle and to our relationships and it would be a shame to lose them because of a lack of communication and mutual understanding. As Maureen Lipman used to say in those old BT adverts, ‘It’s good to talk’. And with so much at stake we really need to urgently!



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Worldly Wise While the depreciation of the £pound has hit publishers where it hurts on their costs, reflected in many increased trade prices, on the upside it makes the UK something of an enticing beacon for overseas tourists who are expected to spend as much as £2.4 billion in our shops this summer. As the UK braces itself on the countdown to leave the EU, PG spoke to some of the many overseas visitors who flocked to PG Live this year about whether the Brexit decision has had any impact on their trade with UK publishers, as well as how the market is faring in their part of the world.

Australia Eulinid Stevenson, managing director of Henderson and Waterlyn: “Across Henderson and Waterlyn we’re now dealing with around 25 UK publishers. David [Pursley, previous owner of Waterlyn] has done an fantastic job over the years, which means we really have got an amazing set of products, with the best mix across genres, from the likes of Bug Art, Museums & Galleries, Lagom, Alex Clark, Paper Salad, Tache, Stephanie Dyment, Flametree, Pango, Hearts Designs, Pulp, Stripey Cats, ArtPress, Anzu, Hype, Davora, Blue Eyed Sun, Megan Claire, Janie Wilson, Mint, Real & Exciting Designs, Sue Fenlon, Susan Entwistle and Clear Creations. And of course, we were already distributing Simon Elvin, Nigel Quiney and Glick products via Henderson. It's clear that Brexit has put pressure on the margins of UK publishers. The good news for our suppliers is that we're doing more business with them now than before the Brexit vote. I believe our increased business has nothing to do with currency fluctuations and everything to do with the fabulous new designs we've been able to offer the Australian market and the growth we're seeing among our own customer base.” Market snapshot: “Unfortunately it is difficult to report factual statistics, but the general consensus is that the overall market value in Australia remains stable.”

New Zealand Ian Harris, managing director of Sapienter Group: “More than a year on from the Brexit decision, and our trade with UK suppliers has remained as positive as ever. A few minor price adjustments came into play as a result, but nothing that would have had an adverse affect towards ongoing trade relations. The present advantage for us of course, is the weaker £pound, which makes importing from the UK somewhat more attractive. We continue to view the UK as our primary source for greeting cards, for reasons of excellent quality, fashion-leading design and sentiment which aligns appropriately with our market.” Market snapshot: “Our industry saw the closure of one of our long-established competitor distributors early in the year, which inevitably opened up some opportunities in the market, and understandably were very quickly taken up.” Above: Ian Harris of Sapienter Group with PG Live’s marketing manager Jacqui Parr at the Overseas Drinks Reception on the eve of the show.

New Zealand Leonie van der Hulst, category manager of Image Gallery: “We really haven’t noticed any direct impact from Brexit – we’re business as usual with our UK partners!” Market snapshot: “Stability is important and fortunately, we haven’t had any major changes in our market this year to cause any bumps.” Below: Leonie van der Hulst (second left) with fellow Australians Simson Cards’ Belinda (far left) and Jess Simson (second right) with export consultant Jo Hockett at the PG Live Overseas Drinks Reception.

Above: Eulinid Henderson (right) with Jessica Hogarth (Jessica Hogarth Designs) and Richard Tilotson (Tillovision) at the Lagom 10th Anniversary drinks party that took place on the evening of the first day at PG Live. Left: Paper Salad designs continue to perform well in Waterlyn’s ‘orbit’!



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France Alain Charron, director of the international division, Groupe Editor:

The Balearic Islands Debbie Pearce, director of Paperhouse Dist'n: “Brexit is having no impact on my business at the current time and I am writing as much business this year as I did last year. I personally don’t think it will ever happen, but if it does I hope that there will be a special trade agreement for import/export with Spain.” Market snapshot: “This year is going very well so far but we won’t really know until year end in December. The Balearic Islands are currently at full capacity with tourists. Plus, September always proves to be a very good sales month.” Above: Debbie Pearce (right) enjoying lunch and a chat with retailers Jackie and Dave Humphrey of Dragonfly, Cheam, in the PG Live lunchroom. Right: The holidaymakers add to the expat community in The Balearics to swell card sales on the islands.

Switzerland Markus Keller, ceo of Cart: “We now work with a lot of UK publishers. My main UK suppliers being Louise Tiler, Louise Mulgrew, Rosanna Rossi, Blue Eyed Sun, Wendy Jones-Blackett and Paper Salad, and I also work very well with Taurus Kunstkarten from Germany and Quire from The Netherlands. Up until now there have been no negative changes at all as a result of the UK’s Brexit decision – in fact our business with the UK has rather increased. This is basically due to our strong position in the Swiss market underpinned by the supply of ranges from UK publishers. We do keep our eyes and ears open to every political change, but as Switzerland is not in the EU and has enjoyed many decades of bilateral contracts with the UK we will not be the first ones to be touched by changes in import/export laws.” Market snapshot: “The Swiss card market is basically stable, and we benefit from our customers’ discerning tastes. The times where our retailer customers only looked at the prices are definitely over. They have realised that a large offer, covering every taste at a broad range of prices, is what their customers want.” Above: Markus Keller (far right) having fun at the PG Live first night party with (left-right) Loxleys’ Richard Bacon and Sally Drinkwater and Steve Jones-Blackett (Wendy Jones-Blackett). Right: While there are a lot of undulations in Switzerland’s topography, its greeting card market is more on a level plane.



“The Brexit decision should make no change for us. The British offer on the cards front, with the high creativity and lots of new designs coming out of the UK, will with no doubt continue to be attractive Above: A selection of greeting cards from Groupe Editor. for us, Brexit or no Brexit.” Market snapshot: “For us the market of cards in France in 2017 is quite good in fact. My colleagues are happy with the figures, especially due to our strong investment in new licences and artwork with upgraded embellishments.”

France Fenella Holt, owner of the Antibes Books, The English Bookshop: “Brexit and the subsequent drop in the value of sterling have made importing goods from the UK very attractive. This has meant that I have been able to lower my prices, while increasing my profit margins, with the result that I am selling more cards than ever before.” Market snapshot: “I cannot speak for the whole of the French market, but I have been increasing my sales steadily this year as we become better known in the area for being the best stockist of great cards around! They travel for miles to visit us and buy handfuls at a time. Encouragingly, French people are also catching on to this so we are selling a lot more cards to them, in particular wedding and new baby cards.” Above: Fenella Holt (right) with Soochichacha’s Lucie Chadderon on the publisher’s stand at PG Live. Left: People travel for hours to visit the Antibes Bookshop and buy the UK greeting cards it stocks.


Below: Mathias Janssen.

Mathias Janssen, ceo of Verlag Dominique: “There has been no change in our buying habits, as the £pound has been weaker against the euro. As to the future, we will have to wait and see how the Brexit decision finally affects the business.” Market snapshot:“The German business has been good for us. Notable changes are that Horn Cards, one of the biggest players in our market, filed for insolvency proceedings in self-administration in February, and has now been sold to Dutch company, Nedac Sorbo Group. In addition, Perleberg, another major greeting card brand, has been sold to BSB Opacher. So a lot of positive changes in the market.”

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Canada Tory Wright, President, Paper E. Clips: “So far Brexit has not affected our business with the UK at all. We are currently working with Museums and Galleries, Lagom, Ling Design, Think of Me, Liz and Pip, Ohh Deer, Art Angels, Jolly Awesome, Pigment, and others, and it is going well.” Market snapshot:“I would say that the greeting card market in Canada is changing. One of the biggest changes is that retailers are shifting from pure stationery to lifestyle stores, but encouragingly the demand for greeting cards is still strong.”

Japan Hiroshi Kawamura and Kayoko Kubo, chairman and managing director of Toy Symphony: “We are always very happy to buy British cards, even more so since the Brexit decision, as the weaknesses of the £pound reduces the costs for us, which makes it easier. We do sense that UK companies are launching less new card product than in the previous year, with some preferring to expand into gift items.” Market snapshot: “The Japanese economy is very difficult, which has affected the volume of the cards that are being sold. However, the high-end market continues to sell expensive cards.” Below: Kayoko Kubo with Paper Rose’s Amanda Tremlett, looking at designs on the publisher’s stand at PG Live.

Above: Paper E. Clips’ Tory Wright (centre) with colleagues Martha Angus (right) and Ester Power at the PG Live Overseas Reception. Right: Lagom’s design style chimes well in Canada as well as in the UK.

Foreign Correspondence PG Live’s record attendance from overseas visitors is testament to the attraction of UK card publishers’ creativity. Left: (Left-right) From Malta, Suzanne Mizzi (Paperworld), Matt Genower (Five Dollar Shake), from Germany, Michaela Hazebrouck (Papermoon) from Lithuania, Indra Stepuriene and Regina French with Franz Rensing (PopShots Germany) at the PG Live party.

The Netherlands Robert Aaftink, operations manager of Artige: “Is it already over a year? Time flies. We have not changed our view on the UK market as an import partner as a result. The bond with our partners is very good and together we must work with the situation that comes our way. We don’t have any influence on the consequence of Brexit so we just go our own way in doing good, open and honest business with our partners.” Market snapshot: “A very big concerning factor is the Dutch post. Just a couple of weeks ago our Minister Kamp announced plans to increase the cost of sending post and cut the number of delivery days. This is because people are sending less and less post. I think the consequence of this will be big. I’m glad we are part of the EU because EU regulations state that the post needs to be delivered five days a week. So thankfully it will take time before they can change the rules on this.” Above: Artige’s Robert Aaftink (far left), Ton Hollander (second right) and Dorothe Hollander with Emotional Rescue’s Martin Nevin (second left) and PG’s Warren Lomax. Left: Artige exhibited at PG Live to offer its products to the global market (one of which is pictured) as well as be on the lookout for designs to import into the Dutch market.

Below: From Finland, Putinki’s (left-right) Anu Hartonen, Laura Hartonen and Nina Vuorela with export consultant Paul Fields.

Below: Visiting from the US from Leanin’ Tree were (left-right) Susan January, Tom Trumble and Kim Diesing who chatted to PG’s Ian Hyder at the Overseas Reception.

Right: From Australia, Affirmations’ Dan Maher (far right) and Nick Vale (far left) with (second right) Dean Newman of Incognito, Canada, who joined Blue Eyed Sun’s Jeremy Corner (centre) and PG Live’s Warren Lomax at the Overseas Reception.




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JEREMY’S JOURNAL Business blogging by publisher Jeremy Corner of Blue Eyed Sun.

Telling Tales

Below: Tell your brand’s ‘story’. Bottom: Print designer Sarah Waterhouse was interviewed by to reveal the story of her business.

Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun, narrates the importance of telling your story. Most businesses focus on selling the features and benefits of what they do. These days we are so bombarded with this approach that we’ve learnt to filter it out and ignore it. We make tea during ad breaks, we skip the ads before YouTube videos and ignore ads on our Facebook feeds. We also spend more and more time on our phones. They are the tools we use to live our busy lives and they command a lot of our attention. Our phones have become the new high streets and they are full to the brim with people wandering through them every day. So how do businesses engage with these new tools? The secret is that, while none of us like ads, we all love a good story. People and brands are now connecting with consumers through a story and a lot of them are using video to do it. If a picture is worth a thousand words a moving image is worth even more. Instead of just making showcase videos people are making videos that help customers and potential customers feel closer to them.

Storytelling A good story has a clear purpose, point or moral. We want to personally connect through vulnerability, conflict or achievements that we can relate to. Good stories have vivid characters and imagery. They have humour and sometimes pathos too. Importantly, stories have a beginning, middle and end that they arc

through. If your story is right it can be shared globally across a variety of platforms. Here are some examples, along with some tips on how best to use them:

YouTube Some 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day with more than half of views being from a mobile device. It is the third most visited website in the word and is relatively untapped in the card and retail industry. Videos can be longer on YouTube and they are often shot in landscape rather than portrait. Intros and outros are common and

they help to build your channel’s brand and grow subscribers. 'How to' videos are especially strong on this platform. For example, our Ivy Ellen wedding DIY wedding stationery videos have had thousands of views on YouTube.

Facebook Facebook recently reached 2 billion users and is encouraging more video content to be posted natively rather than sharing links. Long-term they are looking to generate ad revenue from this content in the same way that YouTube does. Facebook video content tends to be shorter, typically 1-2 minutes, and intros and outs are insignificant. You need to make your content shareable so think about why someone would be compelled to share your content. Shares are more valuable to you than views on Facebook. Some card retailers and publishers are starting to use Facebook video to connect with their audience.

Instagram Instagram allows short video of up to 60 seconds. The native aspect ratio on Instagram is square although it does accept landscape. This platform is seeing strong PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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JEREMY’S JOURNAL engagement in the card industry at the moment, with retailers and publishers having a lot of fun with it. Instagram Stories in particular are doing well. These show up at the top of your screen and often include short video clips. You can get creative with text, drawings and filters. Essentially it is a way of allowing your fans to engage with the people behind brands they like to shop with. Some retailers are using Instagram Stories to show off new products, with members of their team waving them before the camera. It’s a lot of fun.

Live streaming Live streaming is essentially broadcast live from your mobile device instead of being prerecorded and loaded up later. While you can live stream on YouTube, Periscope (Twitter) and Instagram, Facebook Live video in particular, is getting huge traction as it's been investing a lot of money in growing it. Facebook Live videos are watched three times longer and comments are at 10 times the rate of regular videos. I also think its algorithm pushes live video higher up the feed. To make the most of Facebook Live: build anticipation by promoting when you are broadcasting ahead of time, make sure you have a strong wifi or 4G connection, have a catchy description for your broadcast to grab people’s attention, and say hello to people who engage, be engaging and have something interesting, funny or amusing to show or say. Use a closing line to thank viewers for watching and to signal the end of the broadcast. In Facebook Live it’s OK to go native with the format by holding the phone normally (vertically rather than horizontally). One major advantage to creating FB Live video content is that you don’t have to edit it, which can take time. The downside is that your mistakes are all up there for everyone to see, so be sure to practice before live streaming. Only a handful of retailers are making the most of this tool.

Technical bits You don't need to buy lots of snazzy equipment. Get going on your phone first, then upgrade later as your skill base and interest in your video project grows. I shoot all my videos on my iPhone 6.

Left: Instagram Stories is becoming a popular platform to engage with customers. Below: You don't have to use hi-tech camera equipment to make a video.

When you use your phone, test the sound so that you understand what works and doesn’t work on your device. Viewers will put up with a slightly bad image and good sound, but they generally won’t stand for bad sound. If your phone mic isn’t up to scratch, the simplest option is to buy a lavelier clip mic for £10 on Amazon and attach this to yourself or interview subject. Whichever you choose, try to keep the speaker close to the microphone and avoid filming in noisy environments (like near roads). Always double check your sound and make sure it works and is in sync. Try to film in well-lit areas so the image looks good too.

attract attention so that people click and watch your videos. It’s good practice to put hyper links to everyone that features in your videos so that viewers can find them easily. I add tags, descriptions and hyperlinks for retailers, greeting card publishers and recipients that feature on The Greeting Card Project. A lot of video on social channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are watched without sound, so it may be worth considering adding captions to encourage more engagement and increase view times. Your video content won’t get watched unless you share it through your various social networks. I tag the social handles of those who feature in the video to encourage them to share the videos. Spending time listing their hyperlinks in the video descriptions makes this job a lot quicker. I also have a small network of up to 20 people who are active on social and support one another with shares and retweets. Find your raving fans and tag them with your new content to get the ball rolling.

Final tips

I edit all of The Greeting Card Project videos on my iPhone using the free iMovie software that comes with it. It’s fairly intuitive to use and I upload my videos to YouTube direct from my phone. Make sure you watch each video after loading to check for technical errors with sound or image before you make it public. You need to create a good thumbnail for every video you make. I tend to take a photograph separately for this as stills from videos can be blurry. A good thumbnail will

It helps if you prepare and practice. I like to keep a single focus in mind when I do my videos. You may lose viewers if your story rambles. I’ve also found regular practice improves my story telling and video content. Remember, that it takes time to build an audience. Even with the leverage of my mailing lists, this column and a strong following on social media it took me six months to get 100 subscribers on YouTube. Consistency is key. So post regularly to drive views, subscribers and engagement. Also, remember to ask for the share and ask people to subscribe. Speaking of which, be sure to watch, like and share The Greeting Card Project at and l You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter via @JeremyCorner. Read more on Jeremy’s blog at PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE






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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Core Values Crumble and Core is launching its gorgeous Bunny Range; seven cards covering birthday and occasions, including new baby, christening and get well. These beautiful images are all printed from original watercolours by Jilly Mercer. Crumble and Core 01825 723634

My Way

Friends Indeed

Introducing The Way Ahead, a new range from The Peakridge Photography Company, comprising 10 inspirational designs to give encouragement to embrace life's journey with all its potential and possibility. All the cards are sized 150mm square, printed on a lovely textured soft white board and sold with white envelopes. The Peakridge Photography Company 07887 665431

Lizzie Chancellor believes there is beauty in simplicity and the Happiness friendship range is exactly that. This small collection just doubled in size from 6 to 12 lovely designs, each with an uplifting friendship message such as ‘You're one of a Kind’, and a simple gold foiled element, all perfect for Thinking of You Week! The cards are all sized 150mm square, printed on to lovely thick board and are accompanied by a recycled kraft envelope. Lizzie Chancellor 07913 921282

Gone Bananas ‘Never make eye contact when eating a banana’ is one of a series of words of wisdom from Redback’s 20 new additions to the fantastically foiled Cloud Nine Range. With an array of fresh funnies there are plenty for those who love a giggle, whilst the fun colours and quality foiling really shine out from the shelf. The cards are sized 150mm square, printed on a premium board and come wrapped with a quality white envelope. Redback Cards 01803 712793

Golden Age

Bear In Mind

Dandelion Stationery will be launching its new Children’s Ages Collection within the Words of Wisdom range. A lovely selection of girls, boys and unisex age cards, from ages 1-13, all feature a hand-drawn illustration, a few quirky words and hand-finished with subtle sparkles. The card dimensions are 114mm x 162mm and they’re all supplied wrapped with rustic brown kraft envelopes. Dandelion Stationery 01332 695359

Say hello to Scribble Bear, an adorable character just launched by Tracey Russell. Scribble, as his name suggests, is a pencil sketched bear who comes to life in 30 155mm square designs covering most everyday titles. All the cards are hand-finished with a range of nine different types of attachments - from pom-poms, red felt hearts or sparkly rhinestones. Tracey Russell 0191 3732497



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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Say It As It Is

Brighton Rocks

Blunt as a spoon cards is a range of candidly humorous designs from new publisher Pack a Punch Designs. Drawing on her love of dry humour, designer Sophie Munro keeps the cards simple yet witty enough to make people laugh out loud. All the 6” x 6” cards are printed onto hammered board and come sealed with a variety of vibrant coloured envelopes. Pack a Punch Designs 07903 571104

Visitors to Brighton will recognise the work of potter/printmaker Mike Levy, who has a wellestablished gallery in the middle of the promenade. His most popular prints now feature across a range of 36 cards by Befree, with subjects including canoodling couples and naked bikers as well as mermaids, cream cakes and flower jugs. The cards are sized 150mm square and 170mm x 125mm and supplied wrapped with a white envelope. Befree 01273 773776

Itchy Fingers

Art Lover

The Don’t Be Blue, Scratch & Smile range from I AM A is expanding, now with 15 designs including topical themes such as Fake News. The idea behind this range is to chase away the blues (represented by the blue backgrounds) by the recipient scratching off the foiled surfaces, revealing fun-filled illustrations to make you smile. The cards are all sold wrapped with a white envelope and a sticker explaining the range. I AM A 07810 592860

Flame Tree’s World's Greatest Art card range has been expanded to 58 designs and now features beautiful foiling! From the timeless beauty of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Almond Blossom, to the bold art of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, this range is perfect for any art lover. All the cards are sized 170mm x 125mm blank inside and sold wrapped with a gold envelope. Flame Tree Publishing 020 7751 9650

Heroic Challenge Otter House has announced the launch of a brand new Help for Heroes card and stationery ranges including a Christmas card and giftwrap collection for 2017. The Christmas cards and giftwraps feature prominent and contemporary designs as well as traditional festive scenes. The stationery range includes notebooks, magnets, key rings, ceramic mugs, pens and a jigsaw, featuring the work of illustrator Bryn Parry, who co-founded the charity with his wife Emma. Otter House 01392 824300

Going Underground There’s no shortage of birthday cards out there, but here’s one that puts a positive spin on the ageing process. Mind The Gap from Pennychoo has now grown to 12 birthday cards that pay homage to the style and language of old fashioned London Underground signage, adding humorous, expectation-defying twists. The cards are sized 145mm square and supplied wrapped with an ivory envelope. Pennychoo 07941 645018 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Fowl Play Cheshire based Doodleicious Art is adding new designs into its British Bird Collection bringing it to eight designs, all created by Sarah Capper. This range is growing slowly – as all the illustrations are so detailed, made up of tiny flowers which take time! All the cards are sized 6” x 6” and are sold wrapped with a brown kraft envelope. Doodleicious Art 07734 034039

Button It!

California Dreaming

New additions to Laura Sherratt’s Talking Buttons range see Laura adding black, hand stamped text and some adorable little illustrations to the usually font based cards. Every card in this cute and quirky range is embellished by hand in the Staffordshire Moorlands; each card has a heart shaped button on the front and comes wrapped with a bright red envelope. Laura Sherratt 01538 284566

The California inspired Palm Springs range from Caroline Gardner is bold and attention grabbing, perfect for all those who can’t resist a more than a bit of shimmer and glitter! Bold typography! Extra chunky glitter in pink, red and gold! Classic foils in gold, blue and pink and a soft pastel colour palette of blues and pinks! Anything missing? I don’t think so! Caroline Gardner 020 8288 9696

Watch The Birdie New publisher Peekaboo Mail is launching with a 12 card range of the same title. These fun positive message activity cards are aimed at children aged 3 to 6 years-old and are ideal for relatives or family friends who don't get to see the little ones very often. All the cards are sized C5 and are sold wrapped with an array of stand out colours. Peekaboo Mail 07809 299 699

Quick Off The Draw Love Is In The Air From the heart is a new card collection from Gabrielle Izen, all about celebrating love; from the first kiss, walking up the aisle or Valentine’s Day. The designs combine hand-painted watercolour wash backgrounds and decoration, typography and modern hand-drawn calligraphy, which has been created using old dip pens and brushes. Gabrielle Izen 01732 440428

Ilona Drew’s Henries Best Art Award 2016 winning Landmarks range has now takes us on a tour of 46 of the most iconic buildings and places of interest across the UK - Greenwich Observatory, St Pauls Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle, Exeter Cathedral, London Bridge and the Museum of London are just a few. All the designs are sized 133mm x 178mm, printed on the finest heavy weight board come with recycled kraft envelope in a bespoke wrapper. I Drew This 07813 005707 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Face To Face

Hall Of Fame

‘We’ve come a long way from a man with empty pockets, two shoeboxes of postcards and a dream’, reads one of the items on the ‘Heritage Wall’ in Hallmark UK’s new headquarters in Bradford. That ‘man’ was Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards. PG caught up with his grandson, Don Hall jnr, the president and ceo of Hallmark Cards group, who himself came a long way from Kansas City last month to do the honours and pronounce the Dawson Lane HQ open and prepared for the future. “This is a very exciting time for Hallmark. This new building exudes the focus we have on creativity, of providing a good service to our customers – and ultimately continuing our mission of igniting interest and delight in greeting cards for the consumer,” said Don Hall, president and ceo of Hallmark Cards group, about the newly revamped Dawson Lane premises. While one wall in Hallmark UK’s new headquarters is dedicated to celebrating the card publisher’s rich heritage, the vibe of the whole building is very much focused on the future. However, that is not to deny that the ‘Heritage Wall’ does feature some real treats.

For starters there is a copy of a letter Joyce Hall sent to Walt Disney in 1931 proposing a licensing arrangement that is evident today both on cards and Hallmark’s Itty Bittys plush range. And then there is a photograph of Don’s grandfather with Sir Winston Churchill taken partly in celebration of the artistic collaboration (Hallmark published Churchill’s art on cards), but also in recognition of the fact that the two men’s friendship is believed to have played an important role in Anglo-American relations after the Second World War. The ephemera on the wall act as reminders of the company ’s humble

beginnings back in 1910 and key stages in its contribution to developing the greeting card industry as we know it today, but Hallmark’s new UK headquarters - a total transformation of what was a faceless industrial unit into a creatively inspiring working environment have been configured with the future very much in mind for the 500 people who work there and the customers they serve. The new set up not only brings all of Hallmark’s creative, sales, marketing and warehousing functions onto one site, but, as Steve Wright, md of Hallmark UK explains, the internal layout of the main building mirrors the company’s “much more customerfocused organisational design. Times have changed, and they will continue to change. To respond to these changes, pre-empt our customers’ needs and cater for the intricacies Above: Don Hall jnr (right), president and ceo of Hallmark Cards group, with Steve Wright, md of Hallmark UK, at the official opening of the new Dawson Lane HQ. Above left: Part of the heritage wall in Hallmark’s new UK ‘home’. Above middle: Joyce Hall, founder of Hallmark (back right) with Sir Winston Churchill (front right). Inset: The transformation of the premises into Hallmark’s HQ makes the most of the high ceilings to create an airy creative environment.



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Face To Face

of consumer shopping patterns, we need our strategy team to be looking 3-5 years ahead, while our creative product teams need to look two years ahead, each providing product differentiation for the different retail channels we serve. Plus, of course, we need to ensure we provide an efficient and reliable service to all our retail customers on a day to day basis,” he added. Certainly, Hallmark’s ‘channels of distribution’ are more multifarious than they were a decade ago. Clinching the Tesco account last year (with the next stage of the roll out of the new look card ‘departments’ expected to start soon in more stores) was a major coup for Hallmark. On top of that the plans are now well underway

in the Hallmark creative studios for the launch of a major own brand collection for Waitrose in September; other teams are pursuing Hallmark’s ambitions for future growth in the convenience scene, the vision for M&S’ creative direction is on the simmer in another enclave of the building, others are working on the online activity with Amazon, while the ‘indie team’ remains focused on supporting the independent sector, both through re-energising the Gold Crown programme as well as developing bespoke product such as under its Handpicked brand. Affirming the importance of the UK market to Hallmark - and all the various retail channels the publisher now serves, Don told PG: “Of course the UK is vitally important to us. It is here that greeting

Hallmark’s ABC’s Anchoring the new HQ is Hallmark’s extensive creative studios, with the 100+ designers, artists and illustrators, each part of distinct teams, catering for different retailers or retail channels. As part of its commitment to nurturing fresh new design talent, Hallmark runs six Gifted? competitions throughout the year as well as providing paid placements for undergraduates. The Gifted? initiative involves setting commercial briefs - that are open to students, graduates and established designers - that aim to ‘nurture commerciality, creativity and skill’. As Laura Broadley, studio manager, ideation at Hallmark Cards commented: “Some graduates are really engaged with the idea of greeting card design as a career, while others haven’t even considered it. There still remains a lack of awareness in colleges and universities. A lot of tutors feel it’s too ‘lowbrow’ yet there are actually far more opportunities in the greeting card industry, than say in book illustration, for students to make headway.” ‘D is for Design’ is Hallmark’s most recent Gifted? competition that was launched in association with the New Designers show for graduates and undergraduates. Each day at the recent show creatives were invited to illustrate a letter of the alphabet and upload their artwork onto the Gifted? Instagram page #giftedND17 The winner is to receive £500 and a month’s paid placement at Hallmark. Above: Hallmark Studio’s Gifted? competition is launched six times a year. Left: (Middle) Hallmark’s studio assistant Bibi Klamer with Lucy Beckett and Sophia Bennett, two of the graduates on paid placements in the Hallmark studio.

Above: Two current Hallmark designs. Left: An early Hallmark Disney card from 1932. Below left: As well as publishing Disney greeting cards today, Hallmark is also gearing up for its launch of Disney Itty Bittys into store. Far left: Inspirational mottos grace the walls of the premises.

cards were born and where the tradition of sending cards are most revered, illustrated by the highest per capita send that is fuelled by the abundant creativity and progressive retailing trends.” Don is far from fearful about social media usurping the role of greeting cards. “Social media gives us another whole new way of reminding us of the people in our lives,” says Don. “I spent some time talking to 60 millennials in the run up to Valentine’s Day in the States, who reassured me of their love for greeting cards,” elaborating how, despite knowing that their social media feeds would be full of messages, due to the fact that Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a broader friends and family event in the States, “and how much they looked forward to receiving that special card from their grandmother or their friend.” Don feels that in effect social media overcomes what his grandfather, Joyce Hall, cited as “the biggest concern to the continued development of the greeting card industry - forgetfulness.” As Don points out, “social media helps us to remember the big events coming up in people’s lives, as well as alerting us to the little things that matter.” Just as social media can indeed be a friend to the greeting card industry, Don also feels the troublesome times in which we are living reinforces the role cards play. “The political turmoil in the world, including in the UK and US, is causing uncertainty, which in turn strengthens the desired need to connect through the sending and receiving of greeting cards,” he added. “As long as we stay focused on the consumer and on creating inspiring products that delight them, then the greeting card category will remain very strong.” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Caught On Camera - The Retas 2017

An Enchanting n o o n r e t f A With the 400 attendees embracing the ‘Enchanted Tails’ theme of The Retas greeting card retailing awards, which took place at The Dorchester last month, there were lots of ‘tails’ to tell! PG ventured into the ‘cardies’ enchanted forest’ and shares a few ‘furry’ good snapshots from the event.

Above: It wasn’t just the giraffes on the stage set that were walking tall after The Retas award winners were announced! The winners took to the stage at The Dorchester with their trophies.

Above: (Right-left) Paperlink’s Lily Murakas and Bill Greeno, WHSmith’s Sarah Chew and Claire Castle and Phil Judd (PJ Print).

Right: First Class Greetings; Debbie and (right) Jerry Brown caught up with Cardzone’s Paul Taylor.

Right: There was a lot of ‘nosiness’ at the event! Sainsbury’s Carly Pearson (centre) with UKG’s Amanda Scrivener (right) and Helen Geary embracing the theme. Below: (Left-right) Penmark’s Katie Catherall and Mark Rees, Nick Carey (Abacus), Wishing Well’s Michelle and David Smith, Kim Lewis (Longacres) and Sentiments’ Jayne and Trevor Griffiths.

Above: (Right-left) John Lewis’ Fatima Marpala, Amie Scull, Scott Bartle and Molly Wollet.



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Caught On Camera - The Retas 2017

Left: The Scribbler team was out in force enjoying the cocktail reception. Right: PG’s Warren Lomax and Jakki Brown welcomed the guests and highlighted how all Retas finalists will receive a Silver Ticket worth £75 to spend at PG Live 2018 and all winners would received a Golden Ticket worth £150 to spend at the show.

Left: It was emotional afternoon for Jarrold’s popular former card buyer Suzie Abel (right) who is about to retire. She attended with colleagues Jennifer Dwyer (left) and Emma Guy. Right: The dulcet tones of Midnight Blue (who agreed to wear animal headgear) kept guests entertained during dinner.

Left: Daisy Warrell helped her mum Rachel Hare (founder of Belly Button Designs) to present the prize of the Higher or Lower competition to the winner Mike Broad of Why Management. Mike won a magnum of champagne, afternoon tea for two at The Dorchester and a hamper of goodies. Below: With their animal noses in place and waving their furry tails (kindly donated by Ravensden) guests participated in a fun elimination ‘Higher or Lower’ competition (based on forest and animal questions) sponsored by Belly Button Designs.

Left: It was a proper ‘face off’! (Left-right) Hannah Mungo (Universal), Ashley Holman (Nickelodeon) and Dan Grant (Danilo).

Left: It was a ‘full house’ from the House of Cards gang. Below right: (Left-right) Mike Coster (Simon Elvin), Dan Beeby (Archway Cards) and Peter Grice (Impact Group).

Right: Comedian Charlie Baker (right) who hosted the event had the audience chuckling with his observations on greeting cards - “A Five Dollar Shake is something different where I come from in Devon” - as well as his ‘musical’ duo with Danilo’s Daniel Prince.



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Caught On Camera - The Retas 2017

Left: (Right-left) Caroline and Robert Petrie (both from Kairds) came all the way down from the Orkneys to The Retas and invited Robert’s daughter Lorna too. Right: (Right-left) Karen David (Frosts), Lee Hartley (Noel Tatt), Pedlar’s Gold’s Jayne Mahoney and Carol Baker with Dudley Osborn (Noel Tatt). Below left: Waitrose’s (4th rightleft) Kirsty Hicks, Sarah Brett and Nicky Westgarth with Hallmark teammates.

Right: (Left-right) All smiles from Blaby Post Office’s Dilesh Naran and Sam Williams, Sharon Flook (Cardzone) and Samantha Pain (Thorntons). Below: ‘Double agents’ Nigel Spensley (right) and Alan Potter getting ready for ‘home time’.

Above: The Hollies gang were out in force. Right: The team from Mains of Drum in Banchory were delighted to travel from Scotland down to London for the event. Below: As ‘creatures of habit’, The Retas celebrations continued at The Audley pub until late into the evening.



Above: “Oh goody, a great goody bag!” (Left-right) Andy Paterson (Woodmansterne) with Gee Tees’ George Twist, Pippa Kelly and Norma Tomlinson. Below: (Right-left) Amanda and Will Oscroft (Love It) with fellow retailers Steve and Julie McHale (Bentleys) with their goody bags (kindly donated by Deva Designs) and Bentleys’ trophy.

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greeting card retail

employee of the year 2017 winner: tim reynolds, manager for medici gallery kensington, london

Above: The Medici Gallery staff ‘dream team.’ Left: Tim and his lovely shiny Retas trophy.

Sponsored by

Above: Tim Reynolds, manager for Medici Gallery, Kensington, receives the Greeting Card Retail Employee of the Year Award from Matt Critchlow, customer & category director of category sponsor Hallmark Cards. Also (left) is The Retas awards’ host Charlie Baker.

Initial Reaction: "I was thrilled and honoured… and very pleased to be the first male to win the Best Employee category!" Tim Reynolds, manager for Medici Gallery, Kensington, London

best independent greeting card retailer

london (inside the M25) 2017 winner: nor, west norwood Left: Serge Sumerling, owner of Nor, receives his trophy from Ben Hickman (right) and Mark Williams, directors of Brainbox Candy.

Below: Serge with shop supervisor, Isobel Power-Smith holds on tight to a shiny Retas trophy and a Retas Golden Ticket worth £150 to spend at next year’s PG Live.

Sponsored by

Initial Reaction: “Am I dreaming this? Is this really happening??!!” Serge Sumerling, owner of Nor, West Norwood



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best independent greeting card retailer

home counties penden 2017 winner: threads, har Initial Reaction: “It felt amazing, like I had won an Oscar!” Emma Walton, card buyer for Threads, Harpenden

Sponsored by

Left: A surprised and pleased Emma with her Retas trophy.

Above: Emma Walton, card buyer of Threads, Harpenden, accepts her trophy from Paul Yates, sales director for Regal Publishing, sponsor of the category.

best independent greeting card retailer

east anglia 2017 winner: spots, southwold Left: Sarah Green, director of Spots, Southwold, accepts The Retas' Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – East Anglia award from Simon Wagstaff, managing director of IC&G, sponsor of this category.

Below: Sarah proudly holds her Retas trophy and a Retas Golden Ticket.

Sponsored by



Initial Reaction: “It was a sense of total relief! Relief that we wouldn’t have to disappoint our staff and customers again. Last year when we didn’t win we hadn’t anticipated how disappointed they would be. When I heard “Spots” read out I just thought thank goodness we can send a message back with good news. The trophy is on the counter and there is a real sense of pride amongst our regular customers and staff.” Sarah Green, director of Spots, Southwold

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best independent greeting card retailer

south west bristol a, st g an g r pe pa : er n in w 17 20

Left: South-West agent Rose Trow accepts Paper Gangsta, Bristol’s Retas award from Wendy Thoms, franchise territory manager for Thorntons, category sponsor.

Above: Grant is thrilled with his Retas trophy.

Initial Reaction: "Whoop! Whoop! I was absolutely over the moon as I won this award on the eve of Paper Gangsta's fifth birthday!” Grant Petley, owner of Paper Gangsta, Bristol

Sponsored by

best independent greeting card retailer

wales & the midlands 2017 winner: the tutbury present company, tutbury Right: Claire Jarvis (right) and Nicky Stephenson, co-owners of The Tutbury Present Company, Tutbury, accepts their Retas trophy from Chris Bryan, general manager for category sponsor, Second Nature.

Initial Reaction: "Wow! We couldn't believe it when our name was called out, then we remember feeling really overwhelmed as we got onto the stage; it was such an amazing moment." Claire Jarvis and Nicky Stephenson, co-owner of The Tutbury Present Company, Tutbury

Left: Smiles from Nicky and Claire.

Sponsored by



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best independent greeting card retailer

north & northern ireland mouth, er ck co es h is w : er n in w 17 20 cockermouth Initial Reaction: “We looked at each and we screamed! Shock, amazement and tears swiftly followed! We just couldn't believe it and we’re absolutely over the moon!” Fiona and Victoria Robinson, co-owners of Wishes Cockermouth, Cockermouth

Sponsored by

Right: We couldn’t be happier! Big smiles from Victoria and Fiona.

Above: Fiona (left) and Victoria Robinson, co-owners of Wishes Cockermouth, Cockermouth, are delighted to accept their Retas award from Darren Cave, director of field sales for category sponsor, UK Greetings.

best independent greeting card retailer

scotland 2017 winner: jp pozzi and bijou, buckie and elgin Initial Reaction: "It was a shock as I really didn't expect that we might win this year! Then it was real disappointment as my mum couldn’t attend The Retas and I think she deserved to collect the award in front of her peers more than me. We were super proud to win an award and with Pozzi's big new refurbishment it was like a little rubber stamp to say yes, you are still right at the forefront of cards in the UK." David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi and Bijou, Buckie and Elgin

Sponsored by



Above: David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi and Bijou, Buckie and Elgin, is thrilled to receive his Retas trophy from co-owner and designer, Wendy JonesBlackett, category sponsor.

Right: David with his coveted Retas trophy, with (left to right) McMillan Cards’ Jenny Cummins, Wendy Jones-Blackett and Mark and Leona Janson-Smith from Postmark.

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best greeting card retailer

newcomer or new branch 2017 winner: peppertrees, northampton


Left: Megan proudly makes her way up to the stage to recieve her Retas trophy.

Initial Reaction: "I heard ‘Peppertrees’, my table started cheering and I think I swore a little bit! My main concerns were not tripping over, falling up or down the steps, trying to take a decent picture with the ridiculously bright light in my eyes then not hitting anyone with the Retas trophy on the way back to my table!" Megan Eyles, director of Peppertrees, Northampton

Above: Megan Eyles, director of Peppertrees, Northampton, is over the moon to receive her award from PG&H’s Angie Bryant on behalf of Ascential, organisers of Spring and Autumn Fair International, sponsor of the category.

Sponsored by |

best greeting card retailer

newcomer or new branch 2017 winner: zo and co, knutsford


Below: Zoe and Paul are incredibly excited to win their award.

Above: Zoe and Paul Robinson Carter, owners of Zo AND Co, Knutsford, accept their Retas trophy from Jackie Collins, managing director of Cherry Orchard Publishing, sponsor of this category.

Initial Reaction: “We were absolutely ecstatic! We were chuffed to bits and it makes all the hard work worth while.” Zoe Robinson Carter, owner of Zo AND Co, Knutsford

Sponsored by



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best bookstore retailer of greeting cards ugh 2017 winner: the guisboro bookshop, guisborough Below: Kirsty and Lloyd Brookes, owner/buyers of The Guisborough Bookshop, Guisborough, receive their Retas trophy from Paul Woodmansterne, managing director of category sponsor Woodmansterne Publications.

Initial Reaction: “We were incredibly shocked to win a Retas Award. We have only been in this industry for less than five years so we were honoured to be even shortlisted. My initial reaction was that of shock, and my husband just looked at me and said, “Well, get up then.” We can't believe that our little shop, up in Yorkshire, has won a national title!" Kirsty Brookes, owner/buyer of The Guisborough Bookshop, Guisborough

Sponsored by

Right: Kirsty kisses her sparkling Retas trophy.

best non-specialist independent retailer of greeting cards - north 2017 winner: proudfoot, scarborough Initial Reaction: “We were gobsmacked! It was our first attempt at entering the Retas Awards and we actually won! We are all highly delighted." Terry Petch, non food manager for The Proudfoot Group

Right: Terry and Proudfoot’s director, Valerie Aston, are delighted to win a Retas trophy.

Sponsored by



Above: Non-food manager for The Proudfoot Group, Terry Petch, accepts the Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – North award from Nicci Gower, artistic director for Hammond Gower, category sponsor.

RETAS Winners pages Grid 2017_muk.qxp_Layout 1 26/07/2017 17:54 Page 53

best non-specialist independent retailer greeting cards - south am 2017 winner: farrants, cobh Initial Reaction: "We are honoured to have won this prestigious Retas award. Farrants has undergone fundamental, root and branch changes over the last three years. We hope that this award reflects those changes, our passion and our vision of modern retailing in the UK. We'd like to thank our wonderful publishing partners embracing our vision and creating such great products that they almost sell themselves! We like to think that Farrants provides the gallery whilst our partners provide the canvases!" David Worsfold, managing director for Farrants, Cobham

Sponsored by

Below: The Farrants team were absolutely delighted to hear that they had won a Retas Awards!

Above: On behalf of Farrants, Sam Loveday, editor of Licensing Source Book, is delighted to accept the Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards South award from Steve Baker, sales and marketing director of Pigment, sponsor of the category.

best greeting card small multiple (4-20 stores) 2017 winner: bentleys, four stores in the midlands Left: Stephen and Julie McHale, co-owners of Bentleys, accept the Best Greeting Card Small Multiple award from Matt Critchlow, customer & category director for Hallmark, owner of the Forever Friends brand, the category sponsor. Below: Julie and Stephen are over the moon with their award.

Sponsored by

Initial Reaction: “We were gobsmacked and elated to win in this category. I was so proud and excited that I decided to send myself a ‘So proud and excited card’!” Stephen and Julie McHale, co-owners of Bentleys, four stores in the Midlands PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


RETAS Winners pages Grid 2017_muk.qxp_Layout 1 26/07/2017 17:54 Page 54

best department store retailer of greeting cards 2017 winner: fenwick colchester, colchester Right: Mark is absolutely thrilled with his award.

Below: Buyer for Fenwick Colchester, Mark Turner, receives the Retas' Best Department Store Retailer of Greeting Cards award from Nick Carey, managing director for Abacus, the category sponsor.

Sponsored by

Initial Reaction: “I was completely stunned at hearing our name called, especially as the category had such fantastic stores nominated.” Mark Turner, buyer for Fenwick Colchester

best supermarket retailer of greeting cards 2017 winner: tesco Initial Reaction: "Very happy an amazing team effort!" Anne Borrett, head of buying papershop, stationery & halloween for Tesco

Sponsored by



Far left: Tesco's head of buying papershop, stationery & halloween, Anne Borrett (centre), with a proud Tesco team, is very happy to accept her Retas award from Jacqui Parr, marketing director for category sponsor, Progressive Greetings Live. Below: A delighted Anne with Hallmark’s Angela Anderson and her Retas trophy.

RETAS Winners pages Grid 2017_muk.qxp_Layout 1 26/07/2017 17:55 Page 55

best non-specialist multiple retailer of greeting cards (4+stores) 2017 winner: whsmith, 612 stores nationwide Initial Reaction: “We were both extremely excited and pleased to receive the award.” Claire Castle, senior buyer high street, and Rachel Hevicon, Funky Pigeon and WHS Travel buyer, for WHSmith

Right: A shiny Retas Award for WHSmith's Claire and Rachel.

Sponsored by

Above: Claire Castle, senior buyer high street (left), and Rachel Hevicon, Funky Pigeon and WHS Travel buyer, for WHSmith, are delighted to accept the Retas award for the Best Non-Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards from Ben Quance, head of national sales for Carte Blanche Greetings, category sponsor.

best specialist multiple retailer of greeting cards (20+ stores) 2017 winner: card factory, 850+ stores nationwide Below: Card Factory’s ceo Karen Hubbard and operations director Ian McEvoy beam with delight.

Initial Reaction: "The Card Factory team were surprised and delighted to win a Retas award. We have worked really hard to ensure that we help our customers celebrate their 'life moments’ and we took a short time to celebrate! We are committed to playing our part to ensure that card giving remains an integral part of the UK culture." Karen Hubbard, chief executive officer for Card Factory

Sponsored by Above: Karen Hubbard, ceo for Card Factory (far right), operations director Ian McEvoy (4th right) and group HR director Helen Lockwood (5th left) with some of the company’s area managers, receive the Best Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards Retas trophy from Bill Greeno, sales and marketing director of category sponsor, Paperlink.



RETAS Winners pages Grid 2017_muk.qxp_Layout 1 26/07/2017 17:55 Page 56

best garden centre retailer of greeting cards on, 2017 winner: frosts, brampt millets farm, willington and woburn sands Right: Karen Davis, buyer – greetings for Frosts Garden Centre Group, accepts the Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards award from Lee Hartley, business development manager of category sponsor Noel Tatt. Left: Karen proudly clasps her Retas trophy.

Sponsored by

Initial Reaction: “I was thrilled to accept the award on behalf of Frosts. My initial reaction is one of thanks to the teams we have at the centres for working so hard on presenting and selling all the lovely cards we’re stocking. It feels great to have our efforts recognised so thank you!” Karen Davis, Frosts’ Group buyer

best greeting card retailer retailer initiative

Below: Leona and Mark are over the moon with their win.

2017 winner: postmark, four shops in london, for its feel good friday initiative Initial Reaction: “So brilliant! This is one for the whole Postmark team as they've really embraced the initiative and helped make it work. We are absolutely delighted - can't wait to let them all know." Mark and Leona Janson-Smith, co-owners of Postmark, four shops in London

Sponsored by



Below: Mark and Leona Janson-Smith, co-owners of Postmark, London, accept the Best Greeting Card Retailer Initiative award from Daniel Prince, operations director of category sponsor Danilo.

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best greeting card wholesaler s, 2017 winner: archway card norwich

Initial Reaction: "We have been in the trade for nearly 40 years, so we are pleased to be recognised in this way; absolutely overjoyed!" Chris Dyball, managing director for Archway Cards, Norwich

Sponsored by


Above: Archway Cards, Norwich’s managing director, Chris Dyball (left), and his proud team, accept the Best Greeting Card Wholesaler award from Ade Longe, managing director for Sensations/Xpress Yourself, sponsor of this category. Right: A delighted Chris with his Retas trophy.



greeting card retailer of the year 2017 winner: postmark, four shops in london Initial Reaction: “Wow! We're totally blown away. The UK's Best Greeting Card Retailer 2017! It's amazing, feels like such an honour to be recognised by the industry we love. Winning the big one wasn't something we were thinking about so we are in a bit of shock!” Mark and Leona Janson-Smith, co-owners of Postmark, four shops in London Right: Leona and Mark Janson-Smith, co-owners of Postmark, win the Retas double and accept the Greeting Card Retailer of the Year award from Ged Mace, managing director of category sponsor, The Art File.

Right: A surprised Mark makes his way to the stage.

Sponsored by



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Retailer Face To Face

Retailing In The

Fast Lane It is every retailer’s dream to come up with a new retailing approach with a huge customer traffic flow. Westmorland Limited, the family-owned company that turned motorway service station retailing on its head, has not only realised this dream, but hasn’t finished yet. PG traveled up the M6 to find out more about one of the greeting card industry’s most surprising non-specialists from Sarah Dunning, Westmorland’s chairman. The Westmorland Family is a family-owned business that certainly stands out in the fast lane. Its incredible story is one that makes you believe that everything really is possible, that you truly can make your mark, that being a disrupter can bring benefits on many different levels and how a motorway journey really can be something you look forward to. While strides have been made on improving the UK’s motorway service stations, way out ahead are those owned and run by Westmorland. Its retailing emporiums with high quality cafes and delicatessens



in its Tebay Services (off the M6), as well as its state of the art Gloucester Services (on the M5), are an absolute joy to visit, irrespective of how frustrating the journey there may have been. And the magic will be extended to its latest addition, Cairn Lodge in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Added to these is the notable Rheged cultural and retailing centre, located about 20 miles from the Tebay services in Cumbria. Testament to its original approach, Westmorland is the only motorway service area operator in the whole of the UK to have

Top: The M6 route goes right through the Dunning’s family farmland. Above: Sarah Dunning, Westmorland’s chairman, in front of the card display in the Tebay Services Farmshop on the M6. Below: As well as featuring in the service stations, greeting cards also make part of the line-up in the main gift shop in the Rheged cultural centre as well as in its gallery shop.

been awarded 5* for all its sites by Visit England, while Rheged won Gallery of the Year in Cumbria Life’s Culture Awards in 2016. The retailing environments throughout all its sites, the range of products stocked (including an impressive selection of greeting cards in all its sites), the quality of the food served, the art on the walls and the whole ethical and the charitable ethos of the business is mighty impressive. And so are the financial results. The company’s turnover topped £92 million in its last financial year, with pre-tax profits of £6.1million, despite its hefty investment in its Gloucester Services as making sizable contributions to charities. Wind back the clock four and half decades and it was a very different story. Discovering that the Department of Transport was going to build a major motorway (M6) right through their 700 acre Cumbrian hill

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Retailer Face To Face

farm, John and Barbara Dunning could have thrown their hands up in the air in despair. Instead, taking everyone by surprise they went against the ‘norm’ in bidding against oil companies to build and open a service station. Against all odds, they won, and have gone on winning. Leaving behind her career in the City (including with Rothchilds), in 2005 their daughter Sarah headed ‘home’ to help take the business onto the next level. And since then, now as chairman of the business, it has gone up a few more notches, what with improvements at the Tebay Services (north and south) and the creation of the Gloucester Services. Commenting, Sarah accepts that Westmorland offers an “antidote to service

stations”, and is very firm of the ethics and provenance of the business and the products it sells. “So many of our suppliers are local – after all the M6 still runs through our family farmland. You can be a successful business and be ethical.” While Sarah does not get involved in the greeting card buying, she is nonetheless

a big fan of cards and is proud of the selection they sell. “Pen to paper communication is so important. Sending cards says so much more in this digital age, when everyone is rushing from place to place,” says Sarah, gazing out of the window at the stream of cars racing up the M6!

Above: Cards from local Cumbrian artist Becca Hall have done very well for Westmorland. Left: Gloucester services building was crafted with total respect to it being located in an area of outstanding beauty and therefore it was designed to blend in with the landscape. In addition, a percentage of its non-fuel sales are donated to Gloucestershire Gateway Trust to help regenerate local communities. Below: Tracey Clowes joined Westmorland at the end of last year to head up its lifestyle buying. Below left: Letterpress designs from Archivist score highly with Westmorland’s customers.

A Clowes Call Tracey Clowes, who joined The Westmorland Family as head of the lifestyle buying team last December, is now in the swing of bringing together design-led products, including greeting cards, for the Farmshops in the company’s service stations as well as its Rheged Cumbrian cultural centre. With a strong fashion and design background - studying fashion at Central St Martins and spending the last 10 years prior to joining Westmorland with Designers Guild as the senior product developer - Tracey describes her role of putting together inspiring products that exceed customer expectations, “a real treat of a job.” It was Westmorland’s “ethos and principles - its focus on provenance and creativity and innovation, and enthusiasm to support the community and work closely with their producers,” which clinched Tracey’s decision to pursue her career in a direction that is somewhat different from the norm of talented design execs. On the greeting card front, Tracey inherited a strong legacy, thanks to buyer Helen Sellwood (who was on maternity leave when Tracey joined, but has recently resumed working for the company). “Our customers appreciate a great piece of design and the unusual that they will not find everywhere else,” says Tracey, with the card displays more than living up to these expectations. Westmorland currently buys from around 45 different card companies, ranging from self-publishing local artists (such as Becca Hall and Catherine Kleeli) to respected brands, including Cinnamon Aitch, Stop the Clock and Archivist. The well-curated displays include a wide mix of birthdays, occasions and blanks. While greeting cards may not represent a large part of the turnover in the farm shops, the volume of cards sold is certainly impressive. Tracey goes so far as to say that greeting cards are a “vital” element of Westmorland’s

retailing portfolio as they “complete the offer for our customers. A lot of both our food and lifestyle ranges are bought as gifts, and if people can buy a great card at the same time, that makes us a one stop shop and keeps us in people’s minds as a great place to buy gifts.” Tracey says that its mix of “special finds that reflect some of our wonderful local artists and designers” as well as “more wellknown lines where we think they are best in class – whether that be the funniest, the quirkiest or the most beautifully illustrated,” has scored well with its customers. On the notable ‘special finds’ on the card front, Tracey highlights those by local Cumbrian artist Becca Hall, “which are phenomenally popular, as a result of which I have introduced them to our Gloucester as well as our Northern stores. “ Another of her personal favourites, which also sell well in the stores, are the traditional letterpress designs from Archivist. “I just love things that are produced using traditional methods materials and manufacturing techniques,” says Tracey. Tracey and the Westmorland team are adamant that no one will ever come into one of its stores to grab a ‘last minute’ card and leave with an ‘it will do, I suppose’ reaction. “We are absolutely determined to keep our card selection fresh, innovative and inspiring for our customers. And I am really looking forward to getting in some really unusual lines for Christmas,” she said, signaling a bit of extra motorway traffic to the tills. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Generation Tap

Below: Getting in the tropical mood on Hallmark Studio’s New Designers stand, (left-right) studio assistant Bibi Klamer, art director Kate Van Spall and studio manager of Ideation, Laura Brodley.

The New Designers show held last month at London’s Business Design Centre showcased undergraduate and graduate creatives from art colleges and universities from all around the UK. PG visited the ND show to discover some of the prospective greeting card designers of the future. “New Designers is really an integral part of ensuring our designs are new and fresh, as well as nurturing our designers of the future. We really look forward to the show every year, and it’s a great place to find new talent,” says Laura Broadley, studio manager, ideation at Hallmark Cards. The Hallmark Studio has been a sponsor of New Designers for 19 years, not only awarding two exhibiting students prizes, but visitors to its show stand received greeting card advice and card career opportunities were highlighted, thereby nurturing creative design talent for the industry. The two winners of this year’s New Designers Hallmark Studio Awards, Rihanah Hussain and Lucy Littler, will join Hallmark’s studio for eight weeks working on live design briefs. As well as gaining invaluable experience, they are also offered free accommodation and awarded £500.

In addition, at least 15 other designers at the ND show have been offered Hallmark Studio placements. “We’ve found many great designers at the show. We’ve gone around the New Designers inviting some of the students to come to our stand for a portfolio review, and creatives at the show can also attend our workshops on collage, lino-print, innovation in giftwrapping or illustration, for example,” says Laura, adding, “We are at the show supporting designers of the future and encouraging awareness of greeting cards as a career.”

Meet the Hallmark Studio Award 2017 winners

Below: Rihanah Hussain (Image: ©Mark Cocksedge New Designers 2017).

Rihanah Hussain studied for a BA Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors at Bath Spa University: “My artistic inspirations are animals, such as cats and dogs within a park life setting, also I draw people within different streets and towns. My artwork style incorporates heavy textural brush marks and strong pops of colour. I like to have typography within my work, which adds a humorous element into my designs. The New Designers show for me was so much fun and I met so many interesting people whose work I adored. I will be keeping in touch with a lot of people for future collaborations and commissions. Before Hallmark approached me I did consider becoming a greeting card designer after finishing university as I was aware that textiles can be so adaptable to various specialisms having enjoyed producing wrapping paper and gift cards myself from previous projects. Looking back, I was shocked when I was selected as a winner of the Hallmark prize, but now I can see my illustrations within its brand.”

Lucy Littler, studied Illustration at Swansea College of Art: ‘Fun, lively and focused designs, with real commercial potential’, commented Hallmark on Lucy’s jars, tins and condiments artwork. “Architecture and buildings are a big inspiration for my designs. I like drawing the homes and shop fronts around the town of Llanelli and Swansea, and I like to think about what’s inside. Typefaces and hand-drawn lettering are another passion of mine. The jars and tins design work emerged from a promotion and marketing module on my course. I always take ages to pick a greeting card to send! But my favourite stores to choose from are Marks & Spencer [designed by Hallmark] and Paperchase as I prefer contemporary style designs.” Left: Lucy Littler with her jars, tins and condiments artwork and her New Designers Hallmark Studio Award.



60_62_PG_June 2017_Art Source 27/07/2017 17:33 Page 62




01234 740 051

Quality Bespoke Envelopes! From 5,000 quantity to many millions we can produce excellent quality envelopes for you. Plain, printed, coloured & textured finish. 100% recycled & FSC available. Please call us on 01274 581327 with your enquiry or email us on We will be delighted to help!

61_63_Grid 27/07/2017 11:02 Page 3

ART SOURCE Show stoppers

PG asked a number of talented graduates exhibiting at the recent New Designers show to share their views on cards as a career.

Harley Price-Davis, graduated from Plymouth College of Art:

Below: Adorable wildlife by Harley Price-Davis.

“I am inspired by nature and my surroundings and I put this into practice by creating detailed and unique watercolour illustrations for a multi-generational audience. I adore the effect of traditional watercolour media, which I also edit digitally to perfect and complete my work. New Designers was a truly amazing experience for me. I was able to talk to many people in the industry about my work and gained a lot of interest from various business/designers such as Moonpig! I have entered various greeting card competitions in the past, and studied the topic on my degree course, and it's something I have always enjoyed and found has been a success for me. I do feel that it's a great subject to be covered on design courses as it's such a versatile genre and can suit many illustration/design styles.”

Claudia Scaccianoce, graduated from Falmouth University: “The human eye creates connections between things by nature and I enjoy making thousands of possible combinations, especially through collage. I like to amaze and have fun! One of the ways I like to do this is through greeting cards. The humour is a constant in my work and I am very inspired by collage artist Graham Rawle (‘Woman’s World’ for example) and Terry Gilliam with Monty Python, who both create amazing and fun combinations. New Designers has been a great opportunity for me to explore the world of emerging illustration and get in touch with the public, from which I received many comments on my work. My greeting cards have generated a lot of interest, which I was extremely happy about as it is an area of illustration that intrigues me and I would like to explore it further because it is through greeting cards that we express our feelings to each other.” Above: Fantastically surreal greeting card designs from Claudia Scaccianoce.

Crystal Moseley, graduated from Plymouth College of Art: “I take inspiration from the world around me and I am particularly captivated by shapes and colour. I enjoy traditional techniques and utilise a mixture of watercolour and pen to create my vibrant illustrations. I often use Photoshop to clean up and adjust my imagery. Strong lines is a key feature of my work, accompanied by great attention to detail. New Designers was an amazing experience. It was great to connect with other creatives and gain exposure. I received lots of positive comments about my work and was approached by Moonpig about my greeting card designs. I love the giftware industry and would definitely consider greeting card design as a career.” Above: Crystal Moseley creates simple and strong design.

Molly Jay Moran, graduated from Birmingham City University:

Below: Molly Jay’s illustration is beautifully detailed.

“I would definitely say my artwork style is traditional and I really enjoy creating everything by hand! The mediums I use are mainly watercolour and coloured pencil because they enable me to get both colour and detail in my illustrations. My inspiration comes from everything around me, but nature and wildlife is one of my favourite things to illustrate, as well as food. New Designers was a fantastic experience. I didn't realise how much fun it was going to be and how much I was going to network with other illustrators and designers. There were so many talented people there and I am proud to say I was a part of it. I received some interest in my work too which I didn't expect, so that was a bonus! Designing greeting cards was not something I looked into before university because I never considered my style to be suitable! However, my university did touch on this a lot, and encouraged us to enter competitions and live briefs to do with greeting card design. I think it's a great industry to be involved in and I'm really looking forward to what the future holds!”

Annual Event New Designers’ curated ‘One Year On’ line-up of designers showcased how graduates from previous years are evolving with their work. Illustrator Melanie Smith, founder of Smith and Wonder, was a former ND exhibitor: “I've always loved the Arts and Crafts movement, particular the stylised flowers, trees and birds and animals. They incorporate a simplicity of line with a strong sense of pattern. I think this influence can be seen in my line drawings. I also love contemporary illustrators like Carson Ellis and Alice Melvin. I like their flat, stylised work, which is also full of pattern and layers. And the colours are so beautiful.

I had a really great four days at New Designers. I had lots of interesting conversations with people about my work. There was a lot of interest in my illustration style, as I think it is quite different to a lot of the other illustrators who were at the show this year. Designing cards is something I have thought about since I graduated in 2014. Having spent the past three years working on design commissions, and refining my style, I feel I'm at a point in my career when I'd like to explore this idea further. I have had a few conversations with greeting card publishers, so we will see where those conversations lead!” Left and above: Designs to make you smile and ponder by Smith and Wonder.



64-65_46-47 28/07/2017 08:03 Page 64

PG asked a selection of card retailers for their ‘hot’ card sellers. Tracey and Chris Bryant, partners of Expressions, Swindon A large shop in a niche shopping location with a loyal local customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



UK Greetings

Across The Board

Noel Tatt


Pigment Paperlink

Ribticklers, Riff Raff, Animal Antics Wrinklies


Nigel Quiney



Hammond Gower


Handmade/ Hand-Finished

Five Dollar Shake

Across The Board

Photographic Ancillary

Leonard Smith Words ‘N’ Wishes Soul

General Chocolate Bars Imagine stationery

As a ‘From the Heart’ store UK Greetings always provide a wide selection of designs. Particularly strong are occasions and relations designs. We ordered these at PG Live and they are flying off the shelves already! Just brilliant! Whatever the range, they just sell and sell. Gentle humour that appeals to the more mature customer. Long been a best seller, now Jewel and Pizazz for Men are welcome additions to the collection. Beautifully finished cards with a rich gold envelope. Sophisticated hand-made cards with intricate detail; great for special occasions. Absolutely stunning photography taken by Len personally. Quality chocolate, well priced and a great add on sale. A lovely quality stationery range in subtle colours.

Right: A beautiful design from Noel Tatt's Arabella range. Below: Hammond Gower’s Luxe range is full of gold sparkle.


Kathryn Morgan, owner of The Little Gift House, Bebington, Wirral A medium shop in a small town with a loyal locals and visitors customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range




Drama Queen


Off The Leash and On The Prowl


Stephanie Dyment

Elizabeth Messina


Woodmansterne Hallmark

Look Gallery

Stephanie Dyment Black Olive Alff a Bet

Colour Me Happy General General

Rush Designs Real & Exciting (Mint)

Everything Sparkles Moonlight

It’s very difficult to find humour ranges that appeal to everyone but this long-standing range is simply continually funny. We are a nation of animal lovers and these clever designs highlight the funny traits of people’s pets. They’re so popular! Beautiful photographs in gorgeous serene colours. Stunning black and white images: modern and a bit different. I cherry-pick strong male designs from the Above: The Colour Me Happy range by Stephanie Dyment includes this collection, which I display on a spinner. gorgeous wedding design. Card designs always with fresh creativity. Nice contemporary designs at a good price, they turn over all the time. Simple pen and ink designs in a Celtic style that stand out because of their originality. Glittery and fabulous designs! Design-led pretty artwork with crystals: new but they've really taken off!

Rachel Ellen

Across The Board


Handmade/ Hand-Finished Children's



Eye-popping bright colours, flittered, foiled, embossed, die-cut and add-ons, there’s a lot of content to Rachel’s cards, both artistically and in production.

64-65_46-47 28/07/2017 08:03 Page 65

Emma Paisey, owner of Daisy Park, South Molton, North Devon A medium shop in a market town at the Gateway to Exmoor with a loyal locals and tourists customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Two Bad Mice

Fran Evans


Ohh Deer

Gemma Correll

Bluebell 33

Fun Faces

Cinnamon Aitch


The Art File

Sara Miller London

Art Handmade/ Hand-Finished

Wraptious Tracy Colebrooke

Kat Baxter Bunting

Children's Giftwrappings

Caroline Gardner Penny Kennedy

Juvenile Sara Miller London


East Of India


That Company Called If

Mini Alphabooks

A great price point, a well recognised brand and some cute and quirky illustrations. Fun, tongue in cheek humour aimed at a female audience and lovers of cats and dogs with a slightly bad attitude. Emoticon iconic characters, such as DelBoy, Simon Cowell and Princess Leia. The simple illustrated designs are embellished with foiled and gems - very sophisticated and stylish. Luxurious and elegant with a wonderful use of colour and foil finishing, and gorgeous Above: A Simon Cowell emoticon on a Fun Faces card from Bluebell 33. imagery based on animals and flowers. Gorgeous animal illustrations but with a floral twist. A local handmade card designer who cuts each individual piece of fabric to make a bunting design and adds them to any caption we require: a real personal and individual handmade range. The fold out age cards (ages 1 - 5) have proved to be popular. The wrap and bags from Sara Miller complement the cards we have in store. We love that the wrap comes in rolls as well as individual sheets and it has been a huge success for us. Very tactile and with perfect sentiments. We have these next to the till point and are constantly re-ordering. The perfect pick up as they suit everyone. The initial shaped notebook is available in a variety of designs to suit all ages, both male and female.


Penny and Simon Bailey, partners of Bailey’s Cards & Gifts, Ainsdale, Southport A small shop in a coastal village with a loyal local and visitors customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Pippi & Me

Little Creatures


Rosie Made A Thing

Gin & Frolics



Framed Esprit


Louise Mulgrew

Furry Friends



Across The Board



Across The Board

Handmade/ Hand-Finished

James Ellis



Rachel Ellen

Giftwrap Ancillary

Caroline Gardner Lua

Totally Tween and Scribbles Giftbags Scarves

Adorable cards that get lots of ‘ahhs’. We like that the publisher gives 5% of its profits to charity. We keep adding to this range as the new designs come out as they are so popular, especially those mentioning gin or prosecco! The designs are ‘just rude enough’! The traditional photographic imagery is enhanced with drawings and glitter varnish. We reorder them regularly. Our favourite cards at the moment, especially the giraffe in his party hat design! They’re pen and ink designs, that are playful, colourful and quirky, and proving very popular. A very supportive company supplying us with an enormous choice of cards. Its innovative greeting cards are frequently refreshed to keep customers coming back for more. The new ‘Les Petits Papiers’ range is selling well with its standout colours and foil finish. A wide range of hand-finished birthday and occasions cards containing glitter and confetti. They are a bit different, with fabulous images, and can be shaken for added sparkle. Fun cards with neon pink details, bows and flitter that really stand out. These giftbags are at the market’s pricier end but they just sell and sell. Customers buying a gift for a friend often end up buying one for themselves - they’re great quality, prints and price.

Right: This giraffe on Louise Mulgrew's Furry Friends design is ready to party! Below: Shake for extra sparkle, a Shakies card from James Ellis.



66-73_Product Directory August 2017 27/07/2017 17:51 Page 66




To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on 


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Emscote Mill, Wharf Street, Warwick, CV34 5LB Tel: 01926 747935

To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

or email



To appear in the Product Directories contact



Warren Lomax

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020 7700 6740 or email or contact

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07957 212 062

or email 66



Acting as the exclusive, direct-to-retail, UK Independent trade distributor for five market leading greeting card & gift publishers: Blue Mountain Arts Emotional Rescue Gemma Danilo Promotions Saffron Cards & Gift Our portfolio of product covers all genres including sentiment, contemporary art, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;off the wallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; humour & licensed juvenile characters.

66-73_Product Directory August 2017 27/07/2017 17:51 Page 67




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Publishers of quality blank greeting cards 01565 830546


Caspari C aspari Ltd Ltd Linden Linden House, House, John John Dane Dane P Player layer C Court ourt

Witty, gritty, switched on humour. Cards and gifts with a real difference. Unit 1, 45 Morrish Road London SW2 4EE Tel: 0208 671 2166 Fax: 0208 678 1119

East E ast S Street, treet, Saffron Saffron Walden Walden E ssex, C B10 11LR LR Essex, CB10 T el: 01799 01799 513010 513010 Tel: 01799 513101 513101 F ax: 01799 Fax: Email: Email: w

PProducts: roducts: Everyday Everyday cards cards - birthday, birthday, blank blank & occasions, occasions, charity ch harity Christmas Christmas cards, wrap, bbags, ags, ttissue, issue, rribbon, ibbon, cards, gift gift wrap, hankies, hankies, napkins, napkins, paper paper plate, plate, candles, candles, placemats, placemats, crackers,invitations, crackers,invitations, placecards, placecards, notecards,diaries, notecards,diaries, address address bbooks, ooks, jjournals, ournals, advent advent calendars calendars and and bridge bridge gifts. gifts.

Method M ethod of of Sale: Sale: D Direct irect to to Retail Retail



66-73_Product Directory August 2017 27/07/2017 17:52 Page 68




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York House, 2-4 York Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7QQ T: 01394 271668 F: 01394 275114 E:


The UK No. No. 1 in The Licensed Greetings Greetings etings Licensed

A w o n d e rf u l id! E id

Over Overr 30 licenses Ov licens nses ses including: includin ng g: g: D Disne y, Peppa Peppa Pig Pig, Disney, He Kitty, Kitty Kitty, Mr Men Men Hello a d Angry A Birdss and Birds


t: +44 + (0)1264 388400 e: enquiries@gemma-interna national. ti w: gemma-international. ona

Online Shop

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Polish P olish o sh

and more!

Tel: T Te el: e 0161 1 641 64 641 0655 0655 06 E m mail: sales@da Email:

BRANDS â&#x20AC;&#x153;Write from the Heartâ&#x20AC;? brand includes; Corsage, Sentiments, Champagne, Celebrations and Jelly Beans.

M ETHOD OF SALE Direct to Retail


Ha p p y B i r t h d a y!

Ha p p y B i r t h d a y!

Units 4 - 4A Valentines Buildin g Ra cec our se Bus in ess Par k Aintr ee, Liver poo l, L9 5 AL Tel: 0151 52 3 9600 Fax : 015 1 523 494 9 e-m ail: s ales@ writefr om th ehear


York House, 2-4 York Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7QQ T: 01394 271668 F: 01394 275114 E: Online Shop

135 13 1 35 H Heaton eaton ea on M Moor oorr Rd Rd | Stockport S Sttockp ock o kpo port ort SK4 4HY 4 4H HY

Prancing Myth â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NEW DESIGNS

Colour House Graphics

A U.K owned Greeting Cards Publisher. Our everyday ranges for all occasions and relations include traditional, contemporary, cute, humour and photographic designs. We also have a full range of Christmas and Spring Seasons. All products are designed and printed in the U.K on the finest quality board.

from the

0800 7710771

High Quality Greeting Greeting Cards, Cards, Gift Bags, Gift Wrap Wrap & Tags Tags a for every occasion. occasio

*GCF1HĆ&#x201A;EG * GCF1HĆ&#x201A;EG +353 (0)404 20528 Email www

Lovely greetings cards & other paper stuff

Beautiful greeting cards from contemporary British artwork T +44 (0) 1273 241210 E



66-73_Product Directory August 2017 27/07/2017 17:52 Page 69





CHARITY GREETING CARDS One of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading publishers of Charity Greeting Cards. Impress offers a wide collection of images, including fine art, graphic, photographic and cute. We also offer a bespoke design service for bulk orders and/or mail order fulfilment.

Eye catching, luxurious Gift Wraps, Gift Tags, Gift Bags, Roll Wrap, Tissue Papers & Ribbons for all occasions

Impress Publishing Appledown House Barton Business Park New Dover Road Canterbury, Kent CT1 3TE Tel: 01227 811 611 Fax: 01227 811 618 email:

Glick, Unit 1 Allenby House, European Industrial Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB Tel: 01274 655980 email:

ARTISTS AR RT TISTS C CARDS ARDS g 01626 369269 E Established stablished 1993

Market leaders in Humour, Art, Photographic, Occasions and Relations cards offering a full planning service with merchandising and retail development opportunities.


To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740


PHO PHOTOGRAPHY TOGRAPHY g 01626 369269 E Established stablished 1993

Order s can be placed on our trader site

w w w. c b g t r a d e r. c o. u k or call our customer ser vice team on

+44(0)1243 792600

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062



66-73_Product Directory August 2017 27/07/2017 17:52 Page 70




Silk Screened Retro, Pop & Classic Cards Inspired by Music and 1960’s American Advertising.For all Vinyl & Rock n’Roll lovers


For further details please get in touch.

+44 (0)7779 578340


60 years

Products An exciting and innovative range of quality Birthday, Relations, Special Occasions, Art and Humorous greeting cards. Full range of Christmas and Spring Seasons merchandise. Comprehensive collection of handmade cards. Pizazz Gifts.

The UK’s leading privately owned publisher of Greetings Cards and Stationery. ...The home for

Yo our N Number b O One S Supplier li off Numerals, Name, Relation & Age Labels for Greetings Cards. Huge selection with immediate delivery y. Buy direct or from your wholesalerr. Listan Labels 3 Isis Court, Wyndyke Furlong, Abingdon Business Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire Oxfordshire OX1 5JN Tel Tel e 01235 465489 Fax 01235 532118




Products: Greetings cards for all occasions, Christmas and Spring Seasons cards, gift wrap and bags, charity cards, social stationery. Bespoke service for charities and other fundraisers.

Brand Names

With Love

Pizazz, Pizazz Gallery, Pizazz Jewell, Pizazz for Men, What a Picture, Time Out, Bon Bon, Marshmallow Cloudesley House • Shire Hill • Saffron Walden • CB11 3FB T: 01799 520200 F: 01799 520100

Ling Design Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574

Agents Wanted

66-73_Product Directory August 2017 27/07/2017 17:53 Page 71




paperlink... pap erlink... the home of fa fabulous bulous cards!

356 56 Kennington Rd London SE11 4LD T 020 7582 8244

Suppliers of humorous & contemporary Birthday, Christmas, Spring Seasons, Occasions & Relations cards

All our cards are supplied on consignment, so you only pay for what you sell. We also supply card fixtures and spinners free-on-loan.

Brands include: Bottomline, Bestie, Wrinklies, Hat Trick, Route 69, Bangers & Flash, Humdingers, Lacie, Sassy, Stay Wonky, Patisserie, Tinklers, Made With Love, and many many more! Method of Sale: Direct P Paperlinkcards aperlinkcards @paperlinkcards @ paperlinkcards

We replace slow sellers and damaged stock free of charge. We merchandise regularly, so you don’t have to. THAT’S WHY WE’RE ORIGINAL!

01932 267 300 Exquisite Design, Beautiful Cards Key brands include Marzipan, Portobello, Mosaic, Daisy Patch, Aquarupella and Designers Guild, plus many more. Tel: T el: +44 (0)115 986 0115 Email: PaperRoseCards TheArtGroupCards The_Art_Group

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Design-led Stationery, Gifts, Calendars, Diaries and Cards Brands Laura Ashley, Roald Dahl, Lily & Val, Vintage Ladybird, Caroline Gardner, Monsoon, Born to Shop, Flash Gordon, Boofle and many more. Our In-house design studio and established supply chain enables us to offer bespoke services.

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on

tel: +44 (0) 1225 329494 email: website:



66-73_Product Directory August 2017 27/07/2017 17:53 Page 72


Uk publisher of Greetings Cards with an extensive range of quality Birthday, Relations, Occasions and Seasonal product... available from




To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax



020 7700 6740

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

Our Brands: Laughter with Animals, Sporting Fun The Funny Side of Life.

Method of sale: Direct to Retail 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574

Greeting Cards that are unique & special with creative wit. Looking for top-notch agents to join our expanding team.

07957 212 062

or email on 01992 536461 Products: Greetings Cards, Gift Wrap, Social Stationery, Gift Bags, Keepsakes, Partyware.

Brands: Designer Collection, Feelings, Impressions, Inspirations, In Touch, Isabel’s Garden, Paper Wishes, Planet Happy.

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Method of sale:

020 7700 6740

Wholesale Distributors

or email on or contact

Simon Elvin Limited Wooburn Industrial Park, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0PE Tel: 01628 526711 Fax: 01628 531483

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on

Sensations International Ltd Unit 6, Quad Road,East Lane Business Park,East lane, Wembley,MIDDLESEX HA9 7NE Tel. 0208 3854470 Fax: 0208 385 4471 Email: PRODUCTS: World’s leading publisher of high quality plastic greeting cards. Also an extensive range of quality greeting cards covering Everyday, Occasions, Christmas and Spring seasons. BRANDS: Cherished Thoughts, Sweet Sentiments, Buddies Always, Symphony, Thinking of You, Style, Special Wishes, Special Times, Young Editions, Groove Sensations, Forever Blessed, Grey Skies, Classics. METHOD OF SALE: Direct to retail.


greeting cards & contempoRary gifts e: t: 01803 712793

T: 07767 896807 72


66-73_Product Directory August 2017 27/07/2017 17:55 Page 73




The UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading publisher of highest quality handmade Greetings Cards. Products: Greetings cards for all occasions, Christmas and Spring Seasons. Spinners and other retail displays available. Talking Pictures Cards Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6BE UNIQUE UNIQ QUE U PERSONALISED PERSONALISED CARDS

Tel: 01892 838574


range of high quality qua Gr eeting Car ds ffor o Greeting Cards ALL Occasions Occasions,, CHRISTMAS HRISTMAS and Spring Seasons. Seasons Method of Sale: D Direct to Retail

Market Leaders in


& entimen

Email: inffo@w o ords-n-wishes. Web: W eb: e www w.w .

Tel: T e el: 01942 01942 233201 233201

an extensive range of superior quality, w: www e: t: 01243 837300

design-led Greeting Cards for all occasions, Spring Seasons & Christmas.


Method of Sale: Direct to Retail Orders can be placed on our trader site or call our customer services team on

+44(0)1243 792600

TEL: 01480 435562 FAX: 01480 450599

Top-notch British Greeting Cards for Thoughts that Count




74_Wholesale Directory August 2017_whole sale dirSeptember 2004 28/07/2017 10:36 Page 74







UNIT 4, THE ARGENT CENTRE, SILVERDALE ROAD, HAYES, MIDDLESEX, UB3 3BS TEL: 020 8573 2975 / 1768 FAX: 020 8561 2349


Merseysideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Largest Greeting Card Distributor


Due to our massive buyer power, we are able to offer you the best prices and also take a pride in our friendly service.


Greeting cards â&#x20AC;¢ Gift ranges â&#x20AC;¢ Pocket money toys â&#x20AC;¢ Balloons â&#x20AC;¢ Badges â&#x20AC;¢ Banners â&#x20AC;¢ Soft toys â&#x20AC;¢ Stationery â&#x20AC;¢ Collectables , including dolls â&#x20AC;¢ Photo frames

Trading Hours Our Opening Hours are: MON, TUES,WED & FRI 9.00 - 5.30pm THURSDAY 9.00 - 8.30pm

Always something different Check us out now!!! Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri 9.30 till 4.30pm Thursday 9.00 till 7.30pm Sunday 10 till 1.00pm Tel: 0151 227 2555 Fax: 0151 227 2556 25 Dickson Street, Liverpool L3 7EB



To appear in the Wholesale Directory simply contact

Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740

Stationery and greeting card wholesaler

Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL

or email on

magnus RUPERT

T: 01923 200 900 F: 01923 200 909

Just off the M1 Junction 5



LONDONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NO 1

Great deals Great location Plentiful parking



Trading Hours Our Opening Hours are: MON, TUES,WED & FRI 9.00 - 5.30pm THURSDAY 9.00 - 8.30pm SAT CLOSED SUN 10.00 - 4.00pm UNIT 4, THE ARGENT CENTRE, SILVERDALE ROAD, HAYES, MIDDLESEX, UB3 3BS TEL: 020 8573 2975 / 1768 FAX: 020 8561 2349 Email:

Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL Tel: 020 8993 2231


Wholesale and direct-to-retail greeting cards, gift wrap, gift bags, social stationery, partyware and gifts.

01922-646666 www info@gr

Great range, competitive prices, excellent service.

MON,WED,FRI 8.00am-4.45pm TUES,THURS 8.00am-7.45pm SA AT,SUN , SAT,SUN 8.00am-1.45pm



Your One Stop Shop 0DQFKHVWHU5RDG%XU\%/6: 74




â&#x20AC;¢ â&#x20AC;¢

Unit 16 Maple Leaf Industrial Estate, Bloxwich Lane , Walsall WS2 8TF.

â&#x20AC;¢ â&#x20AC;¢

Wholesale Greeting cards Gift wrap Gift bags Stationery Banners Badges Balloons Helium cylinders



E: T: 01922 610190 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9am to 5pm Wednesday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9am to 8pm Sunday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8am to 1pm TRADE ONLY

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Polypropylene bag specialists


Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hot-foiling also available

T 01206 396209 E sales



Manufacturers Manuf facturers of hi high igh qua quality lity fflexible l xible pac le packaging kaging 30 YEARS EXP EXPERIENCE PERIENCE - Q QUALITY UALIT A T Y SER SERVICE VICE EXTENSIVE EXT TENSIVE STOCK STOCK RANGE R - QUIC QUICK KD DELIVERY E ELIVE RY ASSURED





01773 0 1773 7 537810 5378 810





01228 560526

FOR FOR ALL A LL Y YOUR OU R ENVELOPE EN V ELOPE N NEEDS! EEDS! L argest range range of Largest iin-stock n- stock ccolours olours Over 400 Bespoke Envelope Sizes 8 Sizes Permanently in Stock RECYCLED

Available v 100% Recycled Paper Available


Stock & Bespoke Cello Bags Peel & Stick Envelopes Bespoke Service on Request

ORDER ON LINE AT: AT: www 01274 583000 sales@r

We’ve We’ve been producing bags of high clarity and high quality for over 30 years. 01274 220 220 www sales@wrapid. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Quality Bespoke Envelopes! From 5,000 quantity to many millions we can produce excellent quality envelopes for you. Plain, printed, coloured & textured finish. 100% recycled & FSC available. Please call us on 0843 5066684 with your enquiry or visit our website We will be delighted to help!




ABL Foil Ltd Unit 1, Industrial Estate East Hanningfield Chelmsford Essex, CM3 8AB

Contact DAVID JIGGINS Tel: 01245 400104 Email:



PJ Print (London) The Capitals only Greetings card printer You name it what ? We can do it. With probably the most comprehensive range of card finishing in the

W We ea are re proud proud to to be be recognised recognised as as the the specialist specialist U UK Ka and nd g global lobal manufacturer manufacturer for for the the greeting greeting ccard ard iindustry ndustry for for over over 40 40 years years

UK card market PJ Print The answer to all your card production needs

PJ - PRINT E-mail: The Print Works Colville Road, Acton London W3 8BL tel 020 8993 5160 76


To discuss how we could work with you, contact Simon King 0115 928 77 66 www

Hadden Court, Court, Glaisdale Glaisdale Parkway, Parkway, Glaisdale Glaisdale Drive Drive West, West, Nottingham, Nottingham, NG8 4GP

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Introducing a joint venture from

The home of greeting cards eting e r g adinugrer e l s ’ K ct The Umanufa card

Following new investments estm in our digital printing facility we can help you with short run prints, rapid stock replenishment, market testing, design sampling and promotional products. Our expert digital printing, finishing and packing facilities allow us to provide

150 50 1 .uk

Our specialist services include:

• high quality • fast turnaround • competitive pricing

Digital and personalised greeting cards Short-run print Flitter, foil, emboss, die-cut finishes Bespoke gifts including mugs, coasters, notepads and much more

2 .co 011es4@loxleys

Promotional items Marketing literature


Exhibition graphics /stands Stationery any more ribution

If y you ou w would ould li like ke to disc discover over h how ow w wee could help y you, ou, please contact our sales team:

0114 250 1150 •

07974 133735 •

YOUR MANUFACTURING PARTNER FOR VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS English speakingproduction team,pricesquoted insterling...andonly 3daysdelivery toTHEUK...

Really... andtheres noVATtopayor customsprocedures either...that'sa greatdeal!

• Hand made and hand finished greeting cards • Boxed sets and acetate packs of cards / envelopes • Giftwrap and tag packs • Individually open and closed wrapped cards • 'Pop up' and cardboard engineered products • Notelets and social stationery • Specialised printing on plastics & lenticular For production enquiries, estimates etc., please contact our UK Agent:

Rob Pearson 07710 132 232 FSC accredited (BV-COC-002485). Audited member of SMETA. Printing to ISO12674-2 standard.



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We specialise in providing high quality print for short to medium runs, incorporating multiple images. Go to our website for prices, alternatively call or email us for a bespoke quote. T

01274 305832



LB Warehousing (Women in Transport & Logistics Finalist)



S AME DAY order turnaround A CCURATE fulfilment and same day turn round V ALUE ADDED only as you sell the product E XCLUSIVELY Greeting Cards D EDICATED Account Managers With an excellent reputation we work as an integral part of your TEAM bringing much more than fulfilment. Our costing structure is SIMPLE and TRANSPARENT. We carry out ALL aspects of hand finishing and assembly and provide whatever ADDITIONAL services YOU need Our select team of outworkers carefully hand wrap any size or format of cards urgently, OVERNIGHT! We CARE about your product as much as you do. Attention to detail, QC Issues and IT supported by a comprehensive paper trail for all stock movements are our hallmarks. Our CAN DO approach means that WE solve your problems. Outsourcing your warehousing operation releases your time to CREATE/MARKET/SELL/ MANAGE/GROW THE BUSINESS

Tel: 01274 531828 Contact Chris Sharman. Email:

YOUR BUSINESS IS OUR BUSINESS, please visit our web site and see what OUR customers say, then to find out more call Lynda Raymond and perhaps we can arrange to meet and discuss your needs I am sure that we can help. LB Warehousing, Units 1, 2 &3 Wayside Warehouses, Toseland, Near St. Neots, Cambridgeshire. PE19 6RX Tel 01480 880800 Fax 01480880900 Mobile 07889 399341



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Tel: 01929 550085 Email: Web:

Home of the Wire Spinner Stand


The Wire Spinner is proven to be the most cost effective method to display and enhance products. We also offer sheet metal, wood, acrylic and cardboard solutions or a combination of materials. To appear in the Classified pages simply contact

Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740 or email on




Progressive Greetings August 2017 Issue.pdf




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Terms & Conditions: (i) 30% off trade price (cannot be used in conjunction with any other trade discount or offer) (ii) Designs chosen at Second Nature Limited's discretion (iii) Minimum 50 designs and must be purchased in units of 6 (iv) Order must be placed and shipped by 30th September 2017

Contact your rep/agent, call us or go online:

OBC_PG_August 2017.indd 1

E: T: +44 (0) 1983 209 590

26/07/2017 10:56

Progressive Greetings Worldwide August 2017  
Progressive Greetings Worldwide August 2017