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March

2017


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. d t l e r u t a N d Secon Leaders in

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MARCH 2017

AGE IS ...

now ava

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2017

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

e l b a l i a v a o s l a ... ! e z i s c i t n a g i G in

A st r i k i n g a n d f re s h n e w lo o k u si n g b e a u t if u l f o i l & em b o ss i n g . p er f ec t f o r t h o se ex t r a s p e c ia l b i r t h d ays

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

secondnature.co.uk

E: hello@secondnature.co.uk T:+44 (0) 1983 209 590

Progressive Greetings : Second Nature : size A4 : March 2017 issue

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MANUFACTURING CONSULTANCY

Tel: 01929 550085 Email: sales@westminsterwire.com Web: www.westminsterwire.com

Home of the Wire Spinner Stand

Publishing Industry Manufacturing Specialists

Independent Consultancy with extensive sourcing experience with a particular focus on Greetings Cards, Gift Bags, Gift Wraps etc, via either UK or Chinese manufacturers. Ensure you achieve the best value, economies and efficiencies from your printing and manufacturing arrangements, without having to compromise on quality, whilst driving down costs and increasing your profits.

China Sourcing Experts - buy from China with expert help all the way. 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.

Tel: 07963 144591 allister@alpconsultants.co.uk www.alpconsultants.co.uk

Immerse yourself in the greeting card world

APPOINTMENTS

SALES AGENT REQUIRED Tracks Publishing Ltd is looking for an experienced Agent to represent them in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Tracks Publishing are one of the leading Independent Card Publishers in the UK specialising in humour, photographic and cold foil designs. For more information please contact us on

01480 435562 info@tracksltd.com

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MANUFACTURING CONSULTANCY

Tel: 01929 550085 Email: sales@westminsterwire.com Web: www.westminsterwire.com

Home of the Wire Spinner Stand

Publishing Industry Manufacturing Specialists

Independent Consultancy with extensive sourcing experience with a particular focus on Greetings Cards, Gift Bags, Gift Wraps etc, via either UK or Chinese manufacturers. Ensure you achieve the best value, economies and efficiencies from your printing and manufacturing arrangements, without having to compromise on quality, whilst driving down costs and increasing your profits.

China Sourcing Experts - buy from China with expert help all the way. 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.

Tel: 07963 144591 allister@alpconsultants.co.uk www.alpconsultants.co.uk

Immerse yourself in the greeting card world

APPOINTMENTS

SALES AGENT REQUIRED Tracks Publishing Ltd is looking for an experienced Agent to represent them in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Tracks Publishing are one of the leading Independent Card Publishers in the UK specialising in humour, photographic and cold foil designs. For more information please contact us on

01480 435562 info@tracksltd.com

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Leader

On The Cards Being part of the media it makes me feel a bit odd lambasting members of our ‘family’ for bad behaviour publicly, but in the case of The Telegraph and the stirring it has done, without foundation, on the Clintons front seems at best reckless, at worst downright irresponsible. The story it peddled about Clintons going to close a quarter of its stores was, according to Tim Fairs, the retailer’s vp of marketing, completely ‘fake news’ (a Trump phrase brought together with a Clinton of a different ilk this time!), causing huge upset to the Clintons’ stores managers, its 4,000 employees and its suppliers, as well as casting a dark cloud on the whole industry. But let’s move onto ‘sunnier’ climes on the publishing front. I loved the piece in The Times entitled ‘Is your smartphone making you stupid?’, the grand finale of which was a great fillip to card sending. The article made the point that while smartphones allow us to act as though we are being thoughtful by pinging over a quick text on someone’s birthday ‘most people would prefer you to send a birthday card’. The piece quoted author and psychologist Dr Rosen saying that online empathy is “weak empathy. It’s not as good as real-world empathy.” At Spring Fair I had the good fortune to meet the effervescent Furio Ceciliato, founder of upmarket greeting card company Origamo, who sees the lack of a developed card market in Italy as an opportunity rather than dissuasion. He has formed an Italian ‘GCA’ equivalent in an effort to bring the card industry that does exist there together, but has also gone as far as to publish a book, featuring ideas of what consumers can write in cards, that he gave away at the recent Homi trade show in Milan. That man deserves a big bowl of pasta with extra Parmesan! Another visionary who deserves to be applauded is Sarah Hamilton, the artist and card publisher who founded the Just a Card campaign. Her enthusiasm, passion and many talents has not gone unnoticed by book publishers Pavilion who commissioned her as author of a book about the creativity of greeting cards, entitled House of Cards. I was thrilled to be

Above: (Left) Rachel Bright, creator of The Bright Side, giving away limited edition prints on Really Good’s stand to mark its 30th anniversary (and Soul’s 20th) with the company founder David Hicks and PG’s Jakki Brown. Left: PG’s Warren Lomax with Unit 7’s Andrea Pinder on the PG stand at the Spring Fair. Andrea was one of the ‘dragons’ and was keen to share her invaluable retailer knowledge with publishers. Right: Publisher and artist Katherine Kleeli (right) with two of the ‘dragons’ - Little Paperie’s Heidi Richardson (right) and Lucy Sticka at the GCA Speed Dating event. Below left: Origama’s Furio Ceciliato with GCA’s Sharon Little (left) and PG’s Jakki Brown at the Spring Fair in the Debut area.

asked to write the foreword to the book, putting the industry into context historically and socially. And finally, I was completely blown away recently by the strength of industry camaraderie that was palpable at London’s Business Design Centre on February 28. After a great morning attended by almost 100 PG Live exhibitors, with everyone getting revved up about the forthcoming show, the afternoon fizzed with the first ever GCA Meet the Buyer Speed-dating with Dragons at which 60 card publishers made the most of the opportunity to pitch their business to a trio of the 15 retailers (dragons) who totally embraced the concept. I only wish that the Telegraph journos had been there and we could have doused them in positive cardie ‘fire’.

www.max-publishing.co.uk THE HOME OF MARKET LEADING TRADE MAGAZINES

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

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Contents

What’s Inside Within This Issue:

50

FOCUS ON GIFTWRAPPINGS

79

37

Above: A Neon Revolution gift bag from Glick.

11-23

37-39

53-57

News

Globetrotting Report

Innovations

24-25

The second part of card publishers’ and distributors’ account on the greetings industry around the world.

The World About Us

Over The Counter

Coffee Break Chatter Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, examines how opinions can be good for business.

41-43 Giftwrappings - Focus On Trends

Paper Parade Giftwrap publishers spotlight some current key design trends.

26-27 Cardsharp

58-59 Jeremy’s Journal

Creating Desert Tracks Blue Eyed Sun’s Jeremy Corner discusses retailers’ challenges and successes of selling online.

61-63

Art Source

Fake News Agenda

45-49

Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.

Wrap Artists

What’s Hot?

Fresh and new product in the giftwrappings market.

67-69

29-31

Giftwrappings - New Launches

64-65

Lynn’s Lines

Viewpoints

Loving It! How Valentine’s Day fared for indies.

50-51

Great Show Offs

In Conversation With… Paul Woodmansterne

70-82

An Evolutionary Process

33-35 Trends & Inspirations

Natural Gleanings PG gleans some current greeting card design trends.

Woodmansterne's md, Paul Woodmansterne, explains the next phase of the group's evolution.

Classified 83

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

Editor

Advertisement Director

Deputy Editor

jw@max-publishing.co.uk

warren@max-publishing.co.uk

galea@max-publishing.co.uk

SUBSCRIPTIONS ENQUIRES: maxsubscriptions@marketingreinforcements.co.uk Tel: 020 8943 9541

PG is the official magazine for the Greeting Card Association GCA: Sharon Little 020 7619 0396 Email: gca@max-publishing.co.uk www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk Use your smartphone app to scan the QR code to visit our website.

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.

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From

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Available April 2017 For further details contact our Customer Service Team on:

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NEWS A letter for my lover

TOP STORY

Love Labours Lost? Strong Valentine’s Day heartbeat for some, but not all “Love is still in the air!” was the verdict from Cards Galore director Rumit Shah, who reported that it experienced “Better trading than last year” partly due to the fact that the 14th fell on a work day (Tuesday), rather than at the weekend, as so many of its stores are within the vicinity of the City of London. He sensed a shift in buying habits towards “more sentimental and traditional cards” than previously. Scribbler also had a cracking first Spring Seasons event this year - up 8% like-for-like. “It came good in the end, but half of our sales were in the last four days,” revealed Eliot James, buyer of the specialist chain. “We had a monster Monday [13th] as well as a great Tuesday, there were queues of customers out of the door at some of shops!” Other card retailers however, were not as overjoyed, not experiencing the same ‘love fest’.

Paul Taylor, md of Cardzone (with 80+ stores), said that sales were flat on last year, but was “delighted considering footfall was 6.5% down on the previous year.” Miles Robinson, partner of House of Cards (group of six shops in the Home Counties) was equally relieved, but not ecstatic. “It certainly wasn’t a strong Valentine’s Day as far as we understand. We ended up being 1% up year-on-year, but this was only because one of our stores did exceptionally well.” While some indies had a great Valentine’s day trading (see Viewpoints pages 29-31), not all hearts were beating as strongly. Respected retailer Andrea Pinder of Unit 7 in Birmingham and Manchester admitted to being 15% down on Valentine’s sales this year, blaming the media for putting people off celebrating the event with cards. “I was absolutely furious with Smooth Radio who kept sending out the message that there was no need for cards and flowers, a nice meal in would be fine,” said an incensed Andrea.“Valentine’s Day gives a great reason for romance and without romance there would be no children and without children there would be no population. It all starts with a card!” Left: Independent retailer Cranbrooks, Shaftesbury, really went to town on its Valentine’s Day window display this year.

Pushing the boundaries Paperchase was in the spotlight over its Valentine’s Day cards after an article in The Sun newspaper blasted the retailer for its x-rated range, but it took action swiftly, gaining praise from its customers. According to The Sun, customers visiting the retailer got hot under the collar over some of the explicit messages that appeared on some of its Valentine’s Day cards, even though they were displayed on the top shelves with a corresponding shelf sign that said ‘Rude cards here. You have been warned’. Frances Burkle, buying director of Paperchase said: “This has obviously been a hot topic for us. Paperchase operates in a fashion space so we certainly see the opportunity to push the boundaries and to take risks on occasions.” Recognising that this year some of its Valentine’s cards were intentionally more ‘adult’ in nature, all of Paperchase’s Above: The Sun’s article on Paperchase on 27 January. stores were instructed to display them on top shelves with the warning signs. As Frances explained, following the feedback Paperchase received via social media it took the decision to remove these cards from sale. “By doing this we did get very positive feedback from customers for listening, and actually a considerable amount of positive feedback for stocking the cards in the first place,” she said.

Lover village in Wiltshire was once famous for its distinctive postmark and thousands of romantics used to flock to the post office to deliver their loved ones’ cards for Valentine’s Day. But the tradition ended in 2008 when the post office closed. But in 2017, after campaigning by locals and as part of a series of fundraising events for the local community centre, the distinctive postmark returned to Lover. A pop-up post office was set up by locals and on the lead up to Valentine’s Day anyone in the world could buy a Valentine’s card online which was then stamped and posted from Lover. Above: Valentine’s cards sent from Lover were once again this year postmarked with a distinctive cachet stamp.

Spoof humour books drive sales for WHS WHSmith’s Christmas trading statement released recently showed that its likefor-like sales were up 1% across the group, but this was mainly driven by strong sales within the travel division (up 5%), with sales down 3% in shops on the high street. The trading statement also singled out strong promotions in seasonal stationery categories (which includes greeting cards) as a positive contributing factor to sales. But these figures don’t necessarily tell the whole story. 2015 was an extremely successful year for the retailing giant, with the demand for adult colouring books delivering the first rise in Christmas like-for-like sales at high street stores in 12 years. So there was a lot to live up to in 2016. Sales in the high street shops in 2016 were driven by spoof humour books such as Five on Brexit Island, Five Give up the Booze, and the Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups series. Above: WHSmith recorded strong group sales in its Christmas trading statement.

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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NEWS Make a note of it

TOP STORY

Fake News Rumours quashed about Clintons’ mass store closures Clintons management is outraged by the “pack of lies” that The Sunday Telegraph and Telegraph printed about the specialist card retailer’s possible plans to close 120 stores, a quarter of its estate. Tim Fairs, vp of marketing and ecommerce for the retailer, told PG that the article was “fake news” and “very unfair, irresponsible journalism,” that has caused unnecessary concern to the company’s store managers, employees as suppliers. “We have had to put out a lot of fires. The article is completely false and bears no relation to current policy,” he said. He revealed that Clintons’ owner American Greetings had in fact issued a statement to the Telegraph that confirmed there are no plans for a mass store closure programme and how ‘On the contrary, we have new store format

trials underway and are actively reviewing new sites.’ The Telegraph has thus far ignored this information. Showing a more responsible reaction, Retail Week, reported an update including the views issued by an AG spokesperson which highlighted that while “Every retailer reviews its store portfolio on a store by store basis as individual leases come up for renewal, and whilst it is impossible to rule out individual store closures at some point in the future, we can confirm there are no plans to undertake a major store closure program as the reports claim.” The statement also confirmed that “there are plans in place for further investment” in the Clintons’ estate. (See Cardsharp pages 26-27) Above: Clintons saw red when the story came out that it was to close a quarter of its shops. Left: Clintons’ marketing director Tim Fairs speaks out to vehemently deny the closures.

Cardgains charity challenge A cheque for £20,000 cheque was presented to children’s charity, the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity at the Spring Fair by buying group Cardgains. Cardgains raised the money through its 2016 charity challenge, ‘The Edges of the Rainbow’, a 20 mile walk embarked upon last June by members of the greeting card and gift industry. Above: Penny Shaw, Cardgains’ marketing director, presents a cheque for Rainbow Trust is a charity that offers £20,000 to Katherine Brooks of the Rainbow Trust surrounded by some of emotional and practical support for children the industry walkers who took part in the 2016 Cardgains charity challenge. with a life-threatening or terminal illness, and their family. Katherine Brooks, Rainbow Trust regional fundraiser, accepted the cheque on behalf of the charity, saying, “To put it into perspective, it takes about £17,000 to support a child and their family for a year and 97% of the Trust’s funding comes from donations. The amount of money that those involved in the charity walk (and additional industry donations) have raised will make a huge difference to sick children.” Also, making an appearance on the Cardgains Village stand at the show was guide dog in training Lincoln, a golden Labrador puppy from Guide Dogs for the Blind. Cardgains will support this charity for 2017, tying-in with its mascot Cyril Service’s new glasses and its strapline ‘Focused on Independent Retailers since 1989’. A puppy has already been allocated to Cardgains and will be named Cyril! The Cardgains charity challenge this year will be the ‘Seaside Shuffle’, a 25 mile coastal walk between Whitby and Scarborough on 22 June. Some 34 walkers have already signed up for the event. If you would like more information, email kerry@bridewelluk.co.uk.

While very well-known as a supplier of envelopes to the trade, Enveco’s production talents extend into stationery too. Over 100 publishers took up Enveco’s Spring Fair offer of a free bespoke notebook sample and in the process have been entered in a competition to win 100 notebooks of their own design. “We Above: Rocket68 was one publisher have developed this who took up Enveco’s notebook offer at Spring Fair. side of our business over the past 18 months or so and are now fully functional and manufacturing for a number of publishers,” says Julie Brightley, sales manager of Enveco. “All our notebooks are made here in the UK in Milton Keynes and our order minimum is 500 books across five designs, so 100 of each design. We want to provide an opportunity for publishers to offer a stationery range without needing to manufacture overseas. We’re competing on price, with reduced lead times and very low minimums, so it’s working well.”

The personal touch A Scottish publisher and printer has brought in a new designer with greeting card knowledge to boost its personalisation business. Southfields Stationers appointed Fiona Young as inhouse designer last year. Fiona ran her own successful greeting card company Stable Cottage Design and her designs have been sold in over 100 independent outlets and high street Above: Personalised multiples, including Christmas cards from Paperchase and Scribbler. Southfields Stationers. “2017 will definitely be an exciting year for us with our 'Personalise it' greeting card ranges,” says Bastien Pageot, digital marketing specialist for Southfields. “Retailers will have the opportunity to customise greeting cards and Christmas cards with their own town, city or county. These versatile ranges offer retailers an opportunity to tailor-make their products to really appeal to their customers. By bringing Fiona on board we are now able to create exciting new in-house ranges which we will be launching throughout 2017.”

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NEWS TOP STORY

Pooch’s naughty antics inspire card

All Fired Up GCA’s red hot speed dating with dragons event It was impossible to extinguish the passion, enthusiasm and sense of belonging that was apparent at the first ever GCA Meet the Buyer event: Speed-dating with Dragons think Dragons’ Den, but with nicer dragons - which took place at the end of last month. With the tickets selling out in a matter of hours, 60 lucky publishers made the most of the opportunity at the afternoon event (which took place at London’s Business Design Centre) to pitch their products to a trio of the 15 retail buyers, who fully embraced the concept of the quickfire 10 minute feedback sessions. Buyers participating were from multiples, small chains and independent stores and included representatives from Clintons, Cardzone, Scribbler, House Of Cards, Frosts Garden Centres, Belly Button Designs, Calliope Gifts, Forget Me Not Stubbington, Little Paperie and Unit 7. Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA, organiser of the event said: “I've been overwhelmed with the fantastic feedback I've received

from both publishers and retailers. It's brilliant to have so many retailers involved in the GCA and taking part in events such as this – we'll definitely be doing more!” While half the publishers attending were pitching to the dragons, the other half had a chance to listen to words of wisdom from GCA president Ged Mace (md of The Art File), and London agents, the ‘two Jos’, Joanna McFarlane and Jo Bannister, in intimate group discussions. Dale Woodcock from Little Fingy made the trip down from Leeds for the event and commented: “It was fast and frantic but I think it went OK. It’s a really good idea and hopefully I’ll hear back from some of the buyers!” Joe Cole from Natural Partners said: “It’s a really good chance to get your catalogue and work in front of someone that you otherwise might not. The buyers I spoke to seemed interested and even wanted to talk prices!” Above: The ‘dragons’ were divided into three groups: multiples, small groups and indies. The multiple dragons were (left-right) Emma Cove (Clintons), Eliot James (Scribbler), John Procter (Scribbler), Paul Taylor (Cardzone) and Nicola Miller (Clintons). Left: Publishers were given 10 minutes with three different dragons to pitch their ideas. In full flow (front left-right) Alexa Stretton from Always Sparkle, Marina Brook from Marina B and Lizzie Chancellor of Lizzie Chancellor pitching their cards to the small group of ‘dragons’.

Postmark on the Meridian Line Leading London-based indie Postmark recently opened its fourth store in trendy Greenwich. The Retas-winning retailer has already proven its retailing prowess, offering an extensive range of design-led, quality cards and stationery at its existing stores in Balham, Dulwich and Chiswick. Managing director, Mark Janson-Smith, is excited about the new location and says: “We were actually approached by the Greenwich Estate to open in Greenwich, it hadn't really been on our radar before this. Despite being slightly unsure at first, we could not turn down the location we are now in as it is a fabulous retail space. We have been blown away with customer response and apparently this is the quiet time of year in Greenwich so we are very excited about the year ahead. The customer mix is completely different from our other stores with a large amount of tourists, which means tweaking our offering. Our focus on London products will be stronger, as well as a slightly different stationery offering.” Mark hints that there is more fuel in the tank. “We do have plans for further expansion, but we will be taking a few weeks off to catch up on things. We would like to open one more store this year with more planned for 2018 but this all depends on finding the right locations,” he said. Right: Inside Postmark’s new Greenwich store.

Charlie the naughty Doberman is the inspiration behind a new card design by Jo Scott from Scott and Robson. Charlie is owned by Tracey Arnaud, advertising exec for Progressive Greetings and ‘mummy’ of the Springboard section at PG Live, and her pooch is well-known on Facebook for his antics, especially his love of food. The card depicts one of his naughtiest moments – eating the birthday cake Tracey had left on the bench for her 11 year-old son! “I went upstairs for about 10 minutes, came down to enjoy a slice of cake with my son and opened the lid... there was nothing left, Charlie had eaten the whole thing and managed to get the cake lid back down on it!” says Tracey. “To say I was furious was an understatement. So my poor son, for his 11th birthday, had no cake!” Above: Charlie certainly looks guilty about something as he poses with his card.

Card Factory posts solid Christmas results Card Factory was one of the last retailers to shed light on its Christmas trading figures, but the value retailer fared OK, though not as strongly as previously. It has revealed that the retail group’s total sales in the 11 month period ending 31 December 2016 were up 4.3%, with likefor-like sales increasing 0.4%. Although this was lower than the growth in 2015 (8.1% and 2.8% growth respectively), Karen Hubbard, Card Factory’s chief executive officer, said, “It is pleasing to report that Card Factory has traded well through the competitive Christmas trading period with customers once again responding well to our card and non-card ranges. As a result, like-for-like store sales in the fourth quarter of the financial year have returned to our expected range.” Card Factory opened 51 new stores in the period, bringing the total estate to 865 stores, with plans in place to open an additional 50 stores in this financial year. Above: Card Factory opened another 51 stores in 2016.

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NEWS TOP STORY

Spring Fair NIBS Below: It was standing room only for Mary Portas’ keynote address at Spring Fair.

Spring Action New Debut area christened in card hall The 2017 Spring Fair last month saw thousands of gift, greeting card, housewares and jewellery brands showcasing their most recent collections and latest designs. Visiting crowds were also wowed by a strong roster of inspirational keynote speakers who offered incredible retail insight, personal stories and actionable advice for business success. Retail guru, Mary Portas, was the first to share her wisdom to a packed audience, encouraging British independent retailers to work together in order to make their high streets stronger. Recognising the well-documented challenges facing UK retailers, Mary maintained that “the single most powerful tool at their disposal was to collaborate with each other”. By working together stores can “make their own patch stronger” and “as a collective, the combined influence of a group of retailers working together could carry significant sway and be a catalyst for meaningful change”. Baroness Karren Brady, CEO of West Ham United Football Club and star of The Apprentice, also spoke to a large

Above: Paul Urban on the Kingfisher stand at Spring Fair.

crowd sharing her six top tips for running a successful business: leadership, ambition, determination, attitude, direction and positivity. Completing the keynote speaker line-up, Roger Saul, founder of Mulberry, addressed the impact of currency fluctuations on UK businesses. He spoke of the “great opportunity for British manufactures to increase exports around Europe”. l The activity in the greeting card ‘hall’ included the introduction of the Debut section, which was supported by the GCA and saw 20+ GCA publisher members who had never shown at the Fair set out their wares!

More licensees for I Drew This As well as being a card publisher under the I Drew This brand, its founder Ilona Drew is also continuing to grow its presence in the marketplace through licensing. Paper Rose launched the Umami range from I Drew This at Spring Fair with 18 embossed and metallic designs in birthday designs and other captions. Giftwrap company Glick was also showing a range of gift bags, wrap and roll wrap based on I Drew This’ Henries award-winning Mischief range featuring its distinctive cute and colourful characters. Ilona said: “It is really important for me to licence my artwork as this is the perfect way for me to get my designs onto different products and get my style out there. Throughout my freelance career I have been lucky to work with a number of different publishers and I am particularly proud to be working with Glick and Paper Rose. I am always working on new designs and soon I will be adding some new Landmarks designs to the collection, along with some gorgeous Little Tweets captions.” Left: Glick’s Mischief product range includes gift bags and wrap.

Sweet sentiments

l Paul Urban (formerly sales director of Cherry Orchard) has taken over the helm at Kingfisher Cards. Already known for its large range of 'difficult to get' minor titles, Paul's influence can already be seen by the introduction of the new Aura greeting card range. As well as putting into place a team of 10 sales agents, Kingfisher Cards exhibited at the Spring Fair for the first time this year.

Right: Say it with a card… and chocolate!

Words ‘n’ Wishes has expanded beyond greeting cards and into something even sweeter! The publisher displayed its brand new chocolate gift range on its Cardgains pod at Spring Fair last month. The chocolate gift range is based around sentiments linked to greeting cards. Alison Traynor, senior sales co-ordinator, says: “There are 48 sentiments in all. Card retailers love the idea that for every card with that sentiment they can add an additional chocolate sale with the card. There has been a tremendous response and sell-in, we had our first re-order within a week, but it’s too early for indications on the bestselling titles.”

l Carousel Calendars and sister company Otter House have become the UK distributor of some of US company Lang’s products (the latter owned by IG Design Group). While Carousel Calendars is distributing Lang’s calendars, Otter House is distributing its stationery and candles. Right: Carousel Calendars’ md Steve Plackett (left) with IG Design Group’s US ceo Gideon Schlessinger.

l The Spring Fair marked the official launch of a significant distribution deal with French company Pictura Aquarupella of its Gaelle Boissonard Collection of greeting cards, stationery and gifts, featuring the work of this celebrated French artist. Above: Paper Rose’s Reggie Pugh (far left) and Nigel Willcock (far right) with Aquarupella’s co-founders Thierry and MarieOdell Heinerich.

l Thorntons shared its new ‘copper and cream’ retail concept on its stand at the Spring Fair. The new ‘kitchen’ theme pays tribute to the fact that Thorntons’ toffee is still made in copper pans. The new look is expected to be introduced into 30 stores over the coming year. Above: Thorntons’ (right-left) Han van Reen, Sarah Newbrook and Wendy Thoms on the stand at the Fair.

l Giftwrap UK has become the UK distributor of Liz & Pip’s greeting card and stationery ranges. The new tie-up was launched officially at the Spring Fair. This follows on from a licensing agreement between two companies whereby Giftwrap UK has launched a collection of napkins, gifts and giftwrappings based on Liz & Pip designs. In addition, Giftwrap UK is now distributing Heritage Art’s Ella Bella Rose and Woodland card ranges to the independent sector. Above: Giftwrap UK’s sales manager Jonathan Maskell next to the Liz & Pip card range on the Cardgains Village stand at the Spring Fair.

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NEWS Old school printing

TOP STORY

Cardie Commuters Hallmark’s random acts of kindness Bradford-based Hallmark teamed up with bus company Arriva Yorkshire to spread a little goodwill across Yorkshire during Random Acts of Kindness Week, which ran from 12 – 18 February. Arriva staff handed out hundreds and hundreds of Hallmark cards to commuters at Wakefield bus station as they started their day, as well as on Arriva buses travelling throughout the region. It was a lovely initiative in which to be involved said Esther Key, licensing and consumer marketing manager for Hallmark. “We decided to team up with Arriva for Random Acts of Kindness Week as we saw it as the perfect opportunity to spread love and kindness throughout Yorkshire. By handing out the cards to

Below: Arriva driver, Kenneth Griffiths, hands out Hallmark cards during Random Acts of Kindness Week.

busy commuters at the start of their working day we were able to raise quite a few smiles as well as highlight how much handwritten messages in cards can mean to people. The people we met and gave the cards to were visibly excited to receive them and couldn’t wait to send them onto someone special.”

Gearing up for National Stationery Week Pencils are being well and truly sharpened for National Stationery Week, which is held from 24 – 30 April this year. Retailers are being encouraged to embrace a Seven Days of Stationery concept – with each day during the week taking on a different theme, such as Fountain Pen Friday or Thank You Letter Thursday. It’s up to retailers how they interpret the days, but the main thing is to have fun with the themes. Last year three of the days trended across Twitter, and had some major brands involved, including the BBC. This year sees the launch of a retailer stationery display competition, which will see one lucky retailer (and three runners-up) winning hundreds of £pounds worth of stock courtesy of the sponsors. All retailers need to do is dress their store as creatively as possible using the official POS materials. There’s still time to register at www.nationalstationeryweek.com to receive a POS pack and information. The Week coincides with National Stationery Show (April 25-26, London’s BDC). Left: Get involved with the Seven Days of Stationery.

LaunchPad winners announced The 12 winners of the first ever LaunchPad competition for stationery products have been announced and they’ll all get a chance to exhibit for free at the London Stationery Show on 25 – 26 April at the Business Design Centre. The competition was aimed at individuals and companies eager to break into the UK stationery industry. “We were delighted with the response to our first LaunchPad competition and we’re keen to make it a regular part of the London Stationery Show. We want to encourage and support new companies and products to come forward and showcase their ideas,” says Tim Willoughby, COO at Ocean Media Exhibitions, which now organises the London Stationery Show. The winners are: Archivia, Berjo Creative, By Mrs Carter, David Hayward Designs, Elmo Paperstories, Foggish, My Pretty Circus, Offlines, Ortiedesign, Spots & Stripes Design, Think Trigg and Treewise. 16

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

Andrew Davis a very well-known face in the industry from the supply side (Simson Pimm, Enveco and most recently the Offset Group). But Andrew has now moved to the other side and set up his own publishing house, printing his own range of greeting cards on a restored 1963 Heidelberg press. The company, LS20 Letterpress Studio, launched at Spring Fair and visitors to its stand were impressed by the beautiful cards printed using this ‘old school’ method. “I have always loved being involved in the greeting card industry and wanted to publish my own cards one day,” says Andrew. “The timing seemed right and everything just started falling into place when a nice Heidelberg Platen became available, as did an inexpensive unit and the enthusiasm to create something new. All the cards are printed on the Heidelberg press with the back of the cards stating ‘hand-crafted in Yorkshire’. “Price and cost-wise it works out very similar to digital, however our machine finish, which gives a deboss texture as it prints the impression, cannot be replicated on a digital printing machine,” says Andrew. Above: Contemporary designs are printed using an old-fashioned method. Below: Andrew Davis and the Heidelberg press.

Seminar programme for New York show Visitors to the National Stationery Show in New York (21 - 24 May) will be able to attend six educational seminars during the show. Industry experts will focus on topics, including website/email best practices, instore special events, colour/design forecasts, and success tips for small businesses. In addition, two programmes will feature panels - one exploring successful strategies to maintain a robust bridal business and the second featuring women entrepreneurs at the top of their game who will share their secrets to building successful stores and brands. See www.nationalstationeryshow.com for more information on the show and seminar programme.


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PEOPLE NEWS TOP STORY

Danilo’s Evolution Chris James passes the baton to Brett Smith Danilo’s well-loved twinkly-eyed sales director, Chris James, will be retiring from his day to day role on June 30 after 18 years with the company, but he passes the sales baton to someone who is no stranger to this industry – Brett Smith, formerly of Clintons and Pioneer Europe, who joins as head of sales this month. Chris will remain on the Danilo board as a full director. “It has been a privilege and a pleasure working in and with everyone in this industry, but above all I have loved being part of the fantastic team at Danilo,” says Chris. Paying tribute to the founder of the greeting card and calendar company, he added: “Laurence Prince is a truly unique entrepreneur; inspirational, unconventional, uncompromisingly loyal to everyone that works for him and I am delighted to call him a friend. We have certainly had some fun together along the way!”

Allowing for a three and half month hand over, Brett joins the Danilo team on March 13. Although latterly Brett has been involved in the balloon business, as commercial director of Pioneer Europe, prior to that he spent 20 years working for Clintons, leaving as a buying director. Commenting on his return to greeting cards and calendars, Brett says: “I'm thrilled to be joining Danilo, a company I've much admired during more than two decades in this business. I can't wait to begin playing my part in the next chapter of success for an exceptional company.” Above: Chris James (right) at PG Live with colleague Deryl Thomas. Left: Brett Smith rejoins the greeting card fray.

Cherry on the cake The team at Cherry Orchard are looking forward to welcoming a brand new member who certainly has a spring in her step. Renowned for her flamboyant footwear, Fi Douglass-Gibson will be making the move from Nigel Quiney to Cherry Orchard as director of sales from 18 April. Owner and co-founder of Cherry Orchard, Jackie Collins said, “We’re delighted to have Fi joining us and know that both our team and our customers will be looking forward to her infectious sense of fun and creativity that goes as much into her sales role as her well-heeled look”. Right: Fi Douglass-Gibson.

IG Design Group’s head honcho feted Greeting card and giftwrap IG Design Group’s head honcho Paul Fineman was named CEO of the Year at the Quoted Company Awards 2017. The prestigious Grant Thornton Quoted Company Awards recognise the achievements of stock market quoted companies outside of the FTSE 350. "It was so gratifying to be nominated as CEO of the Year in the first place and it is such a great thrill and honour to receive this wonderful award,” said Paul. “This is such an exciting time for IG Design Group, with growth opportunities available in abundance, whilst at the same time having the challenge of being constantly innovative and highly competitive, whilst providing terrific service to our customers in all markets and regions.” Left: Paul Fineman (second left) receives his award at the Quoted Company Awards.

l My Design Co’s innovative music box cards scooped the award for the Cards, Wrap and Stationery category at the GA’s Gift of the Year awards, which were presented at the recent Spring Fair. Highly commended in this category was the memo mug from Mustard and Ginger Ray’s ‘scratch to reveal’ range. There are now 22 categories in Gift of the Year, spanning the entire gift and home spectrum, with the products judged by a panel of retailers and industry experts. The overall winner was Giggle Beaver with its 10 Reasons I Love You Personalised Light Box, which came top in the Home Accessories category. Above: My Design Co’s founder Jamal Merdassi with his GOTY award.

Sad goodbyes l Michelle Lovell (right), owner of the respected To Be Established gift shop in London’s Highbury Park passed away at the end of January after a battle with cancer. London agent Jo Bannister, who knew Michelle well, paid tribute: “Michelle was a wonderful lady who was always so positive, whether it was trying to help others to ‘Paint Highbury Pink’ to raise money for cancer or making Highbury Barn a wellsupported local destination, she put her heart and soul into it all. She was very much supported by her lovely family, especially her daughters Sarah and Katie and her ‘other’ daughter/right hand woman, Annie. She will be greatly missed.” l Mandy Bruzas (right), sales consultant and web coordinator for Second Nature, sadly lost her short battle with cancer in January. Paying tribute to his colleague of many years, Chris Bryan, Second Nature’s general manager, said: “Mandy joined us in 2001 and her zeal and determination shone through from day one. She was so well-loved and respected by everyone she ever met. Her funeral service was attended by over 250 friends, family, colleagues and customers, a fitting send off for someone who will be dearly missed.” l Bev Williams (right), the creator of the best-selling Spring Chicken range of greeting cards (from Peartree Heybridge), died recently, aged 77. The Telegraph obituary to her said: ‘[Williams] was in her sixties when she noticed that few greeting cards available in the shops reflected the attitude and humour of her contemporaries. As a lifelong ‘doodler’, she believed she could do better than the variously dull or crude jokey cards, centred around lives spent on the golf course or in potting sheds, that aimed to cater for the 60-plus market.’ PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF

TOP STORY

Page Turner Hardback book on card art is published Sarah Hamilton, the artist and card publisher who launched the Just a Card campaign to encourage consumers to support indie shops and galleries by just buying a card, has gone one stage further to promote the greeting card industry - she is author of House of Cards, a hardback book that celebrates contemporary card design. The book, published by Pavilion Press, is now published. It includes ten step-by-step greeting card projects, each led by a respected designer (including card publisher/designer Jessica Hogarth) to cover different mediums, such as letterpress, silkscreen printing, decoupage and textile foiling. The book is also crammed with practical advice from industry leaders, and explores how artists and designers can make money

Below: Sarah Hamilton’s House of Cards book offers practical advice as well as inspirational projects. Bottom: Sarah Hamilton in her studio.

from their creations and work with publishers to licence their designs. “House of Cards has been a very exciting journey, shared with many talented artists and designers,” says Sarah.“The book is aimed at both professional designers and also those with an interest in craft, design and perhaps those wanting to set up their own business.” She also hopes that the book will help generate lots of interest in the Just a Card campaign. PG’s editor Jakki Brown wrote the foreword for House of Cards, putting into context the history and ongoing important social and aesthetic roles greeting cards play. House of Cards is available from Amazon at an RRP £14.99. (www.sarahhamiltonprints.com)

Beware of fraud Jeremy Corner, managing director of Blue Eyed Sun, came close to losing nearly £6,000 to fraudsters, but shared his experience in order that other publishers would not be tempted to fall for a similar scam. The fraudster, who posed as one of his international suppliers, sent Jeremy a legitimate looking email asking him to pay into a new USD bank account. “As we currently pay them in GBP I wasn’t surprised at this given the way the currencies have fluctuated in recent months,” said Jeremy. “I asked our operations manager to double check all was in order with the supplier’s change of details. I neglected to ensure that this was done by phone as well as email. Unbeknownst to us, our supplier’s email had been hacked and she didn’t see any of the email exchange. The emails were written exactly like her and we fell for it. We sent almost £6,000 to the new account on the Friday. On the Monday our supplier co-incidentally happened to visit me on my stand at a trade show. In passing, I referred to her new account and her face looked blank. As I realised what had happened my heart sank to my shoes. I called the bank straight away and notified the police. The money had left our account, so our bank notified the international bank.” Though incredibly stressful, almost two weeks after the money left Blue Eyed Sun’s account it was returned, having been able to stop the transfer in the nick of time. As Jeremy said: “We get scam emails all the time at our office and I really thought we were wise to this as a company. I felt ashamed and foolish. The truth is, they were very good and we were caught off guard. My advice is always check new bank details thoroughly by phone, email and post if necessary. Hackers and fraudsters are getting more and more sophisticated. So be very wary.”

l M&P Cards, which trades under the Occasions Cards & Gifts fascia, has closed its impressive stores that were located in the Bradford and Newport shopping centres. Terry Harvey, md, admitted that: “Essentially, our first attempts at developing a scalable ‘shopping mall’ model failed dismally.” l During the month of March, UK Envelope Centre is giving customers the chance to win a gigantic Hotel Chocolat Ostrich Easter Egg. This egg weighs over 1kg and also comes with a tray of 27 individual chocolates. Customers receive one entry for every 50,000 envelopes delivered during March. The more envelopes you take the better your chance of winning. l Sisters Claire Lenton and Hellen Colley of Hallmark Widnes were the winners of a luxury break in Devon worth over £500, thanks to Cherry Orchard. The sisters entered the competition at Spring Fair on the Cherry Orchard stand. The card publisher ran the competition to help launch its new card range Le Chic and the new designs for their best-selling Down Memory Lane cards and mugs. l Allister Petyt (right), former production manager with Budget Greeting Cards and Kingsley Cards, has started a new consultancy service, ALP Consultants. He will be offering small to medium sized publishers solutions with a view to saving them money and making their production arrangements more efficient and economical. l Widdop and Co is holding its second Sentiment show from 6-10 March at its north Manchester base, showcasing its extensive sentiment and special occasion ranges. Every visitor spending over £500 will receive a free pack of its best-selling Amore wedding gifts. There will be show-only promotions as well as tips and ideas on simple ways of creating eye-catching displays in store. Call 0161 688 1226 to book a place. l The House of Turnowsky received Silver in the prestigious international Gregor Calendar Awards for its Dreaming Together 2017 children’s wall calendar. These are internationally renowned awards for the calendar industry. Paintings for the calendar were created by children from around the world. Above: One of the images from the Turnowsky award-winning calendar.

Jeremy Corner, md of Blue Eyed Sun, is the latest ‘poster boy’ for Sage software. He appears in a number of ad campaigns on social media for its London Sage Summit, which is due to take place 5 - 6 April. Jeremy says: “I'm a Sage Business Expert and do a lot with them on social media. In fact they've been a big help in publicising my new YouTube channel The Greeting Card Project. It's exciting to get such amazing exposure for our business though and for the greeting card industry. I'm very much looking forward to the event.”

l Fabriano Boutique has launched a new range of bespoke bracelets, necklaces, brooches and earrings handcrafted by Italian designer Sandra Di Giacinto using the highest quality Fabriano paper. The waterproof LovePaper Collection is accentuated with silver detailing and has been designed with all styles in mind, boasting different thicknesses and a rainbow of different colours.

Above: Jeremy Corner in Sage’s ad campaign.

Above: The new LovePaper Collection from Fabriano Boutique.

Sage poster boy

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NEWS TOP STORY

Gender Agenda Let cards be cards prompts stereotyping debate A tweet by politician Sir Peter Luff bemoaning the gender stereotyping of children’s greeting cards sparked fierce debate online. Sir Peter was in his local Waitrose choosing a card for his niece when he sent the tweet: "Dear @waitrose, do you think your children's cards may be just a bit stereotypical?" and he snapped a pic of the display showing pink cards depicting princesses and ballerinas. It was a question that quite clearly divided Twitter users with heated debate both for and against. This ignited a tricky issue for publishers and retailers, who both at the end of the day supply what the customer demands. “We have certainly tried to fight the stereotypes many times over the years but it always comes down to supply and demand,” says Paul Roberts, commercial director of Rachel Ellen Designs, whose cards appeared in Peter Luff’s snap. “The retailer buys what they think will be most popular with its

Below: Customers complained that this Paper Salad card was ‘too pink’ for a boy. Bottom: It comes down to supply and demand for Rachel Ellen Designs.

customers and the consumer buys the design it thinks is most suitable for the recipient. Producing a greeting card that depicted a boy ballerina or girls playing football would be well and good but they would appeal to such a small niche that they wouldn’t be commercially viable to produce or for the retailer to dedicate space to.” Paper Salad finds itself in a similar situation, according to designer Jess Hadfield. “When we have tried to introduce small amounts of pink into a ‘boy’s’ card or blue into a ‘girl’s’ card, we’ve received certain reactions where customers have said they wouldn’t buy them as they are ‘too blue for a girl’ or ‘too pink for a boy’. If we were asked to produce such cards it would be hard to supply the volumes needed for us to put runs in. We do try and accommodate non-gender specific cards by using icons such as presents and balloons, plus of course superheroes are for both sexes!”

Windles helps the poor in Peru and Ghana A charity Christmas card printed by Windles for nothing is helping two young women to undertake charity work in Peru and Ghana. Charlotte Young and Millie O'Connell met at Loughborough theatre school three years ago, but will be going to Peru and Ghana to work with local communities providing sanitation, helping establish vegetable patches and building and renovating schools and homes. Above: Windles printed card raised £478 for Michelle Mills, marketing manager of Windles, said: “Millie and Charlotte and Millie’s trip. Charlotte’s idea to raise funds through making their own greeting cards was something different to the norm. Our sales director Andrea Norcott felt that the projects that the girls are planning to work on have a similar tone to those that Windles believe in: community, wildlife and the environment. Being able to make a difference to those less fortunate than us in Peru and Ghana is the right thing to do.”

A comforting find

Above: Lacey Kenworthy and the elusive Snuggle Pup comforter from Boofle.

When Lacey Kenworthy contacted UK Greetings on a desperate search for a discontinued Boofle comforter for her two-year-old daughter Poppy, she had no idea the search would reach right around to China. But UK Greetings’ licensing agent DRi and Xpressions 4 U gift teams left no stone unturned and finally came up trumps for the toddler. “We searched high and low at our offices and the creative studio, but had no luck, we even asked Sarah Blake [Boofle’s co-creator] if she had one,” says Peter Goodman, sales consultant of X4U. “Unfortunately the manufacturer of the Snuggle Pup comforter in the Far East had gone out of business. But just as we were beginning to lose hope the warehouse manager at Xpressions 4 U in Hayes found one in a box in the corner of the warehouse! We were so pleased that we could find one for Poppy, what a happy ending!”

Cardland and Greetings International clarification PG has learnt that multiple retailer, Greetings International Ltd was sold to London-based acquisitions company Rigil Kent back in October last year. At the time of going to press, Rigil was reportedly still operating the 21 trading stores throughout Scotland, Ulster and Eire. The Cardland four overseas stores have always been a separate legal identity from Greetings International, and continue to be so, and are not part of any acquisition to Rigil Kent.

Top tips at Top Drawer The design-led lifestyle event, Top Drawer, showcased more than 1,500 brands across four segments: home, gift, fashion and craft. Back for the second time at Top Drawer was PaperFest, sponsored by GF Smith. Packed audiences attended sessions, which covered diverse topics including design trends, social media and key tips for new business start-ups. High points included James Daunt, ceo of Waterstones, in conversation with Tom Hodgkinson of The Idler revealing how he turned around the fortunes of the nation’s favourite bookseller. A session on ‘10 things you need to know before you start your creative business’ saw Hannah Adams of Khoollect interview Patricia van der Akker of The Design Trust and Sharon Little ceo of the GCA, all giving essential business advice. Above: Sharon Little (centre) speaks at PaperFest.

Top of the (love) vlogs The Evening Standard’s ES Magazine recently chose a Susan O’Hanlon Valentine’s card, featuring two gorgeous French bulldogs, to place at the centre of one if its Valentine’s Day Countdown video series, selected alongside well-known brands such as The White Company, Miller Harris, Ruinart and Caroline Herrera. Susan King, owner of Susan O’Hanlon, was also delighted to discover that out of 105 different Valentine’s cards stocked within John Lewis stores, all three of the department store’s Valentine’s bestsellers this year were Susan O’Hanlon cards. Above: One of the Susan O’Hanlon designs that was in John Lewis’ top three sellers at Valentine’s.

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Over The Counter

Coffee Break Chatter Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, reflects on how views and encouraging opinions can be good for business. Guess who's back? Well, after a couple of months 'sabbatical' I am writing this month’s column before I go and finish ‘Project Coffee’! Project Coffee has been ongoing for nearly two years and suffice to say it has grown, changed and morphed into its current state, which kicks-off fully next week. In future PG columns I will look at the decisions I have taken on this project, but only time will tell if these decisions are the right ones in the long and short-term for my business. At the core of this project is the merging of the coffee and cards elements into a proper 'all in one' store. It is not a coffee shop with a few card spinners dotted about, but a proper coffee and card store with both on an equal footing. This store is part of my pipedream of having a business model that I can franchise and locate anywhere in the UK. Hopefully I am getting it right, but what I can be sure of is that everyone will have an opinion on what I have done. We have a large customer base so people’s opinions of what I am trying to achieve will be very interesting to gauge. Opinions these days are easier to gather than ever before – be it in person, on social media or through online reviews. Opinions on products, experience, customer service and

the shopping environment are crucial to how a business performs and I think retailers ignore this at their peril. Good constructive points allow us as business operators to pick up on things that we have maybe missed. We, as card and gift retailers, are not just a store, we are the people who offer that perfect solution. We are the 'go to' for greeting cards about births, marriages, birthdays or just that little card to make people feel better. As retailers we have to give the shopper the complete experience with great product and brilliant customer service going hand in hand to make them feel good. Mary Portas, in her talk last month at Spring Fair, spoke about this. Indeed, her whole belief is about understanding the shopper. Seducing consumers with what you have on offer is really the only way to survive in retail. Mary believes that few people need more stuff in their lives so to be tempted to buy something they really have to be in love with it. I find a great deal of what Mary says is common sense and most of us do it without thinking. Top: A 'proper cup of coffee' along with new Bijou branding. Above: Mary Portas' talk at Spring Fair in February drew the crowds. Left: Constructive opinions can help your business.

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PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

This links of course with the debate about whether people actually want to shop in bricks and mortar stores or are happier to shop online at home. When asked about this, and a number of internet based questions, some of Mary’s answers were really interesting. She believes that internet shopping will bottom out and that it will reach a point where the growth is negligible. Online sales rose from 13.5% in 2014 to the expected 16.8% in 2016, but Mary expects it to stop rising around the 25% mark. While this is a scary percentage, it does give us shop owners hope that people will still shop on the high street given the correct circumstances. The internet is without doubt the tool

of choice for checking reviews and prices of products and services. It is the reassuring 'arm around the shoulder' that what we are buying is correct. But the fact is that a great deal of people still want to come into a store and buy their goods in that environment from a person who can enhance the purchase either simply with their personality or indeed with information... and that is us retailers! Mary also made it very clear that you do need a web presence and that it needs to be good and reflect well on your store. Even if you do not want a trading site, having a basic online page showcasing your store and where it is located is a must at the very least.


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Over The Counter

We are currently building our first proper website, which will be in place later this year reflecting our new branding. Opinions on websites for the greeting card and gift sector are mixed, with some people doing exceptionally well and others finding that their websites never take off. The debate on websites and branding for small businesses continues unabated, with the thread of ‘does it matter?’ and ‘can we afford it?’ being the two most common arguments against. For me, I would argue that purely from a pride point of view my business name and logo are true reflections of what I am trying to achieve and a marker of what my store is going to be like to visit. In some respects I believe that small retailers’ websites on their own may struggle, but where people have made real inroads with their online presence is when they have put themselves out there. Now here is the scary part, what do I mean by 'putting yourself out there'? Well, what I mean is through social media and video content about you, your store and your brand. What has and is fascinating to me is the huge rise in vloggers (video bloggers) and YouTube personalities. It is a known fact that video content gathers more views and responses online. This was backed up last year when a Bijou video went viral seeing us gain 80,000 views online. I think every business realises the potential of the various social media tools, but in truth very few actually harness it properly - this is why I have been very interested in my fellow PG columnist, Jeremy Corner’s video blog. Jeremy sits proudly at the top of Google searches if you type in 'greeting card blog', and he is well known for his work in this area. In 2017 however, he has raised the bar further with his vlog. The premise of his year long project is that Jeremy is videoing himself and experiences connected to his card buying, writing and sending, explaining about his individual card choices and the reasons for each card being sent. Very simple, very clever. It not only increases our awareness of the card products he is sending or stores he visits, but him as a person. Jeremy is great in front of the camera - relaxed and natural and I look forward to seeing what happens as the year

Above: Jeremy Corner of Blue Eyed Sun has created a vlog on his experiences of card buying and sending. Below: There are a number of social media avenues to upload video content.

progresses. What he is also doing is building 'brand Jeremy', which ultimately will benefit him in his many roles. Another great example of this is my pal Alan Medcraf. He has a very successful detailing business for cars and creates his own car products. His AMD channel has over 3,000 subscribers and his vlog features Alan with his signature style and chatty to camera personality. His vlog has gathered a lot of views to the point that he now has sponsors and gets paid. Jeremy and Alan are not alone. Vlogging has turned into a business, with guys like PewDiePie and Roman Atwood making millions of dollars a year. Now, while may be most of us are a bit shy about getting in front of the camera, it is a great idea that helps build those links with the most important people... your customers. Jeremy correctly points out that a third of people on the internet use YouTube, which has over a billion users watching millions of hours every day. In addition, more than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices and they reach more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the US. Last year the number of hours people spent watching videos on YouTube rose by 60% year on year, with traditional TV and satellite channels’ figures in decline. So, unlike TV advertising, which is beyond most of our business budgets, you can get on YouTube and create something different. It is not just YouTube of course, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all offer and push video content.

Jeremy is a pioneer of this idea in the greeting card industry, but if you are an independent retailer you can speak to your customers directly through your Facebook account. Facebook is perhaps the social media platform that most people currently have, and with its Go Live ‘real time’ facility you could be giving demonstrations or virtual tours of your store and products. Facebook alone generates eight billion video views per day... so what is stopping you? And you don't need to sell your potential customers’ product all the time. You may want to ask their opinion on your store or a product. You may want to look at what they like and don't like. Really, it could be anything. Social media is a conversation and vlogs should be stimulating and drive people to get involved and respond. Your challenge is to make this happen. Just this past weekend Debenhams sent out a survey to me about its new coffee shop/food experiences. I also received an email asking if I liked a purchase from an online retailer, also checking the packaging and if I was happy with it. Businesses these days want you to feel valued and show that your opinion matters, and internet sellers are realising that loyalty is

something good bricks and mortar retailers have nurtured for a long time. People’s opinions shape what is happening on the high street - loud voices such as Mary Portas can actually change things, but in truth are her thoughts/experiences any more valid than your own? Of course, you may not like some of the answers you receive, but this new form of interaction can maybe let you see something that you knew about your business but were shying away from. Others’ opinions on your store and product can be constructive. No one wants a tasteless cup of coffee, and opinions can stir things up and give things an extra shot! To contact David email: jppozzi@btconnect.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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CARDSHARP

Fake News

Agenda

With all the talk of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’, it becomes ever harder to separate truth from fiction. Journalists, reflects Cardsharp, are regularly castigated as myth-propagators or even liars, especially by those in positions of power who want to create their own truths to fit their own agenda. In many of these cases, Cardsharp feels this is an exercise of just wanting to ‘shoot the messenger’, but there is no doubt there is another side of the equation. To Cardsharp’s mind, in this febrile atmosphere, truly responsible journalists and editors have a duty of due diligence before they commit to publish what is purported to be reliable news. Below: Clintons’ modern red fascia.

T

he recent news story in the business sections of The Telegraph on Clintons is a case in point. Like so many in the trade, Cardsharp took a sharp intake of breath when he happened to spot a piece in The Sunday Telegraph reporting that Clintons was due to close 120 of its 400 stores in the next year. While not a habitual Telegraph reader, Cardsharp nonetheless has a modicum of respect for this longestablished right of centre paper and read the reasoning about how the closures were tied into the fact that with this May being the 5th anniversary of when American Greetings took over Clintons that many of the five year lease agreements would be up for renewal. Despite the fact that the reports were strenuously denied by American Greetings, the newspaper went ahead and published the story without a nod to AG’s comments. Re-reading the Telegraph reports, a lot of the conclusions the newspaper draws, Cardsharp opines, are just supposition. True, Cardsharp suspects the chain’s leases are up for renewal, but just like any responsible retail business Clintons will look carefully at the profitability of any unit. It might close some, keep others open

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and look for new sites, such is the evolution of retail. True, AG Retail, the official holding company of Clinton’s, reported an £8 million loss in its last published figures, which were for 2015, but this takes no account of how much UK Greetings, as the largest card supplier to Clintons (also owned by AG), made from its business dealings with Clintons. Once the story made it into Retail Week, the retail trade journal, Clintons was quick to react, brandishing the story as fabricated rubbish, issuing statements vehemently denying any truth in the story, stressing that it was busy introducing new store formats and is actively looking for new

sites. Retail Week did the decent thing and printed a follow up to this effect. The Telegraph however, has refused to reveal its sources and at the time of Cardsharp’s scribing had yet to publish a retraction/clarification from Clintons putting the record straight. So much for responsible and responsive journalism! The Telegraph in the past has been nicknamed the ‘Tory-graph’. Well so much for its appreciation of the Tory importance placed on business, when a story with no factual credence can put fear into the hearts of Clintons’ 4,000 employees who work at its 400 stores throughout the UK, not to mention its suppliers. To Cardsharp’s mind it would make perfect sense for AG to review the size of its retail portfolio. Let’s face it, with the value of bricks and mortar retailing declining, every retail business from Sainsbury’s to Waitrose to Gap is evaluating what is the optimum number of physical stores they require, with online retailing being partly to blame. Interestingly, Mary Portas, the self– styled Queen of Shops, recently predicted that internet retailing would probably hit a peak of 25% of all sales and then flatline at best, so things could be bottoming out soon on the online/bricks battle. It could be that Clintons does decide to close a number of its stores, but that does not, in Cardsharp’s view, validate the story. Cardsharp does wonder whether the actions of Clintons’ management has not helped its cause of late. Nature (and journalism!) abhors a vacuum and now that it is no longer a publicly limited company Clintons has an almost unique reluctance to release any info or commentary in the press. Given that Christmas cards are a core product, it was somewhat notable by its absence when Clintons kept mute about its 2016 Christmas trading experience, especially after the previous year when the press lapped up its quirky line based on the Santa’s expanding girth on Christmas cards! Of course its PR approach is the company’s prerogative, but it could induce confidence in some quarters and also help the profile of the industry as a whole. Clintons’ senior management by nature tends to keep a very low profile in


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CARDSHARP the industry, reluctant to give much away, so reports of its performance tend to be anecdotal by suppliers, which are by their very nature piecemeal and not the complete picture. And much of the business press commentary about Clintons’ position tends be over simplistic. The views often espoused are that its mixed fortunes over the last few years have been down, it having been squeezed by the success of Card Factory at the value end of the market and by Paperchase at the upper end. Then for good measure the success of Moonpig and printon-demand cards are thrown in. Card Factory has without doubt changed the whole industry’s dynamics, and Clintons as part of that has been affected. Plus Paperchase’s growth will also have nibbled away. But the Moonpig factor is largely illusory, with internet sale of cards probably representing little more than 3% of the total value of the UK greeting card market.

Even so-called investment ‘experts’ can talk absolute tosh. After the Telegraph article came out, Liberum Analysts claimed in a comment on Clintons, that ‘Card Factory’s cards are the same quality, if not better and half the price’. Now, Cardsharp has huge respect for Card Factory’s amazing achievements and the quality of its cards for the price it charges, but that really is stretching the facts to ridiculous proportions! Cardsharp is not totally convinced that Clintons’ position in the so called ‘squeezed middle’ is necessarily a problem. Some mid

market chains have continued to perform consistently well in the last couple of years, notably Next, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. There is no reason why Clintons can’t turn things around. It has experimented with both a value format (Simply Clintons) and an upmarket format (Petie Jolie) and has been transforming many of its stores to the new red fascia format. AG, and UK Greetings, are well run, well managed organisations that understand the UK greeting card market very well. Cardsharp would advise the Telegraph to do a little more research, talk to a few more people with industry knowledge, and check its facts and its sources before going to print. True, Clintons, in common with so many bricks and mortar retailers, faces many challenges and needs to find a distinct narrative, but that is also the case for many retail chains. Cardsharp is convinced that the original proprietor and press baron, Lord Burnham, who made the Telegraph such a success would be turning in his grave now!

Forget Roy Of The Rovers - It’s Dean Of The Town

W

hen Cardsharp was a wee small boy, still glorying in the aftermath of West Ham winning the World Cup in 1966(!?), he used to religiously buy the illustrated weekly paper comic, Roy of the Rovers, which archived the rise and rise of the fictitious player Roy Race, then manager, and subsequent owner, of the equally fictitious Melchester Rovers, in a truly unbelievable rise from obscurity in the amateur leagues to European soccer champion! Fast forward 40 years and there is a life and soccer story even more unbelievable that has become reality. Some 20 years ago, a local West Yorkshire lad called Dean, who failed to make the grade as a young soccer pro at his beloved local club Huddersfield Town, sets up a market stall selling cards in nearby Wakefield. After 15 years of struggle and identifying a unique value offering for greeting cards, and benefitting from a unique vertically integrated supply model, he graduates from one card shop, which he called Card Factory, to 400 shops, before selling out for an estimated £250 million. A subsequent flotation on the stock exchange earns Dean even more cash! Dean uses some of the proceeds of his success to buy Huddersfield Town, the local home town footie club, which rejected him as a kid (replace Melchester

with Huddersfield and Rovers with Town!) After a decade of steady but unspectacular progress, Dean decides to tear up the rule book, as he did with Card Factory. Without having the finances to compete with the new Arab, Chinese and Thai billionaire owners of other Championship clubs, Dean slashes ticket prices, doubling attendances overnight and employs a highly respected German coach. As Cardsharp writes this column, Dean Hoyle’s little Huddersfield Town is about to take to the pitch against the Abu Dhabi-owned elite club Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, probably one of the five richest soccer clubs in the world, having held them to a creditable draw at its home ground. In the Championship, Huddersfield Town are positioned third in the league table with a real chance of promotion to the Premiership! Average Huddersfield Town match attendances are nearly 20,000, which is remarkable for an ex-mill town in West Yorkshire, with a population barely over 150,000. Step Down Roy of the Rovers, and step forward Dean Hoyle of the Town! What does this rags to riches story tell you? Firstly, fact is often stranger than even

Above: The Sunday Telegraph recently printed that Clintons was to close up to 400 of its stores. Right: Dean as Roy Race.

comic book fiction. Secondly, that you can’t keep a good man with passion down, and thirdly, perhaps there could be a link between greeting card success and sporting success! Or is there? Andrew Brownsword, the Forever Friends multimillionaire who bought Bath Rugby Club in the late 1990’s with less than impressive results might disagree! In the meantime Cardsharp will keep practising his ‘keepie uppie’ skills hoping for that illusive breakthrough!

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Immerse yourself in the greeting card world Over 250 publishers, artists and designers from around the globe will be coming together at PG Live to inspire, excite and delight the greetings world. With thousands of original designs, creative ranges and exclusive offers on show, can you afford to miss out? “We love visiting PG Live! It’s a great show to really focus on cards, as it’s big enough to offer lots of choice without being overwhelming. The show has soul; everyone there is so enthusiastic about the industry.” Lauren Keen, manager, Sentiments, Burnham on Sea

Be Inspired Now in its ninth unmissable year, Progressive Greetings Live 2017 is an inspiring celebration of the exciting greeting card industry. Register for your free ticket now at www.progressivegreetingslive.com

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VIEWPOINTS

Loving It! With the first of the Spring Seasons’ events ‘ticked off’, PG dug deep into the heart of the matter to discover how Valentine’s Day fared for a selection of indies; what brand new everyday card ranges they are loving at the moment, as well as what personally sends their heart fluttering

Sarah and Paul Henderson co-owners of 3 Wishes, Ringwood, Lymington, Verwood and Ferndown: Heart Throb: “Valentine's Day was very good for us this year, all four stores managed a fairly healthy gain. Overall we ended up 13% up year-on-year on Valentine’s cards. We were very happy with the increase. We didn't do anything particularly different; we had all the same suppliers as previous years, but we do work hard the rest of the year to give people more reasons to shop with us rather than our competitors and this definitely helps with footfall during the different seasons. We did sell a lot of higher priced (£6+) cards this year, which could have been instead of spending the money on gifts. I think it helped us that Valentine's fell on a Tuesday this year, our Saturday was similar to last year's Saturday and then we had the additional trade on Monday. Our poorest performing Valentine's sales are when February 14th falls on a day at the weekend. My theory is that people are often shopping with their partners on the Saturday so we miss out on a lot of the last minute sales, they then resort to convenience stores and supermarkets to purchase their card without their partner present.” Loving It: “We have some brilliant new ranges at the moment, including Ling's The Wildlife (especially the cat and dog designs) and Animal Function from GBCC (a brilliant new humour range, the ‘Full fat, half fat or fat free’ design is our bestseller). We also have several new ranges from UKG, which are very popular, notably Just For Gents, Punny Profiles and Christopher Vine. And finally, Cherry Orchard's Carnival in open birthday, as well as occasions and relations, is great. We had a very good year with both Ling and Cherry Orchard last year, the extra sales were purely due to the standard of product currently available from these two publishers.” Big Love: “The thing we love most about life at the moment is having more time to spend at home with our children and horses, although if all goes to plan we hope to have a little less spare time on our hands later this year!”

Above: You have my heart on a string – a Valentine’s card from The Great British Card Company. Left: Sarah and Paul Henderson at the recent Spring Fair. Far left: One of the new Christopher Vine designs from UKG. Below left: A pretty Carnival design from Cherry Orchard. Bottom left: The Animal Function range from GBCC are hitting the funny bone for 3 Wishes’ customers. Below: Part of the Valentine’s Day product display in Love Letters. Bottom: Christine Varley, the artist/publisher behind WaggyDogz, is celebrating her 30 years as a painter with a new Puppies range.

Janet Stow co-owner of Love Letters, Anlaby: Heart Throb: “Valentine's Day was very good for us, our sales were up by 15%. Men started buying their Valentine’s Day cards very early this year, at least a week before the big day, so much so that most of our Wife cards had sold out by Valentine's Day. Unfortunately general Valentine's cards just didn't sell. Where have the days gone when you sent a secret card to someone you fancy at school or work? Where has the romance and the fun part of the day gone? The weather on the Saturday and Sunday before Valentine’s was appalling and business was very slow, there was just nobody around for those two days. But things did pick up on the Monday and Tuesday and we took a week’s takings in those two days. We also have added Creation Express’ personalised products service and this has PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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VIEWPOINTS Below: A contemporary design in A Made Hand’s brand new Paparazzi range.

really brought customers through the door, giving them something different no matter what they are looking for. We have made some weird and wonderful things for our customers, but all of them leave happy.” Loving It: “I have spotted and now stock some great new ranges: A. WaggyDogz - beautiful hand-drawn pictures not only of dogs but other animals, cats, horses, farm yard animals etc. I'm sure the many dog walkers we have passing the shop will snap these up. B. BGC - these are lovely cards at low cost, perfect for our customers who shop on a budget. C. A Made Hand - I saw this publisher at last year’s PG Live and thought how lovely they were and that I should stock them but never did anything about it until earlier this year when a rep, who now carries them, came in, so it was a no brainer, I just had to have them.” Big Love: “Since winning The Retas award for Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - North and Northern Ireland, and having our new floor fitted last October, things have gone from strength to strength. We have had lots of new customers coming through the doors because of the award. Customers have seen it in the local newspaper or FSB magazine, heard us on the radio, as well as lots of new customers who have come to us on recommendation, the best type of advertising! Also (hopefully) the new Business Rates will be in our favour and they will go down. We are celebrating our Silver Wedding anniversary this year so we are treating ourselves to a cruise, which we are really looking forward to. It’s our first holiday since we bought the shop in 2013. Overall life is good at the moment and we are loving every minute of it.”

Debbie Pritchard co-owner of Bookends, Christchurch:

Heart Throb: “Having an older generation in Christchurch doesn’t mean love is not alive and kicking, and our Valentine’s Day was practically a complete sellout. For Valentine’s Day our core selection is traditional and romantic cards, along with some cute or photographic animal cards, as these tend to suit the occasion perfectly. For us, Valentine’s sales have grown stronger over the years. We put this down to ensuring that we line buy all of our cards as we feel the extra effort in choosing the correct stock really pays dividends.” Loving It: “So far this year the companies that have impressed us are the ones that are trying to provide us with something that is fresh and also aiming to be a little bit special, as we don’t like ‘just standard cards! Pigment Productions’ new Happy News range works of First Class Greetings and especially well for occasions and relations sends as the words are a modern take on sentiment. Also, its Love Plum Green, Hadleigh: Unlimited range has the ‘Ahh’ factor. Heart Throb: “Our Valentine's Day sales Ling has some strong new ranges, in particular were on a par with last year. Sadly, this the At Home and the Wildlife ranges are both year did not deliver the growth to particularly lovely. For which we have become accustomed. Spring Weddings we The day itself falling on a Tuesday had have chosen some new an effect on people's shopping habits. designs from Falling on a Sunday last year meant we Hammond Gower, had a very busy Friday and Saturday. It whose wedding cards seems there is less romance in the air are always stylish and during the week!” sophisticated.” Loving It: “The Entre Nous range from Big Love: “I know The Proper Mail Company (sister brand to this sounds very corny, Woodmansterne) is a great new collection of but the trend for mindfulness, even if you do not fully cards designed for gift shops. These are a practice it, really makes you think about the little fabulous collection of tasteful quality cards things in life. So many of life’s simple pleasures can covering all occasions that will appeal to the bring you so much happiness, yet are so easily taken gift shop market. We are excited to be currently for granted. Therefore, I am really trying to live much trialling them in our gift shop, Plum Green.” more in the moment and trying to appreciate Big Love: “What's not to love? We work everything, whether it is a chat or a laugh, a walk by together in our two businesses that we love, the sea, a cosy night watching something good on TV, and we have some great staff to help us. It's a creamy latte or a nice cold glass of Prosecco at the hard work sometimes but that's what makes it end of a the day... loving it all!“ so rewarding.”

Debbie and Jerry Brown

Above: Plum Green is the new sister gift shop to First Class Greetings in Hadleigh. Left: The Proper Mail Company’s Entre Nous collection caught Debbie and Jerry Brown’s eyes as being perfect for their Plum Green gift shop.

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Top: Bookends’ Debbie Pritchard (right) with Debbie and Jerry Brown from First Class Greetings, Hadleigh, with their Retas’ trophies at the 2014 event. Above left: Positive vibes from Pigment’s new Happy News range. Above right: Beautiful artwork by artist Cordelia Hutchison features in Ling’s new Wildlife range.


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VIEWPOINTS

Nicky Stephenson and Claire Jarvis co owners of The Tutbury Present Company, Burton on Trent: Heart Throb: “Valentine’s Day was good for us this year. Our sales were slightly down on cards compared to last year, but we were still pleased. With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday last year it made it a hard target to beat! In terms of card designs we found the more simple and quirky designs sold the best, like one from Pigment’s Alice Scott range that simply said ‘Hello... I Love you... The End’.” Loving It: “There are always so many new ranges to love at this time of year. We have just started stocking Rosie Made a Thing and they are going well; they’re something a bit different in terms of design and humour. Our customers are loving the new Berni Parker designs that have just launched; fresh, fun and great to send to friends. We also love (and have just ordered) the new Belly Button Shangri-La range, which really stood out to us at Spring Fair.” Big Love: “We have recently had an extension to our shopfloor so we are loving that we can fit more in! Having just returned from Spring Fair it’s that time of year when our heads are buzzing with new ideas. Obviously there is a lot of uncertainty facing retail as a whole but we are remaining positive that as long as we continue to bring in new and exciting product and that our customer service remains at the forefront, then it will be a good year ahead.” Top: Nicky Stephenson (left) and Claire Jarvis, co owners of The Tutbury Present Company at the recent Spring Fair. Above left: One of the images The Tutbury Present Company used on social media to promote its Valentine’s Day selection. Above: Berni Parker’s Ladies Who Love Life collection has recently been augmented with a Ladies Drinking range as well as a Ladies Gardening range of designs. Left: One of the tropical designs from Belly Button Designs’ new Shangri-La range.

Mark Janson-Smith md of Postmark, four shops in London: Heart Throb: “Customers weren't feeling the love as much this year with our Valentine’s Day sales being good but down slightly on last year. The shops’ sales were up overall, but sales of Valentine’s Day cards were down. I am not sure if our 'alternative' Valentine’s cards were stronger this year, with people moving away slightly from the more traditional 'lovey' messages, or the fact that last year February 13th (our busiest day of the year footfall wise) fell on a Saturday made a difference.” Loving It: “The beginning of the year has brought loads of fab new ranges from our existing suppliers as well as quite a few new ones. One of our favourites that is doing really well is a range from a new publisher Hidden Gem Designs. It publishes fresh looking designs with great messages.” Big Love: “What am I loving? My wife Leona and my children, who constantly amaze me, as well as our new Greenwich store which we are chuffed to bits with and is performing better than I could have imagined!” Above: Hidden Gems is a recent find by Postmark’s Mark Janson-Smith. Left: Postmark’s new Greenwich store.

Tom & Maureen O'Connell Directors, Just Cards and Thorntons, St Ives, Cambridgeshire: Heart Throb: “We found Valentine’s Day sales to be a bit flat this year. It didn’t help with it falling mid-week; people tend to be a bit more extravagant at weekends! Quite a few of our customers mentioned that they were not 'doing' Valentine’s and we understand the younger generation is not fully engaged and probably relying more on social media.” Loving It: “There's a lot of new products we are loving at the moment. For example, we were impressed with Laura Darrington Design’s new designs. We also like the Wildlife range from Ling Design, More than Words from Second Nature and the month/birthday cards from IC&G. Plus, Noel Tatt’s new Milestones range of combined age and relations looks fabulous.” Big Love: “Sadly there’s not a lot we love about life at the moment - business has been rather flat since Christmas and we're concerned about supplier price increases, negativity surrounding Trump and Brexit as well as, of course, the dreaded rise in business rates.” Top right: Tom and Maureen O’Connell at The Retas last July with their winning trophy. Above right: A new More than Words design from Second Nature. Above: The recently launched Milestones range from Noel Tatt came about as a direct result of reps’ suggestions in December. It was developed in super quick time. Right: One of the new designs from IC&G’s Birthday Month range.

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Trends & Inspirations

Natural

Gleanings A rock solid trend on card designs this spring is the marbling effect. Natural stone formations and materials will be a strong influence in interior and product design and homewares in 2017 and it's a ‘nugget’ that card designers are mining too, adding metallic foiling in gold and copper accents to accentuate the marbling pattern. Also a natural resource, and a trend very much influenced by ‘Greenery’, Pantone’s Colour of the Year, and wellbeing and the state of mindfulness, is plant life. Tropical foliage and leaf prints, cacti and succulents have been propagated on cards, reminding us to reconnect with nature and ‘revive, restore and renew’. Another elevating hue that is currently ‘shading’ card designs is the calming and soothing palette of cool and neutral greys. Elegant and understated, the designs have a simple and uncluttered feel. Directly linked to the recent Scandi concepts of Hygge (cosy) and Lagom (just the right amount), these are cards you could cuddle... but not too much! ‘The spiritual big bang’ is an ethereal, other-worldly and uplifting trend on cards at the moment that highlights the mysticisms of nature to search for a different way of being in a stressful modern life. And one of the biggest trends this year on cards is brushstrokes and mark-making that have been creatively ‘canvased’ on cards. PG takes a deeper look at some trends and inspirations ‘making their mark’ on greeting cards in 2017.

CLOCKWISE: l A striking Christmas design with metallic foiling from Hammond Gower. l Granite and marble feature in Velvet Olive’s Rolling Stone collection. l Beautiful marbling on a Panache card from Real & Exciting Designs. l A pure and simple marble effect on an Old English Company design.

A Stone’s Throw This year will be all about rolling back the natural stones and materials in design. Marble has been one of the first hard rock/natural raw surfaces to recently influence interior trends, and it has now ‘boulder-ed’ its way onto greeting card designs. Culturally, marble evokes notions of purity, luxury and refined taste, but it’s also a material that's strong, solid, smooth and touchable, and it complements beautifully juxtaposed against other natural materials such as wood, granite or metals. Greeting card designers have been mining this rich and tactile resource with its beautiful and simple organic patterns for their artwork, adding accents of warm metallic foiling for a touch of glamour.

A Rock Star Katie Leamon, founder of Katie Leamon: “Marble stone itself seems to have had a bit of a revival. A couple of years ago people were investing in highquality luxurious materials/finishes for their homes so naturally this trend has filter down onto greeting cards! For us, it was a great way to have fun with organic pattern yet still preserve a sense of luxury. It was after a trend talk on tie-dye that our marble collection was created. It inspired me to look back and reminisce the similar techniques I'd learnt through my artistic career and marbling was something that I'd always enjoyed and that I thought would stand out in the market. It’s become a very popular trend now, probably due to its versatility, nod to nostalgia and overall beautiful aesthetic.” COUNTER CLOCKWISE: l ‘Rocking’ the racks, a design from The Handcrafted Card Company’s All The Marbles range. l Delicate marbling on a Katie Leamon card. l A lovely sentiment on a Dear To Me design. l From GBCC’s contemporary brand, The Paper Gallery, a Miki Rose design. l A design from The Art Group’s new Designers Guild range, and each card has a lovely bespoke marbled envelope. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Trends & Inspirations

CLOCKWISE: l Collaborating with pattern designer Chloe Hall, Card Nest’s range features simple swaying tropical foliage with touches of gold foiling. l Loose painterly foliage from Katie Housley. l Bringing the outside in, potted cheese plants and cacti on a Plewsy card. l A desert garden on a card from Roger la Borde’s Petite range. l Beautiful ferns with gold foiling on a note card from Portico. l This Nigel Quiney’s Pizazz Limited card features flittered cheese plants, palms and ferns.

Plant Life Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2017, ‘Greenery’, is described by the Institute as ‘Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.’ Reflecting the current cultural climate, Greenery is not only about nurturing the natural environment, but also about it nurturing us too. At this present time there’s a growing desire to reconnect with the beauty of nature, to stop and take a deep breath, find what is real and disconnect from technology. On current greeting card designs, the Greenery influence is reflected as tropical foliage and leaf prints. In 2017 the rich earthy green fronds of simply-represented palm sprays, ferns, Swiss cheese plants, cacti on card designs bring the outside in, and remind us to tap into the vitality and renewal of nature.

Totally Tropical David Nichols, brand manager for Card Nest: “The tropical trend has swept in like a warm Caribbean breeze, and we have two concepts to thank. Firstly, ‘Lagom’, the Swedish concept of ‘not too much, not too little,’ is set to influence 2017, promoting health, self-sufficiency, and living a frugal yet fruitful existence. In support of this is ‘Greenery’, Pantone’s 2017 Colour of the Year, which represents new beginnings and 'evokes the first days of spring when nature's greens revive, restore and renew'. With the tropical trend simple ferns, palms and cheese plants manage to bring the outside in, without disrupting the delicate balance that Lagom encourages. For our new ‘Botanicals’ card and giftwrap range we wanted just the right contrast of light and dark hues in the patterns, finishing the designs with a decadent gold-foiled greeting. Collaborating with pattern designer Chloe Hall, the designs are derived from original hand-crafted paintings.”

Fade To Grey Like a big warm hug, crackling log fire and a cup of cocoa, in these current uncertain social and political times, the trend for neutral colours in design have a comforting and soothing affect. Elegant and understated, calming and warm, muted grey was a prominent colour in 2016 interiors and it will continue to reign on greeting cards in 2017 in a plethora of tones and shades, from pearl grey, wood ash or frosted silver to deeper smoky or sooty hues. Underpinned with pale or blush pinks and hints of warm gold foiling, the card designs are clean, simple and uncluttered, reflecting the Scandi lifestyle trends, Hygge (cosy) and more recently Lagom (just the right amount).

Shades Of Grey Tamsin Rennie, director of Studio Seed: “I’ve noticed the grey and muted colour trend coming through in both fashion and interiors over the past year or so, often combined with a hint of copper or other metallics. I think the fact that Pantone made Rose Quartz its 2016 colour of the year had an influence on this, along with the rise in concepts such as mindfulness and wellness – calming colours and textures are beginning to be more important to people. In fact, last year we decorated our living room in a calming pink and soft grey! I’ve used these colour combinations in my card designs because they look sophisticated and have an air of pared back luxury. Grey is a very flexible shade so it works well for both male and female designs and the blush and grey trend combined with soft florals is perfect for female designs.”

COUNTER CLOCKWISE: l Eat Cake For Breakfast is a beautiful and fun range from Studio Seed featuring a calming shade of grey board. l A beautiful heron on a design from Sabivo Designs’ new range Fly. l Louise Tiler’s 20th Century Girl range combines grey, blush pink and eye-catching gold foiling. l An elegant macaw from I Ended Up Here’s Gelato range. l Warm gold foiling and grey and blue washes on a card from Hotchpotch’s Heyday range. l Simple, fresh and soothing, a muted grey design from Alaise.

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Trends & Inspirations

Art Attack Celebrating paintbrush slashes, splashes and splodges, there been a whole ‘gallery’ of painterly prints in fashion since 2014. Then, last autumn, showcasing works (among others) by well-renown artists Rothko and Pollock, The Royal Academy of Arts’ fascinating Abstract Expressionism exhibition opened its doors. Inspired, designers have continued to compose the current trend of watercolour washes, raw and sweeping brush strokes, paint dabs, splatters and drips on greeting card designs. Transcending the canvas, this dynamic and spontaneous looking loose mark-making can convey a sense of whimsy, spontaneity, intensity and energy, which mirrors the concept behind 20th century Abstract Expressionist movement - to evoke emotions or covey concepts through creative expression.

CLOCKWISE: l Paint slashes of colour on a Portico card. l Watercolour strokes feature on Plewsy’s new children’s range. l Paint splatters on an Ola Studio card.

Different (Brush) Strokes Rebecca Crouch, creative director for Raspberry Blossom: “High fashion is one of the leaders in setting trends and this painterly effect has been seen on the catwalk for quite a few seasons. The vibrant and colourful prints are inspired from key art movements throughout the decades such as the modernist period. The brush strokes and paint splatters are bold and have a dynamic energy which is playful and fun, and that’s why I believe it has become so popular across a variety of products. Raspberry Blossom products are playful, fun and contemporary and this vibrant painterly method makes a perfect combination. A lot of my designs are created with a paintbrush, whether it is the abstract patterns of the Canvas Creations collection, or the florals from the new Floralicious collection. I love how fluid and dynamic the design can be.” COUNTER CLOCKWISE: l Dynamic brushstrokes on a Raspberry Blossom Canvas Creations design. l Bonnie Blackbird’s Solana range is created from watercolour mark-making. l Foiled brushstrokes look gorgeous on a Hammond Gower Blush card. l A subtle painterly design from Louise & Lygo.

The Spiritual Big Bang The moon and the stars are currently being offered (no, not on a stick) on greeting card designs. Aesop’s star constellations, the cosmos and celestial, ethereal and other-worldly objects are making a spiritual big bang on card illustrations. Astrological signs, birth-stones and crystals, guardian angels and dream-catchers, space, phases of the moon and the solar system, the designs’ icons are mystical in nature and enhanced in jewel and metallic tones and finishes. Society’s move towards mindfulness has been part of the catalyst toward this rediscovered spiritualism, as has an increasingly stressful and demanding modern life. The renaissance of this holistic and naturalistic identity taps into our deepest desires for ‘something more’ in life and a way to find solace and feel calm, and card designs are reminding us to find our chakra and the other, maybe better, ways of being.

Mystical Marvelling Katie Phythian, founder/designer of Katie Phythian Design: “I feel the mystical nature trend has been born out of our frustration with modern life. I think we are all looking to reconnect with nature, other people around us and with ourselves. In our fast paced society we are craving time to slow down and take a deep breath more than ever... and just be. I first noticed the birth-stone trend appearing on jewellery over a year ago. I designed the Jewelled range of cards so that people can send them at any time of the year. Even though they are small they are very powerful little cards with positive words and mystical marble washes. Subliminally they reminded me of those clouds of dust and stars we often see billions of miles away. A sense of perspective and a big deep breath in a card!”

CLOCKWISE: l Cosmic connotations with copper foiling on a Real & Exciting Designs’ (Mint) Panache card. l Guardian angel wings and copper foiling on a card from Quire’s new You Are An Angel range. l Katie Phythian Design’s Jewelled range features the birth-stone colour of each month with positive sentiment. l A gemmed dream-catcher on a Counting Stars Talisman card. l Out of this world! A Paper Salad Space Age card. l Mystical nature and the phases of the moon on a four-folded card design from Imagination Illustrated. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Globetrotting Report

The World About Us

The enormous greeting card world ‘jigsaw’ comprises many differently shaped pieces. In Part Two of a Globetrotting Report, PG adds more ‘jigsaw pieces’ from greeting card publishers and distributors around the world that help to create the big picture of our global industry.

The States Designer Greetings operates in the value end of the market as a publisher (with its designs created by a studio of 25 in-house designers) as well as through Card$mart, its value card shop retail model.

Steve Gimbleman, president of Designer Greetings: “Last year was our best one in business since Designer Greetings was founded in 1982. We have continued to expand our value card shop model, Card$mart, throughout North America, as consumers are attracted to superior card quality at value pricing. Conversely, many smaller traditional publishers have closed their doors, including Freedom, Gallant, Magic Moments and Majestic Greetings. While sales are still strong in the value sector - The Dollar Stores chain still continues to grow its presence in the US - the full price card

shop model is shrinking and many stores have closed over the past few years. On the design front, heavily embellished cards are still trending as consumers look to differentiate their purchase with a higher quality product rather than a standard ‘ink on paper’ card. As a reflection of this we are adding more ribbons, bows, sequins, gems and creative attachments to our line, specifically in our Premier Collection and Designer Boutique lines. Looking to our aims for this year we will continue to grow the value card shop model as well as the grocery and drugstore channels. We also expect to have major growth in our online business the greetingcardshop.com We do of course have a change in president to contend with. I cannot see Trump directly affecting the greeting card market - except of course if he puts embargoes/tariffs on print from China!” Above: Steve Gimbelman, who heads up Designer Greetings. Left: Bright colours from Designer Greetings’ Oh La La range. Far left: If Donald Trump does impose tariffs on print from China it will have a huge effect on the greeting card industry worldwide.

Germany Anka Verlag, founded in 1986, has been a greeting card distributor in Germany who works with Bug Art, The DM Collection, Hype Associates, Forever Cards, Colcards, Little Snoring, Alternative Images and Warner Textile Archives. In addition, the company supplies leading European opera houses and music stores with music-related gifts.

Marius Szanto, co-founder of Anka Verlag: “The last year will probably go down in history as the ‘annus horribilis’ of the unexpected. Brexit, Donald Trump's election to the American presidency, terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and also in Germany, where apart from several regional disturbances (Munich, Würzburg), one of the major Christmas markets in Berlin fell prey to a terrorist attack killing 12 people and seriously injuring 50 visitors. Many Christmas market booths have a bigger turnover in four weeks than some shops in a whole year. Greeting cards form an important part of the offerings of these markets. After the attacks, security measures were tightened at all German

Right: Marius Szanto of Anka Verlag with Bug Art’s founder Jane Crowther at a past PG Live. Below: Bug Art’s cards do very well in Germany.

Christmas markets, but despite this there was a marked reduction in the number of visitors thereafter. Political uncertainty prevails in 2017. A big question-mark hangs over the new American president, and will Brexit ever happen, and if so, what will be the result of it? France will get a new president, hopefully not Marine Le Pen, and closer home, so will Germany as in September federal parliamentary elections will take place. Factors of uncertainty have, of course, a wide-reaching influence on business and everyday life and no one really knows what is going to happen. Expectations PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Globetrotting Report Below: Cards being sold on spinners are very common in Germany.

are more negative than positive and the general feeling among colleagues is one of subdued hope. The objective for 2017 is to try to match the 2016 figures. The greeting card market here is not expected to expand and there is likely to be fierce fighting for market share among the large number of indigenous and foreign companies (primarily French, British and Italian). At the retail end, many, especially smaller, ownerrun shops are closing down and there are very few new start-ups. In many cases owners reach retirement age and there is no successor in sight. On top of this the unreasonable rises in lease or rental costs are other reasons for the closure of independent card stockists. Plus, let’s not forget the negative influence increasing internet purchases are having on retail shops. Although cards are not prominent as online purchases, books are. There are no specialist card retailers in Germany, but many cards are sold in bookshops. Hence the demise of bookshops, largely

Italy

Below left: Furio Ceciliato.

Origamo is a relatively new, but ambitious, card publisher and importer of upmarket greeting cards for the Italian market. Among the UK publishers it distributes includes Blue Eyed Sun, Clear Creations, My Design (Music Box Cards) and Tracey Russell, with more to follow. In addition, it also produces its own handmade greeting cards under the Origamo brand that are made in Vietnam, with the proceeds helping communities there.

Furio Ceciliato, the founder of Origamo: “The Italian greeting card market is currently very small with 90% of its cards being sold to be hand given with a gift rather than to be sent by the postal service. Most of the companies producing cards are businesses that sell a lot of different products ‘including greeting cards’, or printing companies that print a lot of products ‘including greeting cards’. Probably, sadly, a lot of small family owned shops, which are ‘the roots’ of the Italian economy, will close, which will be a big loss, not only economically but culturally too. Up until now we have not had a positive lobbying or collective voice on the greeting card front such as you have in the UK with the GCA. But ‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a step’, right? So, I am starting the Associazione Italiana Biglietti Augurali (an Italian GCA) whose goal will be to spread and cultivate the culture of greeting cards in Italy (see News). Even if the Italian economy in general is weak, the market here is always eager for new products and trends. Personally, it has been an incredible year for us and we opened more than 2,400 new customers in the last year and a half. The general trend in the market is quite evident. In the era of Facebook and WhatsApp, the cheap and banal cards are dying, while the precious and handmade cards are being sold more and more because a heart-felt message kept in a beautiful greeting card is an intimate gesture that will always be appreciated. We expect a lot of this in 2017, and we plan to continue to grow. I am working successfully with several greeting card companies from the UK and I plan to continue to expand my business relationships with the ‘British world’ because there are many beautiful brands I want to bring and launch in Italy.” 38

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

due to the internet has had a negative knock-on effect on card sales. We also have to contend with German postal regulations, which do not encourage card sales. Square cards, if sent by post, cost more than double EUR 1.45 (£1.20) as opposed to EUR 0.70 (58p) for regular 12 x 17 cm cards. Strictly speaking the 7" x 5" cards are also too big for normal German postal charges. However, luckily for importers of British greeting cards, a large proportion of cards are not posted but given personally or collected, meaning that square cards are still a saleable commodity. Personally, despite all the aforementioned negative aspects, I had a good last year. One particular brand I distribute, Bug Art, was extremely successful in Germany, especially its Christmas Cards, many of which are square. High quality greeting cards still have an enormous appeal and will continue to be successful despite all odds. Hence I have embraced 2017 and the future with faith and hope!”

Ireland Garlanna is a leading greeting card publisher in Ireland that has been trading since 1996, based in Co Wicklow. It supplies many retail groups such as SuperValu and Centra stores, part of the Musgrave Group and Spar, Londis and Mace, which are part of the BWG group.

Alan MacNamee, md of Garlanna: “2016 was the first year we have seen growth in many years. 2015 was a stabilising year, which paved the way for strong growth for greeting cards sales in 2016. An Post, the Irish post office, got behind Christmas card sending by developing a consumer advertising campaign, hosted on YouTube, to encourage card sending, interviewing members of the public, asking them what a Christmas card means to them. Encouragingly, the Irish consumer is now looking for quality product again, rather than being price driven. We have noticed that the convenience store market is really blossoming and retailers are heavily investing in their stores to improve their shopping experience. Customers have become very adventurous and they are less concerned with value products, this allows us to experiment with new designs and techniques. 2017 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for Garlanna. We have plans to continue to expand our brand and product offering with lots of exciting changes ahead!” Top: Alan and Jackie MacNamee, co-owners of Garlanna. Above: A Garlanna greeting card display. Left: A still from a video commissioned by An Post, that is hosted on YouTube that features heartwarming messages from consumers as to what Christmas cards mean to them.


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Globetrotting Report

Ireland

Israel

Watermark Cards is a major distributor of UK publishers in Ireland, including Blue Mountain Arts, Caroline Gardner, Dandelion Stationery, Danilo, Emotional Rescue, Gemma International, Glick, Grass Roots, Mint, Nigel Quiney, Persimmon Press, Tracks, Woodmansterne Publications and Words ‘n’ Wishes. In addition, it publishes Irish-specific captioned cards, plus also has Quick Click Cards, an instore print-on-demand card offer (which operates in the UK as Space Hippo).

The Turnowsky Design House is celebrating its 77th year in business. While the company’s HQ is in Israel, its focus is very international, with its paper products now distributed in more than 40 countries and counting.

Paul Slater, commercial director of Watermark Cards: “The greeting card market in Ireland remains reasonably healthy, but there have been many changes over the last number of years which have somewhat altered the landscape. There has been a significant move away from the independent retailer to the extent that we now believe that close to 70% of the greeting card market comes from multiple retailers and groups. In terms of our role as distributors/publishers we are now being expected to take a much more invested approach at retail level with a high expectation from multiple retailers in terms of merchandising and sales support. After a number years of recession with negative or zero growth the Irish economy has now become one of the best performing economies in the EU which has resulted in some steady growth within the greeting card sector in 2015 and 2016. However, Christmas 2016 was a little disappointing, with retail sales ending up pretty flat. Ireland remains a very traditional market and card giving is still engrained in our culture when it comes to marking significant occasions. We have achieved some growth in Top: Watermark directors Paul Slater and Brian Murtagh in the company’s showroom localised niche captions and occasions eg. in its Dublin offices. Holy Communion, Confirmation and St Above: In addition to distributing many UK Patrick’s Day, along with religious and Irishpublishers’ designs, Watermark publishes its specific caption cards at Christmas. own cards which are specific to the Irish market needs. Personalisation is certainly something that the consumer has an increasing requirement for, and in Ireland we continue to grow the business in partnership with our retailers. We launched Quick Click Cards (our instore print-on-demand greeting cards) in Ireland back in 2012 and we now have over 30 sites in Ireland who trade successfully with the offering. The only area that we can see a slight decline is in the multi send at Christmas - the days of people sending 30-40 cards have passed and we believe that busy lifestyles and rising postage rates have had a negative impact. However sales of caption specific and personalised cards at Christmas remain strong and there has been a move to more design-led product with higher price points over the last number of years. We remain cautiously optimistic for 2017 but the big unknown for us will be the effect of Brexit and the economic implication for Ireland arising out of a possible downturn in the UK economy. The uncertainty and market volatility caused by Brexit could affect consumer and business sentiment and there will certainly be many challenges in coming months.”

Dr Kobi Tadmor, ceo of Turnowsky: “First the exciting news… last year for the first time we have sold more than 10 million Turnowsky greeting cards worldwide. Last year was one of growth for the Turnowsky brand, despite an unstable political and economic situation. Being focused on the international arena, we are particularly exposed to currency fluctuations. When you consider that 90% of our turnover comes from foreign currencies, mainly the euro, 2016 presented us with the major challenges of the fall of the £pound and the relative decline of the euro. We started 2016 with a certain scenario in mind and a lot of things have changed: Brexit in the UK, the election in the US and the refugee crisis in Europe. In particular, the trauma of the latter has meant that there has been less attention and focus for many people on lifestyle products, including greeting cards. The mood of the market is rapidly changing. Distributors and retailers are looking to provide their clients with more designs and to refresh their catalogue more often. For us this means more orders per client but with lower quantities per order. In parallel with this there is the strong fight for display space and dollars per square metre, so that designs that are selected by the shop owner need to cater for the majority – there is no space for niche clients. All of this leads to the need to make the card more special in order to increase the price point.” Top: Dr Kobi Tadmor, ceo of Turnowsky. Above: After 77 years of trading the Turnowsky brand is well-known and respected the world over for its high-end design.

Holland Catch Publishing is an internationally renowned publisher (with offices in The Netherlands, UK and the US) of cards, calendars, wall art and stationery.

Peter Ackerman, co-owner of Catch Publishing: “Here are my thoughts on the world, life and cards in general... In 2016 the economy in Holland finally made a turn for the better after eight lean years, which saw many of our traditional card and calendar retail clients go bankrupt (ie Expo, V&D Above: The colours on the walls of the new Catch shop indicates a different category of cards. Eg and the Selexys bookstore chain). the yellow walls show the humorous cards and Despite Brexit, which was totally not the pink wall features general birthday cards. expected here and is expected to have a major negative effect on the Dutch economy, things in general are starting to look better. A lot of new retailers are starting up with new ideas, including us! We have opened a large ‘paper’ retail shop which has been a big hit especially with young people. Paper is ‘in’ again. We have gained a lot of insight into consumer needs and have realised that people are interested in special and unusual things and we are geared up to supplying that niche market very well.” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Our brand new licenses for 2017 really make a statement These fresh, contemporary bags aimed at both male and female markets have a secret message inside! by

by by

Pirates, unicorns and mermaids are the theme of our new quirky, fun and beautifully illustrated bags and wraps by Ilona Drew. They complement our range of Juvenile products perfectly.

Soft gold foiling on our new Stephanie Dyment range of bags and double sided wraps ensure the designs really shine.

You can see these new designs and more at PG LIVE (Stand No.424) from 6th-7th June

Unit 1 Allenby House, European Ind. Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB

40_PG_March 2017.indd 1

01274 655980 sales@glick.co.uk www.glick.co.uk

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Giftwrappings Focus On Trends Inset: Wrap from Glick.

Paper

Parade

Geometrics have ‘squared up’ on the trend front in the interior design world for a while now with the reinvention of the 80s radical and colourful movement, Memphis Design. It remains a strong aesthetic in design, but a sophisticated tangent from this ‘shapely’ trend is its evolvement into hexagons, trapeziums and rhombuses, taking on a more glamorous Art Deco form on giftwrappings, set against black, grey or kraft with beautiful gold and copper foiling. “Our sales agents’ reaction was a bit of a stunned silence when we presented British talent Aidan Whiley for 2017 to our wrap collection, but our customers are already buying into the look. Aidan describes himself as a maker and doer thinker! He is so on trend with his new collection - Google 'Memphis Design trend' to see

what all the fuss is about,” says Andrew Maddock, managing director of Deva Designs. Andrew also adds: “Geometric shapes are super trendy and it has translated so well into giftwrap and bags. It's refined, yet cutting-edge.” Tribal and geometrics with layered textures were the inspiration for Deva’s handsome craft paper collection, with the layering of raised 'puffy' white ink creating a visual 'pop', as well as producing an interesting tactile quality. Meanwhile, distressed vintage painted stone tiles featuring Middle Eastern patterns and geometric shapes are currently ‘paving’ the way from home interiors and on to giftwrap too. “We have called the Deva collection 'Morocco' with 'Joost' - a pretty pastel painted tile design. The illustration has been spot-varnished to give the design Top left: Deva presents British talent Aidan Whiley’s Memphis Design inspired wrap. Above: Motivated by faded stone patterned tiles, Deva’s Morocco range. Left: A pattern with Middle-Eastern influence, ‘Pudding Plate’ giftwrap by Hanna Werning from Lagom.

Burgeoning botanicals in foliage prints are swaying on the tropical breeze of trends on giftwrap, along with influences derived from beautifully tactile natural materials from the earth’s resources, such as marble and granite. And stone tiles with distressed Middle Eastern inspired patterns, geometrics and painterly mark-making join positive, life-affirming quotes and mindfulness hues on a parade of giftwrappings for 2017. a glazed lustre, just like the original tiles. The 'Casablanca' design complements it with its geometric shapes and painted border,” reveals Andrew. Inspired by ‘Greenery’, Pantone’s Colour of the Year, tropical foliage is a trend flourishing on giftwrappings in 2017. In a lush haze of cacti and succulents and simple ferns, palm tree and cheese plant leaf prints, the green shades are more muted than the colourful blaze of South American botanicals ‘planted’ on giftwrap designs last year. “Giftwrap design trends for 2017 are leaning towards plants and foliage, often with a retro or vintage feel to the artwork, reflecting the green renaissance we seem to be having,” says card and giftwrap publisher Hannah Richards. Penny Kennedy has innovative trends from all of its big brands, with Nina Campbell bringing the tropical flourish. “Sara Miller London is bringing the gold, Alice Scott is bringing the monochrome, PK Design is bringing the marble and Velvet Olive is bringing the geometrics, all bases covered!” states its director Kathryn Fletcher, adding: “Looking to the future, with more up-cycling, mindful Above: Hannah Richards’ Jungle wrap design. Below: Tropical foliage from Penny Kennedy’s living and a less consumerist Nina Campbell range. attitude, it changes our design principles and shifts the focus on quality of materials combined with design for a simplistic and natural approach. I think we’ll see more ombres, raw metallics, wood and concrete, khaki, faded terracotta and foliage patterns, but in a more refined translation!” Roger la Borde’s Lodestar giftwrap design is ‘potted’ with unusual and quirky plants and foliage. “The contemporary interiors trend for pastel shades, a 70’s sensibility for spiky plants and succulents and a hipsterish take on modern folksiness are all stirred into the creative cauldron that inspired Katie Vernon's pretty prickly creations,” says its director Tim Solnik. Also going back to nature is UKG’s stunning new Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) giftwrap, which takes inspiration from a unique collection of elegant artworks from the RHS archives. From floral blooms with bursts of colour to nature-inspired illustrative PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Giftwrappings Focus On Trends Inset: Hannah Richards wrap.

designs to bold botanical prints, the range really does sing all things bright and beautiful! “This year will see an eagerness to redress skepticism with the comfortable known feeling of nature. Marbling will still be abundant but there will be a shift towards granite and earth textures. Florals are for all ages and standing tall, that will never change. Handmade organic papers will be vastly sort after and consumers will be driven to find one off pieces of beautifully detailed artworks, finding that warming human touch,” claims Alex Forster, creative manager of Special Editions and 3D for UK Greetings. From natural to man-made and straight off the canvas, expressive mark-making and sweeping painterly brushstrokes, daubs and sploshes are making an ‘impression’ on giftwrap artwork. “Designs featuring painterly dramatic brushstrokes and textural marks are a prevalent trend following the popularity of hand-written greeting card designs and the growing popularity of a naive painterly illustration style,” says Hannah Richards. She adds, “For my current giftwrap collection I have taken inspiration from the colours and shapes of the Bauhaus. I like mixing classic with contemporary and have tried to create designs using geometric shapes which still express movement and playfulness that complement the other half of my collection which uses more expressive marks and textures in bright contemporary colours.” Louise & Lygo’s new giftwrap collection combines nature’s inspiration with the painterly trend. “We have brought out a number of new, bright and bold designs that focus on a soft colour palette, expressive brush strokes, contemporary patterns and typography, as well as inspiration from nature for a fresh spring/summer feel,” explains the company’s designer and co-founder, Louise Baker. The recent focus on people’s wellness, mindfulness and a spiritual renaissance has motivated the need to reaffirm our connection with nature, and healthier living and calming meditation is inspiring giftwrap designs too. Belly Button Bubble is re-connecting with two of Pantone’s dominant colours of last year, Serenity and Rose Quartz. A soothing tranquil blue and rose tone is captured in a giftwrap collection designed to promote meaning, mindfulness and the desire to connect personally through the expression of colour. Bubble’s Serenity wrap is a symbol of balance and gender fluidity, tranquility embraced in an aura of warmth and aspirational harmony with beautiful flittered gradation that sparkles. Top: The new Glamour giftwrap collection from UKG has been inspired by nature and uses a simple colour palette to give it an honest and true essence. Above left: Tropical wrap in painterly brushstrokes from Louise & Lygo. (Photography credit: Holly Booth Photography). Right: The tranquil and calm Serenity range from Belly Button Bubble.

Licking Wrap Into Shape No longer will you have a fiddly fight with the sticky tape or glue, as Instawrap™ from Wrap Nation is a new solution to giftwrapping presents. The world’s first and only lick and stick giftwrap, Instawrap’s beautifully designed, high quality paper sheets’ surfaces - both the decorative and non-decorative sides - are coated with taste free moisture activated glue which can be selectively activated Above: Instawrap, lick and stick giftwrap from Wrap Nation. to secure the giftwrap to itself. The lick and stick element of Instawrap makes it simple, easy and fast to giftwrap items and add tags and decorations to the gift with one lick. Not only invented and manufactured in the UK, the glue has zero taste, is vegan friendly and safe for children, Instawrap is 100% recyclable as ‘Sticky tape is not recyclable’ – www.recyclenow.com.

Roger la Borde’s new Speakeasy collection has tapped into the plethora of positive life affirmations and mantras found on social media feeds and coffee shop chalkboards. “From slogan t-shirts on the world's top catwalks (Maria Grazia Chiuri quoting Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche in her first collection for Dior); to daily Instagram affirmations and 'thoughts for the day' at your local coffee shop, we all yearn for slogans, mindful mantras and cheeky, eye-catching wordage as we aim to speak and be heard in our Above: Adorable alpacas by Paper Salad from Glick. ever-noisier digital culture. Our Below right: One of Roger la Borde’s Urban patterned wrap combines the stripped back Urban tongue in cheek text-based gift bag trend concept with waxed batik textiles. range speaks quite literally to this huge global trend,” says Roger la Borde’s Tim Solnik. Glick’s director, Becky Dobson also highlights positive sentiment as a trend on giftwrap, such as phrases ‘Have a lovely day you deserve it’ on its new Stephanie Dyment range and ‘Today is all about you’ from its Think Of Me range. Becky also spotlights other trends within Glick’s wrap ranges as softer neons, alpacas, cacti, unicorns, corals and pale golds and of course a big bubbly favourite Prosecco! Seemly in opposition to the nature and spiritual trends, post war Britain’s built up concrete jungles and Brutalist architecture has been sighted under the banner of the Urban trend in all walks of design in 2017, but it’s raw and industrial look has been stripped back and reinterpreted as aesthetically beautiful with bold and strong results, perfect for masculine giftwrap. Roger la Borde’s Urban wrap collection’s interpretation of the Urban trend takes its inspiration from the waxed batik textiles often used in Nigerian dress and in the work of Yinka Shonibare who famously adorned Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth with a galleon with festive batik textile sails.“Making and Unmaking’ at London’s Camden Arts Centre last autumn, featuring Shonibare's work was the starting point for this range,” says director Tim Solnick. Excitingly, giftwrappings for 2017 have really lit the touch paper on current design trends! PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Wrap

Artists

l Globe is focusing on a more modern aesthetic in the use of its designs, and in particular in its use of vibrant and eye-catching colour combinations. The striking tangerine and aqua duo has already been a hit with buyers, across multiple designs. Additionally, Globe’s hand-printed, kraft paper giftwrap went from strength to strength in 2016, and so in 2017 it intends to introduce more designs, incorporating new colour combinations.

Publishers are wrapping it up nicely with a newly launched bounty of paper perfect, highly creative giftwrappings in an array of dazzling finishes. PG showcases some of these wrap ‘stars’.

l Belly Button Bubble’s strong graphics, sophisticated colour palettes and distinctive illustrative style have found new form for 2017 as it takes its award-winning designs from its Platinum greeting card collection onto giftwrap. Trenddriven and design-led high quality product is confidently curated into a collection of pink, lime and its signature grey, comprising of floral blooms juxtaposed with minimalist stripes and spots and flashes of foil. l Earlybird is roarrrrring into 2017 with the latest wrap addition to its dinosaur designs! The colourful repeat image dinosaur makes the perfect wrap and complements the company's new party invites, birthday cards and thank you packs in the range. Earlybird's giftwrap collection now boasts 21 designs, including its everpopular bicycle illustration, which attracted interest from top names at the recent Top Drawer show! l This year Eurowrap has increased its everyday and Christmas roll wrap offerings to 16 everyday ranges and 21 Christmas ranges. It has introduced a Neon Pop collection in four vibrant colours and an amazing double-sided printed white kraft paper that encompasses two designs on one roll. Hot stamp foiling on brown kraft paper features in its Christmas range, together with three Christmas designs incorporating glitter. There are also four classic colours in pearlised paper for that luxurious feel in its simplest form.

l Shine bright with Hotchpotch’s vibrant and oh-so playful Hello Neon flat wrap collection. Each design is printed with vivid neon ink, right here in the UK, onto luxury weight 115gsm paper. The super-stylish wrapping paper forms part of its larger Hello Neon collection, which includes 12 greeting cards, notebooks, note pads, planners and pencils. The designs use on-trend brush stokes, painted patterns and inky dots. l Kali Stileman Publishing has launched a collection of adult wraps to go with its best-selling children’s wrap ranges. Printed on heavy weight paper in the trend colours for 2017, these include two multi packs, one flowery the other spotty, offering one design in three popular colourways for the same price as a single design pack, plus a lovely new swan wrap. l Distinctive giftwrap is the latest addition to the Maurice and Maude portfolio. The giftwrap collections debuted at the recent Top Drawer London and were well-received. Fabulous to wrap with, each sheet measures 500mm x 700mm and is printed on quality 90gsm FSC certified uncoated paper with a matt finish. Coordinating greeting cards are available. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Giftwrappings New Launches

l The Simon Elvin 2017 range of giftwrap and giftbags are bursting with gorgeous designs inspired by the latest trends and colours. The publisher’s ‘gift’ to retailers is strong, value for money sets of coordinated designed product. View the whole range at socialstationery.biz. l The Art File has strengthened its wrap offer with 12 new flat wrap designs, five new gift bag collections and the launch of The Art File roll wrap for the very first time. New designs include food themes - Avocado and Chillies - ideal for both women and men, and the neon inks on the Bunnies wrap is just pure fun! The new gift bag collections include Honey Bees, Trainers and the beautiful Summer Berry range. l For its latest Deco collection, The Unique Paper Company was inspired by the Art Deco movement. Elegant, glamorous and functional, Deco mixes lavish gold and black glitter materials with quality matt paper, and features bold geometrical, simple symmetrical patterns and sweeping curves of marbling. The company’s Sherbet Fizz collection is an explosion of pink, blue and silver, in a range of abstract patterns on shiny reflective foil paper and white matt paper, and is bright and eye-catching for Mother’s Day and Easter. l Inspired by coastal walks and patterns in nature, U Studio’s new wrap collection was created using instinctive mark making and mixed media tools. The collection is fun, colourful and stylish. Launched at the end of 2016, the collection consists of four designs: Dash, Foliage, Scribbles and Bubbles. The wrap measures at 50cm x 70cm and is printed on 110gsm uncoated paper, sourced from sustainable forests. RRP/£1.50. l Natasha Jade's Love and Marriage giftwrap collection is inspired by The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Both designs were originally watercolours that the artist created in response to poems by Gibran. Also, featuring tropical floral watercolours, Natasha Jade's Spring Flowers collection is inspired by her travels in Taiwan.

This delicate wrapping paper adds beauty and elegance to any gift. All designs were originally mixed media watercolours. All wraps are made in the UK and printed on 100% recycled finest 100gsm stock. l Cinnamon Aitch’s newest gift bags are just the thing for stylish gift giving. Four contemporary new Cornflower designs feature bold geometrics and graphic botanicals in striking mustard, graphite and teal colourways. Coordinating gift tags, nickel eyelets and natural rope handles complete this simply luxurious look. Each design comes in four different sizes. l Hammond Gower launched a new collection of giftwraps last month, with something for the whole family. Carefully selected to encompass the company ethos of quality designs with an uplifting feel, the collection is all designed and made right here in the UK. These beautiful and luxurious papers will brighten up any occasion, making them the perfect accessory to a special gift. l From feminine florals to striking stitches, Lagom Design’s latest giftwrap collection has gifting covered. Dotted with birds and woodland creatures, Hanna Werning’s vintage inspired florals are bold yet beautifully feminine; adding to his collection of stunning maps, Michael A. Hill’s latest London wrap glistens in white and gold; Peter Crawley offers something refreshingly different, his stitch and thread inspired wraps lend a fun, quirky edge to any gift. And at Lagom, Christmas is wrapped in cutting-edge kraft or the golden glow of Hanna Werning’s shimmering seasonal patterns.

l Museums & Galleries’ (MGML) Matthew Williamson range has been expanded for 2017. It now has a selection of six foiled giftwraps and six uncoated wraps featuring Matthew Williamson’s dazzling dress prints. The addition of gold foil detailing and the addition of complementary alternative colourways complete the sense of individual fashion and bohemian print-mixing. Four of the key brand patterns have matching tissue paper and gift bags. MGML has also recently launched its Cressida Bell giftwrap range. Cressida’s unique and defiantly decorative prints make a bold colour statement. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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BUILDING BUSINESS. C U LT I VAT I N G CO N N E C T I O N S . As the only North American trade show for global buyers and sellers of stationery and lifestyle products, come for the incredible business opportunities. Leave with an experience like no other. Register for the National Stationery Show today.

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Giftwrappings New Launches

l Following on from the success of the Jaz&Baz cards by Sara Miller (2016 Henries winner for Most Promising Young Designer Or Artist), Portfolio has now added giftwrap, tags and bags to the range. There are four designs in the giftwrap, each printed on uncoated paper with a touch of gold foil and with Sara’s signature monochrome patterns on the reverse. l Giftwrap UK has some gorgeous new quality giftwrappings-lines: Astor - a timeless and luxurious collection of bags, boxes and wrap in a combination of elegant colours and classical forms highlighted through twinkling effects; Aspen – reminiscent of winter adventures and Christmas celebrations with skis, sledges and Christmas text; Samora - tropical magic! Soft pastel shades contrast with powerful petrol tints. The shimmering metallic effects play with light giving the mystic feel of the tropical jungle and birds of paradise; and Aniko – a giftbag and wrap collaboration with well-respected card publisher, Liz & Pip. l Gemma International and will include several new licensed designs for 2017 on gift packaging, across rollwrap, two sheet and two tag packs, and gift bags. Just in time for the new Disney live action feature film starring Emma Watson, Gemma has Beauty and the Beast wrap offering, and with Cars 3 released this summer, Gemma has giftwrap featuring Lightening McQueen. A new licence performing well is Num Noms, and Gemma’s wrap range is a delight for the eyes! Tokidoki brand is fast becoming a must have for teenage girls, and Gemma has a fabulous two sheet/two tag pack featuring all the iconic characters. l To complement its new Primavera range of Spring occasions cards, Pennychoo has launched Primavera giftwrap in two designs and four colourways. Quirky coffee pots and cups in pastel pinks and blues feature on two designs, while pretty flower jugs full of blowsy blooms feature on two more. Additionally, Pennychoo has launched two thoroughly midcentury modern giftwrap designs featuring repeat patterns of discs and shields in a palette of pastel colours with black textures, perfect for anyone who loves 1950s styling.

l Chase and Wonder has launched its new collection of art print wrapping paper, featuring large scale images of ladies’ faces, unicorns and even a flowery cat. Illustrated in its renowned unique style, the wraps have already proved popular. There are seven other designs, including some more standard repeat designs that are hot off the press! l The Designers Guild brand is gaining real momentum in the market, so for 2017 Deva Designs has re-launched its Designers Guild giftwrap The key print selected for the latest collection is Couture Rose with its exquisite roses on a grand scale. Available in flat wrap, roll wrap and tissue, the gift bags are particularly interesting, with their hipped base and oversized lush handles so that they can be 'worn' over the shoulder - a true fashion statement. l Glick are delighted to be working under license with greeting card publisher Stephanie Dyment, and its first launch is a vision of beauty and sentiment. Prosecco is the stand-out design in the range so far, but the beautiful Floral patterns with words such as ‘Have a lovely Day, You Deserve It’ have also been a big hit since its launch. The publisher is also excited to be working with Ilona Drew from I Drew This on a children’s wrap range and a brand new range with contemporary publisher Think Of Me. l Ready at the stable door for the My Little Pony movie released in October 2017, Danilo will be launching its new My Little Pony Movie card and wrap range in summer 2017. Additionally, Danilo will be launching a new giftwrap range for the summer’s Despicable Me 3 Movie, with a new and innovative Minions gift bag, which includes a birthday card as part of the design. A similar gift bag will also be available for Paw Patrol. l Penny Kennedy will be launching two high profile brands in July. Firstly, the release of its new licence Harlequin, bringing the brands’ painterly modern florals and bold colour to giftwrap. PK will also be launching Scion, home of Mr Fox, amongst many other great patterns. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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In Conversation with... Paul Woodmansterne

An

Evolutionary Process

The Spring Fair marked the official launch of The Proper Mail Company, a brand new offshoot from a newly restructured Woodmansterne ‘family’, which features a snail in its logo. Paul Woodmansterne, md of the group, explains more about why the organisation has been moving a lot faster than at a snail’s pace to embrace the next phase of its evolution.

W

oodmansterne Publications has never been afraid of venturing down the untrodden path, changing approach when needed, investing in areas that other publishers would not even think of (notably its acquisition of Caltime), confronting challenges head on (setting up its state of the art picking line for its brokerage arm when other options failed to deliver) and forever trailblazing on the product front. Right from the start of its greeting card origins, when it shook, rattled and rolled the art card market, Woodmansterne Publications has proved it has too long a name to be pigeonholed! In the space of a month it has restructured the company; redefined its three card publishing brands (Woodmansterne, CardMix and its new sibling, The Proper Mail Company); introduced Mr Pickwick, as the

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PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

new name for its warehousing, picking and dispatch services that it is now offering other publishers; christened its printing arm as Croxley Press, as well as recruiting more significant independent retailers into its W Select brokerage programme. Moreover, by the sounds of things there is a fair amount still more bubbling away, with fairly advanced plans to launch a new stationery arm at PG Live, under the Open Notes brand, for starters. “Although it might sound as though we are expanding, we are effectively bringing everything more tightly under one umbrella,” proposes Paul Woodmansterne, managing director of the company, referring especially to the recent restructuring on its card publishing side. “The world keeps changing and so does the greeting card industry. When we set up CardMix 12 years ago it was as an

edgy brand catering for 30 somethings, but now the age barriers are far less apparent the consumer and their tastes are forever younger,” says Paul. The publisher ’s new thrust, as Paul explains, is for “One company, three market segments.” Above: One of the looks from The Proper Mail Company, whose cards are aimed at boutique shops and consumers who enjoy the process of taking the time and trouble to write greeting cards. Left: Paul Woodmansterne has been doing some deep thinking about the next stage in the company’s evolution. Below left: The Proper Mail Company’s stand at Spring Fair that made no reference to its connection to Woodmansterne.


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In Conversation with... Paul Woodmansterne

Woodmansterne will remain the core brand with cards soliciting purchases based, as Paul sums up: “On the ‘I saw this and thought of you’ way of thinking. Woodmansterne will continue to produce designs that start as references to life and culture, be it art, fashion or humour, and are then translated into greeting cards, rather than the other way round”. A case in point is its new Tim Vine range of humorous cards, based on the quickfire joke telling prowess of the comedian, which the Woodmansterne creative team has translated onto cards. In something of a step change, CardMix is now to evolve into more of an occasions and relations player - the closest that the company has ever, come to a ‘model line’. Meanwhile, the third strand, The Proper Mail Company debuts as a boutique card portfolio, with its cards having their own distinct format and brand treatment; its anchor Entre Nous collection taking on the tagline of ‘Luxurious little cards for the sophisticated retailer’. Paul is confident that its pitch is spot on for the current climate.“It echoes all the things we have been talking about at GCA Council Meetings, about the importance of encouraging consumers to enjoy the ‘oldfashioned’ ways of taking the time and trouble to select a card and write something meaningful inside. These cards won’t be for everyone or for every retailer, but they will be for that percentage of the population who really want something special; to send a card that says a lot about them,” he expands. While this trio of card brands will each have a distinct creative identity, are aimed at different customers (both at the retail and consumer levels), have their own websites and with their respective trade terms, they are all being carried by the one salesforce. Under the new structure, the ever popular Keith Gillespie (who previously ran the CardMix operation on the sales front) is now director of national accounts for the group with Andy Paterson, sales director, overseeing all sales. As Paul explains the retail landscape and the inherent costs (and time) of running a salesforce makes separate teams pro hibitive. “This way members of our salesteam can be more effective in their journey planning and also can enjoy a greater variety of retail customers. We have one salesforce, but we are totally committed to keeping the brands’

distinct identities,” stresses Paul, well aware of the tendency to gravitate towards a homogeneous mixture. Paul has every faith in Lee Keeper, the company’s creative director, whose “great chameleon-like creative ability” is more than capable of retaining the distinction between the brands, utilising the skills of the company’s inhouse design studio to the best advantage while providing the designers with a variety of creative challenges. While all this card publishing push is very much aimed at retailers, as is the committed expansion of its W Select programme (see below), Paul has also recognised an opportunity to further capitalise on a few of the group’s other skills - notably warehousing/fulfillment and printing. “Adam Osborne, our director of operations, has set up Above: The plan is for CardMix to evolve its portfolio to cater for more captioned needs. Right: One of the designs from Woodmansterne’s new Tim Vine range based on his quickfire punchline comedy style.

and runs a really great distribution operation in Milton Keynes,” says Paul. “It is all about tightening up on the supply chain, offering retailers the service they should expect,” he said, with the company’s brokerage arrangement with John Lewis being the envy of many. The plan now is to offer the warehousing and fulfillment service to publishers, under a new Mr Pickwick.com brand, which will be distributed from this hub. “We have already proved that our system works to those publishers whose cards we supply via brokerage, either to John Lewis or through W Select. We have a 24,000 sq ft warehouse with the capacity for a mezzanine which would add another 50% of space to enable us to offer a rental and fulfillment service to publishers.” Paul states it is not just Mr Pickwick that is on top of its fulfillment game. “Everything is possible,” says Paul. “All businesses and industries have to evolve, this is all part of our evolutionary process - and jolly exciting it is too!”

A Select Approach Roger Eames and business partner Laura Didevar, coowners of The Retas’ award winning card shop, Celebrations of Stourbridge, is among the latest independent retailers to embrace the W Select service offered by Woodmansterne. Installed last month, the resultant display dovetails in a brokered contemporary element, while Roger and Laura continue to hand select the traditional designs that make up 40% of its displays. Explaining the rationale behind the decision to introduce W Select, Roger admits: “We were concerned that our existing greeting card display plan, while generating good sales, was also hiding a lot of slow sellers. It was the visual merchandising approach of W Select rather than the brokerage service itself that was the main attraction.” Above: Celebrations’ Roger Eames in the store which now uses the W Select The aim was to create a more modern visual impact while brokerage service for indies. retaining a strong traditional element in store. “We also wanted to reduce our card footage to free up both space and capital to develop other areas of our business notably gifts, making for a more balanced and interesting store experience,” said Roger. Now, 40% of the tiers are given over to traditional ranges with three 4ft display units and six end of run display areas that are used for standalone ranges or specialist extensions. Roger and Laura still see reps from the shop’s traditional suppliers, while the W Select rep will visit at least once every other week the display so it’s being refreshed regularly. “Although it is early days, the response from our customers is very encouraging. We have reduced our card pockets by around 40% and with less drawer stock our stock holding is down by 50%. Our sales have shown a small increase which means we are turning our stock and cash over much faster as well as having created a 30ft+ new gift display which in itself is generating a significant level of sales. The higher stock turn should be much more profitable in the long-term and should ensure there is less slow sellers to exchange.” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Neon Delights Kate Guest is extending her hugely successful Neon Stripes Collection. There are six new birthday designs, featuring elegant grey board, a gorgeous stamped font, cheeky messages and brighter than bright neon envelopes. Kate Guest 01279 214304 www.kateguest.com

Shimmer Me Timbers Reasons To Be Cheerful Coulson Macleod is launching a brand new range of 12 everyday cards, called Little Reasons. With striking black and white text, the cards are a typical mix of Coulson Macleod humour, style and gorgeous fontilicious design. All the cards are sized 120mm x 170mm and sold wrapped with a kraft envelope. Coulson Macleod 01536 419944 www.coulsonmacleod.com

Pack Up Your Troubles

The Shimmer Range from Cardigan Cards is expanding with new milestone ages, anniversaries and everyday occasions, bringing the number of designs to 72. These large 240mm x 170mm designs feature encapsulated glitter and a tactile deckled edge. Expect age relations and some extra special titles to be launched soon! Cardigan Cards 01785 250511 www.cardigancards.co.uk

Earlybird has now added 12 new thank you packs and party invites to its popular small card pack designs. With fun imagery such as dinosaurs, pears, ladybirds and an adorable sausage dog, they're a sure winner. Each pack contains eight 102mm x 78mm cards with envelopes, all neatly wrapped in a cello bag with a hanging tab. Earlybird Designs 01227 765372 www.earlybirddesigns.co.uk

In The Mix High(land) On Life New handmade cards are being launched by Scottish publisher Tequila Sunrise. The range comprises Westies, milestone age cards, hearts and flowers, all featuring either tartan or nontartan fabrics, with a cut-out shape revealing silky silver fabric behind. Bespoke designs are also available. Tequila Sunrise 07902 905519 www.tequilasunrisedesigns.co.uk

New from Angie Beal Designs is Patterns & Pop, which features an eclectic mix of designs of pugs and donuts with famous actors and singers such as Jeff Goldblum, Tom Selleck, Lionel Ritchie and David Hasselhoff – not to mention Dale Winton - bringing this rather nutty range to 11 designs. All feature Angie’s signature mixed media style, providing a fun and unique look and feel. Angie Beal Designs 07807 312188 www.angiebealdesigns.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Made By May Party Time is a growing range of colourful handpainted animal characters in party hats from Laura May Design. There are now 16 5" x 7" cards in this range, all supplied wrapped with a brown ribbed envelope. Laura May Design 07462 886499 www.lauramaydesignstudio.co.uk

Swan (And Elephant) Lake Esme is the latest release from Anna Victoria of 12 romantic hand-painted floral and patterned special occasions designs, featuring sleepy swans and elephants adorned with gold crowns and pretty diamond rings. The cards are 100% recycled, sized 140mm square, and are supplied wrapped with a brown kraft envelope. Anna Victoria 01872 306500 www.anna-victoria.co.uk

On The Road This new design from Clanna, capturing the excitement of the Isle of Man TT, is one of several new cards further extending Richard Partis’ bestselling Motoring Range to over 40 designs. Other new cards include Aston Martins, Great Italian Cars, Emergency Vehicles and Steam Fair. All the cards are FSC certified, sized 7” x 5", and and sold wrapped with coordinating coloured envelopes. Clanna Cards 01242 575 574 www.clannacards.co.uk

Love’s Young Dream Tracey Russell is launching Vintage Love - 2017 Wedding Collection. There are 25 181mm square designs across general sentiment and relations, all hand-glittered with silver and finished with beautiful paper flowers and pearl. There are also 16 Thank You and Would You Be… designs, sized 130mm square and handglittered, and four notelet packs. All are sold with lovely brown kraft envelopes. Tracey Russell 0191 3732497 www.traceyrussell.co.uk

Dance Of Life Really Wild Cards is launching its latest range of sound cards - the Ballet range. Each of the 12 new cards feature beautiful photographic imagery and world famous ballet music, including Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and other wonderful ballets. Really Wild Cards 020 3174 1144 www.reallywildcards.com

A Bug’s Life All The Best Cards proudly presents Sex, Bugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll. Stunning close-up photos of Britain’s undergrowth critters, Photoshopped and word-played to amuse. Perfect for any occasion, there are 10 blank cards sized 170mm x 120mm and sold wrapped with an eco-kraft envelope. All The Best Cards 07854 359314 www.allthebestcards.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate 2nd - 4th April 2017

The definitive trade fair for independent home & gift retailers For more information, visit our website:

www.bctf.co.uk

British by design... British by design... British by design... British by PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS FEB 2017 FINAL.indd 1 56_PG_March 2017.indd 1

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Innovations

British Craft Trade Fair A selection of cards being launched at British Craft Trade Fair, The Yorkshire Event Centre Harrogate, 2-4 April 2017.

Bad Cats

Dogs With Breeding

Emily Stracey has been an artist and illustrator for over 20 years and her over active imagination forms the basis of much of her work. Emily’s popular Criminal Cats range, now with 12 designs, is inspired by how cats get away with lots of naughty stuff – would people get away with the same? Snooping in people’s houses? Terrorising the neighbourhood? All the cards are sized C5 and sold wrapped with a variety of coloured envelopes. Emily Stracey 01202 532440 www.emilystracey.com Stand 385

Sarah Cemmick’s new range of art cards is called Best in Show and features linocut designs of a selection of the most popular breeds of dogs, including dachshunds, a French bulldog, a pug, a Dalmatian, a bull terrier, a greyhound and a poodle. The cards are sized 150mm square, printed on recycled board and come with a brown kraft envelope. Sarah Cemmick Lino Cuts 07900 815 445 www.scemmick.wix.com/sarahcemmick Stand 241

The Big City Born and raised in Kenya and now living in the UK, Meha Hindocha is inspired by world cultures. Her latest card collection, Art of My City, comprises pen line drawings of cities including London, Manchester and Liverpool as well as foreign destinations such as New York, Sydney and Delhi. These detailed cityscapes capture key landmarks history and culture with the aim of creating a visual story of each city. There are 12 cards in this range sized 150mm square. Meha Art And Design 07870 244894 www.mehaart.com Stand 175

Up Close And Personal

Birds Of A Feather Working with torn painted paper collage, Dawn Maciocia creates whimsical and magical designs, which are inspired by her love of animals and birds. Her popular ranges include Hares & Foxes and she has just added six new designs to her Bird range. All the cards are blank inside, printed on FSC board, across two sizes 150mm square or 133mm x 184mm - and sold wrapped with a quality white envelope. Dawn Maciocia 01592 769690 www.dawnmaciocia.com Stand 74

Louise Scott is a printmaker with an interest in the natural world and conservation. She specialises in copper plate etching, which she creates using a sewing needle and a magnifying glass. Her latest card range features highly detailed etchings of birds, which come to life on the page. Louise Scott Art 07787 837930 www.louise-scott.co.uk Stand 351

Quickly Does It Swifty Bell’s card designs are created by textile artist Catherine Bell on the sewing machine and by hand in a range of media; fabric, stitch, metal and paint. Debuting at BCTF, Catherine will be showing printed range, Hide and Seek, which features her machine embroideries, her other printed ranges and a selection of handmade card ranges. Swifty Bell Designs 0161 881684 www.swiftybelldesigns.com Stand N12 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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

Creating

Desert Tracks

Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun, discusses ecommerce for retailers. At Spring Fair I chaired a roundtable discussion with card and gift retailers on the challenges and successes of selling online. It was a fascinating chat with an exciting mix of discovery, reassurance, learning, contribution, growth and connection. Here are the highlights:

How To Reach The Market Retailers often ask me about setting up websites for their business. I’m a great believer in the power of websites to leverage your marketing efforts. All businesses need a website to anchor their online activities, especially for social media and blogging. For example, the easiest way to find a company’s social media details is to go to their web’s homepage. If you don’t have one then you’re make it difficult for people to find you, talk about you and spread the word about you. A simple website with nice photos of your store and all your contact and social media details is cheap and easy to set up. I recommend installing Wordpress on your web domain as a simple solution that you can tweak yourself. This also allows you to add a blog like the one I have. Ecommerce is different matter. We use Magento software to sell online. The good news is it’s a free and open source. The bad news is that designing and building a website that you can sell well from is a costly and time consuming business. It’s like having another shop. Even after you’ve created your amazing website you still have the problem 58

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

of getting people to it. I often remind retailers that creating an ecommerce site is like building a beautiful retail store in the middle of the desert with no roads in or out. The truth is that the war for online retailing has been won by Amazon, whose websites have over 183 million customers visiting them each month. They are so big and powerful now that it’s very difficult to compete with their SEO (search engine optimisation) budgets that ensure its listings are at the top of Google. Thanks to Amazon we all expect goods delivered within a day and with free delivery. This is tough to compete with. Whenever a retailer asks me about selling online I recommend that they start by selling on marketplaces like Amazon or Ebay. You can also sell using posts on your shop’s Facebook page. When you sell through Amazon you can fulfil orders yourself or use a service they offer

Above: 'Creating an ecommerce site is like building a beautiful retail store in the middle of the desert with no roads in or out'. Below: Amazon provide a free next day delivery service that other retailers find it hard to compete with.

called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) where the company holds the stock and ships from its super efficient warehouses. The advantage is you outsource this to experts. The disadvantage is that you have to tie-up the cash elsewhere rather than on stock in store. A brief caveat: Selling through online marketplaces is not a panacea for your business. As Bill Gates pointed out in his 1999 book Business at the Speed of Thought: “Now that customers can deal directly with manufacturers, there is little value in simply transferring goods.” Middlemen must add value. You must know what is special and significant about what you do as a retailer. Good service is now standard online so don’t kid yourself that this will be enough. How do you add value in the supply chain? It might be through your buying selection or your ability to drive footfall. Think carefully on it and be prepared to work hard on adding value.


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JEREMY ’S JOURNA L Build Your List

Spreading The Word

All retailers need to build a list of customers either an email list or an online equivalent with followers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. My preference is still for email and physical addresses for direct mailing. Think of these lists as building roads to your website from which you might one day sell. Once you have built a following and you successfully learn how to sell well online using the strongest marketplace in the world, then you can start to think about investing in your own ecommerce site. Test cheaply and prove your offering works on Amazon or a similar marketplace, then expand. The exception to this is to be found in countries where Amazon has little or no presence. One of our panellists at the Spring Fair roundtable discussion has nine stores in Bulgaria specialising in tattoos, piercings and graffiti. Bulgaria doesn't really have these online marketplaces so this retailer was able to grow its niche site using powerful online marketing tools like social media that targeted its youthful niche.

Word of mouth recommendation works well for most retailers, but how do you replicate that online? Firstly, you need a website and social handles for people to be able to tag you and link back to you. You can also email customers asking for referrals. This is something we regularly do with brides and grooms at Ivy Ellen, our online wedding stationery store. One of our retailers takes photos of his customers with their purchases, which he posts on social media. He has a younger demographic so they are happy to do this and help spread the word on Facebook, which has led to over 80,000 followers on his business page. Amazon also has a simple one click option at the end of checking out to ‘tell your friends about your purchase.’ Effectively the item gets shared on social media and can drive further sales via friends of the customer.

Social Media Where are your raving fans and customers hanging out online? What do they like to see and share? These are key questions to ask before putting work into social media. Start by visiting these platforms as if you were your customer. Watch and listen carefully to understand the etiquette and what works best first. Scottish independent retailer, Maia Gifts (who was on one of the roundtable talks) sells mostly to 35-45 year-old females and uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as its main platforms. It also uses Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics to know its customers. It posts daily as it has realised that it has to do it properly or not at all. Social media is great for brand awareness. It’s also powerful for customer feedback and a sense of connection with your brand story.

Customer Journey Ecommerce websites have got better and easier to use. Companies like Amazon, Ebay and large retailers spend £millions fine tuning these sites to get optimal engagement and drive sales. Just as putting things at eye-line and grouping items by colour can draw the eye in your physical store, so you too can steer customers through your website. Home pages on websites drive traffic well when targeting specific types of products that target specific groups of customers. One retailer, Sunni, has created customer personalities that he targets, like ‘geeky men’ or ‘girly girls'. Profiling is going to become huge online for retailers. Psychometric specialists, Cambridge Analytica (the company behind the Trump and Brexit wins), have already shown the power of social media profiling to dictate political change. Further commercial exploitation of our data will follow this and the groundwork laid out by Dunnhumby’s

Above: Spread the word about your ecommerce website. Below left: Maia Gifts in Glasgow uses Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics to know its customers. Bottom: Social media profiling is to become huge for retailers.

analysis of loyalty card schemes like the Tesco Clubcard. Generally customers like to be guided through websites and told what to buy. Understanding them well is key to helping them to meet their needs. Standalone ecommerce websites are better for doing this to generate higher order values than Amazon, where the sales are often for single items and restrictive with customer data. You can also use email marketing tools like Mailchimp to target specific customer types and steer those customers from specific parts of your emails to specific products and areas of your ecommerce store.

Getting Repeat Business Loyalty schemes work well for bricks and mortar stores. You can use similar strategies online to drive repeat business via email, social media or when customers return. You can even personalise the schemes to target specific groups of customers. Another interesting idea is to offer unique discounts for specific customers. For example, tourist buses that might visit your town can be given an offer of a free coffee with every £20 spent in store. Similar offers can be repeated online. Those are just some of the highlights of our roundtable discussion for retailers on ecommerce at Spring Fair. If you get the opportunity to join one in the future, I’d encourage you to do it. It’s a wonderful way to connect with your community and to swap nuggets of golden information that can improve your business. Read more on Jeremy’s blog at www.blueeyedsun.co.uk/blog PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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ART SOURCE

PG helps to paint a pretty picture of freelance artists, designers, verse writers and photographers’ worlds in order to promote their talents to publishers and, conversely, make it easier for publishers seeking artists.

ARTIST IN FOCUS

Laura McKendry I am an illustrator fascinated by our relationship with the animal kingdom - how we are entertained, comforted, enchanted, amused by these critters and how they enrich our lives. My drawings, created in a combination of ink, charcoal, watercolour and pencil, pay tribute to the role of our furry, feathered, scaly friends. I see my style as distinctive and playful, capturing the individual mannerisms and quirks of animals in bespoke commissions, greeting cards, merchandise, and limited and open edition prints. It is drawing that motivates me most. Previously working happily in the Charity sector for organisations (including The Samaritans and The Art Fund), I am now a full-time illustrator. I live in East London with my husband and combine my artwork with raising our two young children. I am

also available for editorial work and am always interested in being contacted about opportunities for collaboration. I also play the harp and long for a whippet. Please contact Yellow House Art Licensing for details on licensing my existing images or/and commissioned projects. Licensing agent Jehane Boden Spiers says of Laura’s illustrations: “There is an energy and personality to Laura’s work which sets it apart. Her draughtsmanship and quality of line is exceptional and clients are consistently drawn to the wit and charm of her work, we are delighted to have worked closely with Laura over the past few years; Laura is a true professional and an incredibly versatile illustrator. We always look forward to what exciting artwork will come next!” l Email: Jehane@yellowhouseartlicensing.com l Web: www.yellowhouseartlicensing.com

WANT TO BE FEATURED?

If you are an artist, photographer or verse writer and would like to be considered to appear in Art Source, please contact PG’s Emma Cain on emmac@max-publishing.co.uk. This is an editorial feature and as such is free of charge. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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60_62_PG_March 2017_Art Source 03/03/2017 11:14 Page 62

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ART SOURCE Antona Oreski

I’m an illustrator coming from the Istrian peninsula (Croatia) where I live with my husband and our two daughters. I graduated from the School of Applied Art & Design’s textile department, but my passion from an early age was creating cute and whimsical characters. Growing up on the coast I was fascinated by nature, my hands were always full of bugs, lizards or various sea creatures - while playing on the beach I was fearless! I think exploring nature was crucial for developing my imagination and encouraging my creativity. The other thing I always loved was listening to my mum’s bedtime stories - they always felt so real, as if I transcended into that imaginary world. A lot of that influence can be seen in my work today through my illustrative style. I love playing with textures and patterns and I love combining handdrawn icons with digital. I’m very drawn to blue hues with bright and vibrant colours. I really love what I do and I honestly hope it’s what I’ll be doing when I’m old and wrinkled, because I can’t see myself doing anything else! l Natasha Harding at Advocate Art l Tel: 0208 390 6293 l Email: natasha@advocate-art.com

Anisa Makhoul My name is Anisa Makhoul, I’m the daughter of a Lebanese beekeeper and I love to travel. After graduating from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a degree in printmaking, I launched my own clothing label, Makool. I designed and screen-printed clothing and fabric at Makool for 10 years, in that time I had my own shop in Portland, Oregon and received accolades from major publications like Lucky Magazine, Nylon, and Design Sponge, as well as designing for multiple celebrities. However, after giving birth to my son, my husband and I decided to pursue our dream of living abroad and moved to Amsterdam. It was the canal houses and the old world beauty of Europe that sent me peddling, on my bike, to the art supply store to purchase my very first set of gouache paints. Soon after, I started a blog, and in 2014, I had my very first solo show in Amsterdam. Things began to snowball and I began doing editorial work, and licensing my work. Today my family and I live in sunny Portland, Oregon. But Europe will always have my heart and I return frequently. Here’s my journey communicated visually, because visual communication is my mother tongue. l l l l

Anisa’s Agent: Jennifer Nelson Tel: 781-643-2002 Email: jennifer@jennifer-nelson-artists.com Web: www.jennifer-nelson-artists.com

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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PG asked a selection of card retailers for their ‘hot’ card sellers. Jayne Beason, owner of Forget me Knot, Anstey, Leicestershire A large shop in a large village with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Cute

Alex Clark

Sparkles

Humour

Paperlink

Art

Milkwood

Bottomline and Wrinklies Across The Board

Contemporary

Wendy Jones-Blackett

Across The Board

Traditional

Jonny Javelin Nigel Quiney

Velvet and Velvet Moments Pizazz Gallery

Designs that appeal to both children and adults because the (mostly) animal characters have likeable and friendly faces. These two ranges just out-sell everything else in the humour category. Our best selling art range by a long run! Clean and fresh art images at a fantastic price; the older customers love them. This publisher’s designs are out selling all the Above: A floral design from Wendy Jones-Blackett. others of this ilk at the moment. Customers love the ranges’ words, artwork and price point!

Five Dollar Shake

General

Glick

Across The Board

Handmade/ Hand-Finished Giftwrap

This range still flies out the door even after all the years it’s been in the market. The large size designs are displayed on a spinner and they sell very well. Customers don't baulk at the prices because they are special cards. It’s not just that the company keeps up with design and fashion trends, the paper is strong and of good quality and so are its tissue papers and giftbags.

Sue Bowler and Tony Wright, partners of Bourne End Cards & Gifts, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire A small shop in a village with a loyal locals and destination shoppers customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Cute

Carlton (UKG)

Lots Of Woof

Humour

Paperlink

Just Saying

Pigment Woodmansterne

Etched, Happy Jackson and Murray National Trust (NT)

Camden Graphics (UKG)

Take A View

The Art Group

V&A

UK Greetings

RHS

Contemporary

Paperlink

Traditional

Gibson (UKG)

Lacie, Made With Love and Lemon Sorbet Into The Meadow

Children’s

Danilo

Paw Patrol

We don't have much cute but this range is very general and covers a wide variety of ages, from grandad to grandson, and both female and male designs. A male humour range with jokes about how hard it is to find the right card. There’s one design we order in packs of twos as it’s so popular. It’s blue and says it ‘has no handbags or cake on it #jobdone’. The publisher always manages to get the humour just right and the designs look fresh. This range is going exceptionally well for us. The photos are cleverly taken and the cards have particular appeal as there are some NT places of interest in the area. These are brilliant! And one or two are perfect for Sympathy sends. The collection is very nice with images from the Museum’s archive, including William Morris’ designs. The images have been picked very well from the RHS’ archives and the presentation is beautiful. The publisher brings out lovely new designs all the time. Its Lemon Sorbet cards are small with delicate copper foiling and are just gorgeous. The designs look like pressed flowers with sprigs of grass. There is a Friendship card that we just keep on ordering. Paw Patrol remains popular as do cards showing dinosaurs and unicorns.

Right: Chosen from the Museum's annals, two beautiful designs from The Art Group's V&A Collection. Below: Cherry-picked from the RHS' botanical art archives, a design from UKG's RHS range.

Photographic

Art

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Paula McClory, owner of The Card Corner, Huddersfield A medium shop in a large market town with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Humour

Piccadilly

Pink Chilli

Photographic

Abacus

Paw Prints

Abacus

Aspects

Art

Jonny Javelin

Velvet Moments

Contemporary

Cherry Orchard

Down Memory Lane

Traditional

IC&G

Across The Board

Children’s

Grass Roots

Jelly Beans

Ancillary

Jonny Javelin Ty

Twingles Bears, Beany Boos and My Little Pony

A photographic range that’s cheeky but not rude, and the whole joke is on the front with no punchline inside. Featuring adorable dogs, cats, horses, these cards appeal to my customers because they are big animal lovers. Beautiful images of landscapes and the natural world - also popular because people like a blank card. Female friendship and relations sends, the images have a painterly feel and feature lovely items such as vintage china and old dressers, shoes and hat boxes. These have absolutely flown out the door! Especially the age 70, and around ages it, because of the post war baby boom. My most popular, best selling cards are the relations and occasions designs; it’s what I specialise in, my forte. And if I’m looking for a specific age relations design I know I can find it with this card publisher. Featuring illustrated little boy and girl characters, the designs are flittered and have age and relations titles. Good value cards with age appropriate themes. This store has been known for many years as a Ty collectables merchandiser so when I took over the shop I continued selling them – people return over and over to buy them.

Above: Who could resist this pup?! As featured on an Abacus Paw Prints card. Right: With a painterly feel, an Anniversary design from Jonny Javelin's Velvet Moments range.

Davina Jones, owner of Celebrations, Pocklington, Yorkshire A small shop in a small historic market town with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Humour

Paperlink

Bottomline

Words ‘n’ Wishes

Bags Of Gags

Art

Tracks

Art Range

Contemporary

Wendy Jones-Blackett, Belly Button Designs

General General

Traditional

Words ‘n’ Wishes

Across The Board

Abacus White Cotton Cards

Tempo General

Cinnamon Aitch

Simply Tags

Rush Designs

Across The Board

Hearts Designs

General

Customers often come in the shop to chuckle at the cards. The jokes are very close to the mark but not too rude. New to the shop and selling really well. Bright eyecatching humour designs that cover relations and occasions sends. Simple and bright designs featuring contemporary themes. At the moment gold and silver foiling Above: Beautiful bling on a seems to be very popular on cards and both of Hearts Designs card. these publishers use it beautifully. My customers like a good verse and the words on these designs express what they want to say perfectly. The designs feature succinct, small verses that aren’t too wordy. Most popular are the publisher’s large personalised cards that are made to order, especially the wedding designs. Contemporary, subtle designs featuring a tag with an attachment, such as a tiny star, unicorn or glass, on the card’s front. A really up and coming publisher, who has recently added a little bit of eye-catching glitter to its designs. People love a bit of bling… and these are also sophisticatedlooking designs.

Handmade/ Hand-Finished

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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LYNN’S LINES

L

L

On the ball comments by retailer and publisher Lynn Tait of The Lynn Tait Gallery.

Great Show Offs

I’ve recently been in card heaven! A whole month of cardtastic times! First I visited Top Drawer and then, in early February, I travelled up to Birmingham for the Spring Fair, and I revelled in the lovely new card ranges and equally lovely people I met.

Initially, in January, I visited the sumptuous and classy Top Drawer London show, with what must have been a record number of card publishers exhibiting - surely it's time greeting cards and stationery had a higher profile as one of the show’s main sections? I don't think the existing four category sections represent what Top Drawer is all about now. I spent two glorious days there, with my lovely manageress Poppy, who placed her first orders - it was a shame though that one publisher were condescending to her, and made her feel so uncomfortable that we both decided its cards weren't for us! Everyone else was charming and we had such a great time. The shop does rather well with food as gifts so I was delighted to find a couple of new companies to order from. One of the products was hot chocolate on a stick with marsh mallows... yummy yummy! Poppy and I went to a show seminar on ‘micro influencers’ as I am keen for Poppy to use Instagram more while I major on Facebook. Ironically, as we listened to the seminar little did I know that my daughter and daughter-in-law who run a business making personalised banners and party decorations had been featured on Instagram by a ‘micro influencer’. They had met her at a mumpreneur event and she had asked my daughters to make a banner for her twins’ birthday. After the banner was posted on her Instagram they had over 80 orders overnight! Well, until I get the hand of Instagram here I am (right) a ‘granpreneur’ as seen at the

Spring Fair wearing my Oliver Bonas orange cardie and necklace. I'm not totally sure that I'm the right age group Oliver Bonas had in mind as its ‘micro influencer’, but I say think outside the box Oliver, expect the unexpected! The moral of this story is don't presume you know who your customers are. I'm a frequent visitor of the Oliver Bonas stores in One New Change at London’s St. Pauls when I have appointments at Barts Hospital, and I so admire the ethical way the retailer treats its staff. The shops are stylish trend leaders with many own brand products. I think Oliver Tress (co-founder of the chain) started the businesses about the same time as I started mine and in the early days he ordered cards from me. I am so pleased that he supports a lot of new small, state of the art card publishers by stocking their cards.

Above: One of the aisles in the greeting card area at this year's Top Drawer. Below left: Oliver Bonas 'micro influencer' Lynn at Spring Fair in February.

Anyway, back to my ‘cardventures in wonderland’! I just about caught my breath after Top Drawer and off I went to Birmingham for a couple of days for the Spring Fair. My visit was organised so that I could go and hear the Mary Portas talk. Mary is up there as one of my favourites, and she didn't disappoint. She was amazing: very astute, down to earth, humorous, charismatic and inspiring. Summing it up... memorable. Her talk at the show was packed and Mary was mobbed by people who wanted to see and hear her! One of her quotes from her talk was:“Status stories replace status symbols, they want local, they want niche, small not big, and bling, tell the stories.” When I was selling well-revered photographer Charlie Waite's cards and prints I knew most of the stories behind the photos and I told the retailers who in turn told their customers. Even now, in my shop, because I know most of the card publishers, when the customers buy their cards I tell them about the artist. They lap it up. I also explain what is ‘on trend.’ We have a lady customer who buys the pop-up cards for Christmas. I remembered her from the previous year and spent a long time talking to her about her choice of cards. She explained she was an art tutor teaching about PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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LYNN’S LINES Left: A selection of Good Luck cards Lynn received when she opened her second store 28 years ago. Below: Lynn's trade stand at Spring Fair 30 years ago. Bottom: Deckled Edge's eye-catching stand at the recent Spring Fair.

paper folding. She bought £79 worth of cards and says she comes back to our shop because we take an interest in her and she goes away with ‘value added’ - a pleasant shopping experience - which is what Mary was explaining, about making shopping a pleasurable experience. As I mentioned in my last column I am having a year long clear out and one of my first finds unearthed was the proposal for my second shop 28 years ago and the invitation to its opening. Plus, low and behold, there was a stash of Good Luck greeting cards I’d been sent from nearly three decades ago. It was so fascinating to see which companies are still going and what the design styles were like back then. The card companies that I recognise were Hallmark, Gordon Fraser, RGM Originals (we sold hundreds of these ones) Gallery 5 and Noel Tatt. Back then handmade cards were pretty non-existent and there were very few small publishers about. Ironically, Hallmark was the only unusual looking card that featured a film clapper-board. When I look back to the Spring Fair 30 years ago when I started visiting, greeting card exhibitors were in Hall 5. There were about a dozen two-tier stands and the greeting card hall had the biggest egos of the entire Spring Fair! As a publisher wanting to exhibit we had to spend four years on the waiting list before we got our first trade stand and it was located in a cul-de-sac at the back of the stationery hall with the likes of pen company Pentel etc, who had big revolving brand appendages on the top of their stands. We hardly saw a soul during the five days at the show. This is why I tirelessly discuss with Alison Graham, event director for Ascential, organisers of Spring Fair, as well as with other trade fair organisers, the needs of the new card publishers. The shallow stands for

greeting card publishers that are now common at all fairs is a real triumph. At the time, 30 years ago, the main card publishing players’ massive stands had to have their plans passed by Birmingham City Council and they took two weeks to build. I arrived at one Spring Fair to find my little stand had been used as a yard and it had pots of paint, equipment, sawdust and paint on the carpet. After getting up at six am and driving though rain it wasn't a great way to start the show. What a difference a few decades makes! Hardly any new large card companies now exhibit and double-decker stands are a thing

of the past. When the show organiser's moved the cards section out of Hall 5 one large publisher left and they all followed suit! This year saw the collaboration between the GCA’s lovely Sharon Little and the Spring Fair’s equally lovely Alison Graham launch the ‘Debut’ area at the show. Debut was available to GCA members who hadn't exhibited at Spring Fair before. And it was a big success as the area had a Top Drawer feel and there was a lovely sense of belonging for the exhibitors in this area. The camaraderie was evident, and with the sector’s spacious aisles, strong branding and good signage it was a real hit. No longer are small fledgling publishers lost among the large ones. Now it's location location location! So what other differences have I seen over the last few years?

The new publishers with their enthusiasm and creativity are bringing wonderful original stands to the greeting card sector. Most creatives now reinvent their trade stand at every fair. This doesn't necessarily cost a lot of money. It could be just painting the walls a different colour or different accessories to complement new card ranges. In 2017, white walls as a background to showcase your cards doesn't really ignite the enthusiasm of those seeing your cards. With competition in the industry more fierce than ever you have to make your cards stand out from the rest of the pack. My favourite small publisher’s stand at Spring Fair this year was Deckled Edge’s, with its flower fantasia and egg-shell blue paint. Product photographic lifestyle shots are now a must if you want to catch the attention of the press, trade fair organisers and customers. Websites have to be very quick and easy to use as well as being eye-catching. I’ve spoken to a lot of card companies and they regularly update the look of their websites. I feel Instagram is the way forward as you have to pay Facebook to reach any audience at all, however, the photoshots have to be appealing, with just the one card making a statement. Personalised invitations to retailers to come to your stand at trade fairs are also a must, and try and create original ways to woo your customers to come and see you. The card publishing newbies have upped the anti and I believe some of the more experienced companies are resting on their laurels. So next stop is Progressive Greetings Live in June. I'm up for both days and I'm not missing a minute of it!

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740

warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud 07957 212 062

tarnaud@btinternet.com



  

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 To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

or email on warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on tarnaud@btinternet.com 70

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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www.cathtatecards.com

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 info@cathtatecards.com

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

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: info@caspari.co.uk info@caspari.co.uk Email: w ww.CaspariOnline.com www.CaspariOnline.com

PProducts: roducts: Everyday Everyday cards cards - birthday, birthday, blank blank & occasions, occasions, charity ch harity Christmas Christmas cards, cards, gift gift wrap, wrap, bbags, ags, ttissue, issue, rribbon, ibbon, 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

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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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.

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

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Direct to Retail

G RASS R OOTS INTERNATIONAL 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 t.co.uk

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Eye catching, luxurious Gift Wraps, Gift Tags, Gift Bags, Roll Wrap, Tissue Papers & Ribbons for all occasions Glick, Unit 1 Allenby House, European Industrial Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB Tel: 01274 655980 email: sales@glick.co.uk www.glick.co.uk

Tel: T Te e el: 0161 1 64 641 641 0655 0655 06 Email: m sales@davora.co.uk sales@da Email: sales@davora.co.uk 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

Colneis Marketing York House, 2-4 York Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7QQ T: 01394 271668 F: 01394 275114 E: colneiscards@btconnect.com

Market leaders in Humour, Art, Photographic, Occasions and Relations cards offering

Online Shop www.colneisgreetingcards.com

a full planning service with merchandising and retail development opportunities.

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 info@garlanna.com www.garlanna.com .garlanna.com www

Colour House Graphics York House, 2-4 York Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7QQ T: 01394 271668 F: 01394 275114 E: colourhousegraphics@hotmail.com Online Shop www.colourhousegraphics.co.uk

The UK No. No. 1 in The Licensed Greetings Greetings etings Licensed Over Overr 30 licenses Ov licens nses ses including: includin ng g: g: D Disne y, Peppa Peppa Pig Pig, Disney, Kitty, He Kitty Hello Kitty, Mr Men Men a d Angry A Birdss and Birds t: +44 + (0)1264 388400 e: enquiries@gemma-international.co.uk co.uk enquiries@gemma-interna national. ti w: gemma-international.co.uk gemma-international. ona co.uk

CARDS CARDS â&#x20AC;˘ WRAP â&#x20AC;˘ PARTY PARTY â&#x20AC;˘ GIFTS GIFTS

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

or email on warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on tarnaud@btinternet.com 72

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

www.greatbritishcards.co.uk WATERWELLS DRIVE, GLOUCESTER GL2 2PH UK TEL: 01452 888999


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

ARTISTS AR RT TISTS C CARDS ARDS g glebecottage.co.uk lebecottage.co.uk 01626 369269 E Established stablished 1993

H OTC H P OTC H PUBLISHING

60 years

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact on:

Huge selection with immediate deliveryy. Buy direct or from your wholesalerr.

or email on warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Listan Labels 3 Isis Court, Wyndyke Furlong, Abingdon Business Park, Oxfordshire Abingdon, Oxfor dshire OX1 5JN

on:

Tel T el e 01235 465489 Fax 01235 532118 www.listanpublications.co.uk www .listanpublications.co.uk sales@listanpublications.co.uk

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 Tracey Arnaud

PHO PHOTOGRAPHY TOGRAPHY

L U X U RY C A R D S P R O U D LY M A D E I N T H E U K

g glebecottage.co.uk lebecottage.co.uk 01626 369269

Order s can be placed on our trader site

E Established stablished 1993

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

Yo our N Number b O One S Supplier li off Numerals, Name, Relation & Age Labels for Greetings Cards.

07957 212 062

or email on tarnaud@btinternet.com

+44(0)1243 792600

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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

 L E T U S TA K E YOU BAC K 

For further details please get in touch.

info@vincentmcevoy.com

+44 (0)7779 578340

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

and

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. Ling Design Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574 enquiries@lingdesign.co.uk www.lingdesign.co.uk

Brand Names Pizazz, Pizazz Gallery, Pizazz Jewell, Pizazz for Men, What a Picture, Time Out, Bon Bon, Marshmallow

Agents wanted

74

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

Cloudesley House • Shire Hill • Saffron Walden • CB11 3FB T: 01799 520200 F: 01799 520100 www.nigelquiney.com


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PRODUCT DIRECTORY

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To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

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 warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on tarnaud@btinternet.com

tel: +44 (0) 1225 329494 email: sales@porticodesigns.com website: www.porticodesigns.com

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

LING DESIGN

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

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. 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

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

Exquisite Design, Beautiful Cards Key brands include Marzipan, Portobello, Mosaic, Daisy Patch, Aquarupella and Designers Guild, plus many more.

Method of sale: Direct to Retail 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574 enquiries@lingdesign.co.uk www.lingdesign.co.uk

Tel: Tel: +44 (0)115 986 0115 Email: info@paperrose.co.uk www.paperrose.co.uk www.paperrose.co.uk www.artgroupcards.co.uk www.artgroupcards.co.uk PaperRoseCards TheArtGroupCards The_Art_Group

356 56 Kennington Rd London SE11 4LD T 020 7582 8244 @paperlink.co.uk info@paperlink.co.uk www.paperlink.co.uk

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

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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.

Method of sale: Wholesale Distributors

Simon Elvin Limited Wooburn Industrial Park, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0PE Tel: 01628 526711 Fax: 01628 531483 www.simonelvin.com mail@simonelvin.com

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: sales@sensationsinternational.com 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.

The UK’s leading publisher of highest quality handmade Greetings Cards.

TM

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

greeting cards & contempoRary gifts

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

rosierobins.com 01992 536461

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

Tel: 01892 838574 enquiries@talkingpics.co.uk www.talking-pictures.co.uk

www.redbackcards.com e: info@redbackcards.com t: 01803 712793



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020 7700 6740

or email on warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on tarnaud@btinternet.com 76

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

www.tomcatcards.co.uk w: www .tomcatcards.co.uk e: tomcat@tomcatcards.co.uk t: 01243 837300


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Market Leaders in

Verse

& entimen DIRECT TO RETAIL & EXPORT

an extensive range of superior quality,

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

Method of Sale: Direct to Retail Orders can be placed on our trader site

www.cbgtrader.co.uk

TEL: 01480 435562 FAX: 01480 450599 www.tracksltd.com

UNIQUE UNIQ QUE U PERSONALISED PERSONALISED CARDS

UNIT 2, 12 BLACKSTONE RD, STUKELEY MEADOWS IND EST, HUNTINGDON, CAMBS, PE29 6EF

Wee of W offer ffer f a COMPRE COMPREHENSIVE HENS

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

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

Tel: T e el: 01942 01942 233201 233201

01923 200600 | www.woodmansterne.co.uk

+44(0)1243 792600

Top-notch British Greeting Cards for Thoughts that Count

or call our customer services team on

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Wholesale Directory February 2017_whole sale dirSeptember 2004 02/03/2017 11:10 Page 78

DIRECTORY OF WHOLESALERS

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NATIONWIDE

MERSEYSIDE

WALES

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

MERSEYSIDE GREETING CARDS LTD

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

Email: info@abbeycards.com

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

LONDONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NO 1 GREETING CARDS STATIONERY PARTY AND BALLOON CASH & CARRY

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 mgconline@hotmail.com

To appear in the Wholesale Directory simply call Warren Lomax on

25 Dickson Street, Liverpool L3 7EB

HERTS & LONDON

SUMAN BROS Stationery and greeting card wholesaler

020 7700 6740

Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL

magnus RUPERT

T: 01923 200 900 F: 01923 200 909

TRADING

LONDONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NO 1

Great deals Great location Plentiful parking Just off the M1 Junction 5

WEST MIDLANDS

GREETING CARDS STATIONERY PARTY AND BALLOON CASH & CARRY

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: info@abbeycards.com

Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL Tel: 020 8993 2231 www.rupertmagnus.co.uk Wholesale and direct-to-retail greeting cards, gift wrap, gift bags, social stationery, partyware and gifts. Great range, competitive prices, excellent service.

EUR EUROPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ROPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LEADING LEADING G GREETINGS REETINGS CARD CARDS, S, PAR ART TY PRODUCTS, PRODUCTS, G PARTY GIFTS, IFTS, CANDLES, CANDLES, TOYS, TOYS, STATIONERY STAT TIIONER RY AND FLORIST S UNDRIES FLORIST SUNDRIES DISTRIBUTIO ON CENTRE DISTRIBUTION 75000 SQ FT BESCOT CRESCENT CRESCENT, T, WALSALL, W ALSALL, WEST MIDLANDS. WS1 4NG 01922-646666 www www.greetingshouse.co.uk .greetingshouse.co.uk info@gr info@greetingshouse.co.uk eetingshouse.co.uk MON,WED,FRI 8.00am-4.45pm TUES,THURS 8.00am-7.45pm SA AT,SUN , SAT,SUN 8.00am-1.45pm

NORTH WEST

& $ 3 6 &DUG 3DUW\6WRUH/WG ZZZFDUGSDUW\FRXN 1(: ,03529('ZHEVLWH IRUDOO\RXU(YHU\GD\ 6HDVRQDO &DUGVDQG3DUW\3URGXFWV 6DYH7LPH2UGHU2QOLQH,W V6R(DV\

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PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



BLACK COUNTRY GREETINGS LTD

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

Wholesale â&#x20AC;¢ Greeting cards â&#x20AC;¢ Gift wrap â&#x20AC;¢ Gift bags â&#x20AC;¢ Stationery â&#x20AC;¢ Banners â&#x20AC;¢ Badges â&#x20AC;¢ Balloons â&#x20AC;¢ Helium cylinders

E: bcgreetings@outlook.com 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


Classified February 2017_Layout 1 01/03/2017 17:01 Page 79

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Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists

GREETING CARD

Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available

T 01206 396209 E sales@badgerconverters.co.uk www.badgerconverters.co.uk

GIVE Y YOUR OUR

BAGS

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

- HEADER BAGS WALLET -W A ALLET BAGS - ZIPPER BAGS THERMAL PRINTING PRINTING - FLEXOGRAPHIC, HOTFOIL & THERMAL www.transrappackaging.co.uk www.transrappackaging.co.uk sales@transrap.co.uk sales@transrap.co.uk

VIP

CALL ALL US TODA TODAY AY

TREATMENT TREA ATMENT T

01773 0 1773 7 537810 5378 810

HIGH CLARITY BAGS FOR GREETING CARDS, CALENDARS AND ARTWORK

ENVELOPES

ŏŏđŏ  ŏ ŏ ŏ ŏ ŏ FOIL BLOCKING EXTENSIVE RANGE OF STOCK SIZES AND BESPOKE MANUFACTURE WRAPPING SERVICE AUTOMA ATED T WRA PPING SER VICE NEW AUTOMATED

CALL US TODAY

01228 560526 www.fulcrumfilms.co.uk

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

PAPER

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

ORDER ON LINE AT: AT: www www.regentenvelopes.com .regentenvelopes.com 01274 583000 sales@r sales@regentenvelopes.com egentenvelopes.com

We’ve We’ve been producing bags of high clarity and high quality for over 30 years. 01274 220 220 www w.wrapid.co.uk www.wrapid.co.uk sales@wrapid. sales@wrapid.co.uk co.uk 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

www.ukenvelopecentre.co.uk We will be delighted to help!

FLITTERING

LITHO OR DIGITA DIGITAL, DIGIT GIT TAL, LES GR GROUP ROUP R O WINDLES ALWAYS MAKES AL LWAY AYS M AKES THE RIGHT GHT HT PRINT IMPRESSION. RESSION. RE

FOR ALL YOUR FLITTER REQUIREMENTS

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

Contact DAVID JIGGINS Tel: 01245 400104 Email: david@abl-ltd.co.uk

WWW.WINDLESGROUP.CO.UK WWW W.WINDLESGR W OUP P..CO.UK

PRINTERS

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

Specialist UK and Global manufacturer for the greeting card industry

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

PJ - PRINT

To discuss how we could work with you contact Simon King Tel: 0115 928 7766 Email: sales@sherwoodgroupuk.com

www.sherwoodgroupuk.com

E-mail: sales@pj-print.co.uk The Print Works Colville Road, Acton London W3 8BL tel 020 8993 5160 www.pj-print.co.uk Hadden Court, Glaisdale Parkway, Glaisdale Drive West, 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

sal

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 • sales@digitalhubuk.com

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 rob@solutions-polska.com FSC accredited (BV-COC-002485). Audited member of SMETA. Printing to ISO12674-2 standard.

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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WAREHOUSING & DISTRIBUTION

The Professional and Caring Approach..

... to 3rd Party Warehouse, Distribution and Hand Finishing needs. With over 25 years experience in the Greeting Card and Gift Industry, we specialise in providing a very fast yet efficient and friendly service to all of our customers. Our close links to the port of Felixstowe allowing excellent access for both UK and overseas business.

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

E

info@hellocards.co.uk

W

www.hellocards.co.uk

We would be happy to talk to you and provide further information please contact either: James Smithies on 01449 778360 e: james@setinhand.com Tracy Davies on 01449 778363 e: tracy@setinhand.com Please visit our website at www.setinhand.com for further information.

Your Success Is Our Success

LB Warehousing (Women in Transport & Logistics Finalist) • LITHO PRINT • DIGITAL PRINT • FOILING • EMBOSSING • FLOWRAPPING

• DIE-CUTTING • FLITTERING • PACKING • DISTRIBUTION • INSERTING

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: chriss@herbertwalkers.co.uk

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

www.herbertwalkers.co.uk

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 lynda@lb-warehousing.co.uk

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MANUFACTURING CONSULTANCY

Tel: 01929 550085 Email: sales@westminsterwire.com Web: www.westminsterwire.com

Home of the Wire Spinner Stand

Publishing Industry Manufacturing Specialists

Independent Consultancy with extensive sourcing experience with a particular focus on Greetings Cards, Gift Bags, Gift Wraps etc, via either UK or Chinese manufacturers. Ensure you achieve the best value, economies and efficiencies from your printing and manufacturing arrangements, without having to compromise on quality, whilst driving down costs and increasing your profits.

China Sourcing Experts - buy from China with expert help all the way. 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.

Tel: 07963 144591 allister@alpconsultants.co.uk www.alpconsultants.co.uk

Immerse yourself in the greeting card world

APPOINTMENTS

SALES AGENT REQUIRED Tracks Publishing Ltd is looking for an experienced Agent to represent them in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Tracks Publishing are one of the leading Independent Card Publishers in the UK specialising in humour, photographic and cold foil designs. For more information please contact us on

01480 435562 info@tracksltd.com

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Progressive Greetings, March.pdf

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! r e b m u Just a n from

. d t l e r u t a N d Secon Leaders in

ards c d e ft a r c d n a h

MARCH 2017

AGE IS ...

now ava

March

ilable

2017

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

e l b a l i a v a o s l a ... ! e z i s c i t n a g i G in

A st r i k i n g a n d f re s h n e w lo o k u si n g b e a u t if u l f o i l & em b o ss i n g . p er f ec t f o r t h o se ex t r a s p e c ia l b i r t h d ays

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

secondnature.co.uk

E: hello@secondnature.co.uk T:+44 (0) 1983 209 590

Progressive Greetings : Second Nature : size A4 : March 2017 issue

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Progressive Greetings Worldwide March 2017  
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