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On The Cards Emotions have been running high in PG’s orbit in the last month – intense feelings of nervous anticipation, excitement, passion, deep sadness and sheer joy. The Memorial Event for Lynn Tait was a bittersweet afternoon for all of us who congregated to remember our dear friend who is no longer with us. It was deeply sad that we were all there to honour lovely Lynn, but comforting to hear the tributes from those from the publishing, retailing and supply sides, and fully appreciate how she had made such a difference to so many people’s lives, who had learned from her lessons, the example she had set and ideas she had trailblazed in the industry over the last three decades. Lynn’s legacy is nowhere more apparent than at The Ladder Club, and this year’s sell-out two one day seminars did her proud. The speaker line-up was impressive on paper – including, Scribber’s John Procter, Unit 7’s Andrea Pinder, Jess Hogarth, Megan Purdie (Megan Claire), Wendy Jones-Blackett, Ged Mace (The Art File) and, all the way from Sydney, Jenny Cummins (of McMillan Cards) – but it was the generosity of spirit that they and the loyal Ladder Club supporters showed in their inspiring and insightful talks that made it a very special two days for all those who had the good fortune to be a part of it. THE HOME OF MARKET LEADING TRADE MAGAZINES



Above: Just some of The Ladder Club speakers! Agent Ian Bradley holds the ladder aloft! (left-right) Bob Short (The Imaging Centre), PG’s Jakki Brown, The Sherwood Press’ Nicky Marshall, Blue Eyed Sun’s Jeremy Corner, McMillan Cards’ Jenny Cummins, GCA’s Sharon Little, GF Smith’s Mark Jessett, Megan Claire’s Megan Purdie and Jess Hogarth of Jessica Hogarth Designs. Below left:The Taste Buds’ Sai Pathmanathan went into schools to run Thinking of You Week card lessons. Bottom: UKG is reinforced in its commitment to the independent retail sector in a number of ways, including through its recent Customer Retail Forum (see news).

Being ‘part of it’ - belonging is so important, in our business and personal lives - which is why anyone who got involved in Thinking of You Week (and indeed there has been more engagement this year than ever before) were so glad they did. I loved hearing how members of the Paper Rose team took assembly and lessons in its local primary school, how James Mace of The Art File went into Nottingham Children’s Hospital armed with cards, how Wraptious’ Simon Wadsworth went into his local old people’s home with card samples and how Ilona Drew of I Drew This accosted people in her local coffee shop encouraging them to put her free cards (ready stamped) to good use as part of their respective takes on the GCA’s Thinking of You Week initiative. But I have also loved how I felt when I received those unexpected cards, as well as the reactions I have had to the Thinking of You Week cards that I sent. While it is reassuring to learn from the GCA Market Report that the industry is worth £1.75 billion - more than ever before in its long history (see pages 27-29), it certainly makes you feel good to be in an industry where its true value transcends a monetary sum. As Lynn would say, Carpe Diem.


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


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What’s Inside 22

Within This Issue:


7-19 News 20-21 Over The Counter

Motivational Speaker Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, poses the question, ‘What motivates you?’




Retailer Profile

Jeremy’s Journal

(Wait)rose To The Challenge

The Digital High Street

With Waitrose on its ambitious quest to double its card sales, PG catches up with the grocer’s buying manager Sarah Brett and buyer Kirsty Hicks.

Blue Eyed Sun’s Jeremy Corner takes a look at how new technology is dramatically affecting retail.

53-55 33-39

Art Source

Innovations 56-57




Words & Sentiments - The Henries Finalists 2017

The Aussies Are Coming!!

What’s Hot? 59-60

An Eclipse Of The Heart

Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.

The Ladder Club 2017

An emotional bunch of this year’s Henries Finalists in the Words & Sentiments categories share their thoughts on the current market.

24-25 Viewpoints

Service Matters

The Legacy Continues PG gives a whistle-stop tour of the two back-to-back Ladder Club one day seminars.


Independent retailers air their concerns over suppliers’ service.

Words & Sentiments New Product Launches

The Language Of Love Some new words & sentiments ranges helping us to voice our love.

27-29 GCA Market Report


Classified 74-75


For What It’s Worth Some figures revealed in the recently published GCA UK Greeting Card Market Report 2017.

48-49 Trends Spotlight

Sweet South American Flavours PG takes a look at some South American influences that are ripe on cards - alpacas, llamas and the avocado.

Above: A beautiful card with gorgeous sentiments from Flotra.

Progressive Greetings is a monthly business magazine. SUBSCRIPTIONS:

UK subscription:

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

Warren Lomax

Gale Astley

Michelle Board


Advertisement Director

Deputy Editor

News Editor

Copyright© 2017. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of publication, the publishers cannot accept legal liability for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for the standing of advertisers nor any organisation mentioned in the text. Views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers.


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

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






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Best Ever ToYW Thinking of You Week saw unprecedented engagement The fourth ever Thinking of You Week has been the best yet, with people around the country encouraged to ‘send more cards to deliver a smile’. The GCA’s ceo Sharon Little said: “It’s the best Thinking of You Week yet! It is wonderful to see the wide level of engagement in so many different strands – from publishers, independent retailers, multiples, online operators, Royal Mail, crafts magazines, schools, Sea Rangers, an old people’s groups, a hospital and the media.” Waitrose, Clintons, Card Factory, Thortful, as well as a host of independents, were among the retailers to get involved with ToYW this year, while Royal Mail lent its support by mailing millions of items of post with a Thinking of You Week message. Some other highlights from Thinking of You Week multifarious activities included Paper Rose’s Sarah Tanser and Kate Vines

going into Cropwell Bishop Primary school in Nottingham to talk in assembly about the importance of sending and receiving cards, followed by card writing lessons. And, then, going further up the age bracket, Paper Rose kicked-off ToYW activities with Nottingham Trent University. Wraptious’ owner Simon Wadsworth went even further up the age group with his company’s ToYW activity, forging links

ToYW Nibs l The Sea Rangers (see above) really got

with an old people’s home in Levenhulme and donating free cards for the staff and residents to use during the Week. For the third year, James Mace from The Art File team headed to Nottingham Childrens Hospital, at the Queens Medical Centre, to deliver some cards for the children to send home to their family, friends and loved ones. Nurses and doctors on the wards also encouraged parents, friends and visitors to write cards to the children they're visiting, creating a wave of positivity and thoughtfulness at difficult times. Katie Phythian Design was another publisher to work with its community, getting involved in a local event in its home village of Marston in Cheshire and gave away 200 cards (with stamps) and encouraged visitors to write a card and send it with love. Above: GCA’s ceo Sharon Little, in the Museum of Happiness in London’s Camden which made a feature of ToYW in its foyer. Above left: Children writing cards with Paper Rose.

Scribbler opens its largest store ever Scribbler opened its largest store ever on 24 September in Rathbone Place, in London’s Fitzrovia, 20 paces from Oxford Street. While Scribbler has built its business on high footfall small format stores in high streets and travel hotspots, its latest branch in a 650 sq foot unit is larger than its usual choice. As Jennie Procter, co-founder of the edgy card retail group revealed, the extra space “allows us to ‘spread’ out our offer and stock a much larger range of own brand.” While Scribbler’s Rathbone Place store will benefit from being very close to Oxford Street, the retailer is also bracing itself for an influx of customers when Facebook’s new huge London HQ opens in the same street at the end of next month, accommodating 2,500 employees.

Above: Scribbler’s new Rathbone Place store has its signature open, contemporary look and feel.

behind it with a whole programme of card making and writing workshops. l Craft magazines - Simply Cards & Papercraft, Papercraft Essentials, Die-cutting Essentials and Creative Stamping - held two giveaway competitions throughout the week where entrants had to upload their creations based on ‘Thinking of You’. l UK Greetings gave away free cards to staff at its offices, encouraging people to send a card ‘just because’. l Royal Mail published a full-page article on Thinking of You Week in its September issue of Teacher’s Post – an online magazine for teachers in the UK. l Helen White from Hello Cards provided Addingham Primary School with blank greeting cards for all pupils to design their own cards, with each child designing a card and then sending it to someone within the school. l Carte Blanche Group shared a Me to You gif animation on its social channels, encouraging fans to share with someone they are thinking of.

Bira goes to No 10 The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) went to Downing Street to put forward a strong case highlighting that while there are a number of burdens on an independent’s business, business rates are a massive tax on the high street, and very much exacerbated by the recent overdue revaluation. The retail body made the point that although the government has raised the rates free amount to £12,000, with a taper run off to £15,000, this is nowhere high enough for the average high street retailer. bira proposed that if there was an allowance, not a cliff edge of £12,000, this would mean that smaller businesses would not be under constant pressure. In addition, it would mean that the Government could scrap all current and often short-term reliefs that cost the treasury at least £2.6bn a year. Above: (Left-right) bira’s Bob Jarrett, Fiona Cuthbertson (political advisor), Alan Hawkins and Vin Vara.



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every picture a new range of contemporary quotation cards designed by

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NEWS Lots of Giggles on the cards


The Gender Agenda Men are buying more greeting cards More men are buying greeting cards than ever before. UK Greetings shared this revelation with a group of independent greeting card retailers at a Customer Retail Forum, held at the publisher’s Dewsbury HQ recently. “We have seen a definite shift upwards in men’s card buying habits over the last year,” Lois Holcroft, UKG’s director of product management confirmed. “This is a trend we have been tracking for the last couple of years.” As Lois pointed out: “While women still account for more card purchases, men are definitely more engaged. Not only are men purchasing more cards, but they are willing to spend more than women on a card if they see it as ‘the perfect one’.” The shift in the genders’ card buying habits was just one of the insights that the UK Greetings team shared with indies at the two day Customer Retailer Forum

Moonpig’s new branding

Below: A number of Indies were invited to UKG’s Customer Retail Forum in Dewsbury.

this week that, based on the publisher’s ongoing extensive consumer insights research, which tracks the card buying habits of over 50,000 people in the UK. Among the independents invited to the Forum were Louise Parker, buyer for Daniels in Windsor; Trevor and Jayne Griffiths, owners of Sentiments in Whitchurch; Rachael Barnes, owner of Dragonfly Cards and Gifts, Knaresborough and Rawda Jehanli, buyer for Boswells of Oxford.

UK Greetings will be giving people a giggle on social media throughout October as it celebrates 30 years of its iconic Giggles range. The social media team have a whole lot of funny videos, jokes and gifs all ready to share on the UK Greetings’ Facebook and Twitter pages. “We’re just hoping to make people giggle with what we’re sharing,” says Gabriella Peace, communications manager for UK Greetings. “Giggles, from the very start has had an incredibly sound format, and though design styles and jokes have moved with the times, the success of the range can be credited to the brand’s determination to stay true to the winning formula.” Make sure you check out and throughout October to get your daily dose of laughter. Above: One of the new Giggles designs launching in October.

Below and right: Slick new branding for Moonpig.

Personalised cards and gifts retailer Moonpig has refreshed its brand, dropping the iconic pig and .com that have been with it since its launch in 2000. The comprehensive new look and feel extends across all brand touchpoints, from web, app, product packaging and marketing, encompassing design, user experience and tone of voice. A consumer campaign around the rebrand was launched in the first week of October. While the pig is no longer the face of the brand, pink has become the lead brand colour and the new ‘snout’ digital icon winks lovingly back to the piggy heritage. “The brand experience hadn’t kept pace with the exciting and colourful reality of our business today - for our customers or for our team”, said Moonpig's creative director James Turner. “Moonpig’s all about making someone’s day brilliant. We started with cards and now offer a huge range of gifts, along with being a top-three UK top online flower seller for all the big occasions.” The Moonpig business overall continues to enjoy strong growth and greeting cards remain a major part of that, with sales continuing to grow at a healthy rate. Rather than sweep its old brand under the carpet, the Moonpig team has released a Hogumentary on its social channels, telling the story of the pig logo.

Abacus’ new seeds Abacus Cards is following a natural growth path, having clinched a licensing agreement with the BBC to publish greeting cards inspired by the popular long-running TV programme, Gardeners’ World. This makes it something of a ‘BBC hat trick’ for the Suffolk-based publisher, as it builds on the success of its BBC Springwatch and Countryfile ranges of greeting cards that launched into the market last year. The new Gardeners World range, comprising 24 photographic cards launched at GLEE last month. “The Gardener’s World range is very much a natural addition for us, especially as our Springwatch and Countryfile ranges are proving so popular,” comments Bev Cunningham, creative director of Abacus. The range will not only tap into the huge fanbase that Gardeners’ World has built up over its 50 years of broadcasting, Above: The Gardeners’ World BBC programme advises and inspires and still attracts 1.5 million viewers.

End of an era for J Salmon After a period of consultation with staff, Charles and Harry Salmon, joint managing directors of iconic postcard and calendar publisher J Salmon, have announced that the business will cease to trade at the end of 2017. In a statement released by Charles and Harry, they said: “It is with great regret that the company has confirmed that it will withdraw from publishing at the end of the year. Increasingly challenging trading conditions and changes to the nature and size of the market for its publications have resulted in uncertainty over the viability of the trade going forward and its current structure as a UK based printer publisher. We have also had to consider that there are no more members of the family who wish to join the business. We wish to thank all of our staff for their continued loyalty and contribution to the business. We also would like to express our appreciation to all of our customers, licence partners, artists, photographers and suppliers who have supported Salmon over many years.” Many of the national newspapers carried the story, focusing on the decline of the postcard, something the Salmon name was synonymous with over the years. Above: Salmon has published countless regional calendars over the years.

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A Celebration Of Lovely Lynn Cardies came together to remember Lynn Tait Emotions ran high as many from the greeting card community came together to celebrate the life of Lynn Tait (right) at a special industry Memorial Event a few weeks ago. An afternoon celebration saw a stream of wonderful tributes from publishers, retailers and trade suppliers who each highlighted the many amazing qualities and achievements of Lynn Tait, the wellloved card publisher, retailer and Ladder Club founder, who sadly passed away on June 1. Organised by PG’s Jakki Brown, the event was open to all who wanted to share what lessons they had learned from Lynn. As Miles Robinson, partner of House of Cards said: “I’ve met lots and lots of people in this industry and I can say without a doubt that Lynn was one of the most passionate, selfless, kind, caring and hard working of them all… Lynn made a difference to not only those with The Ladder Club, but the industry as a whole. She had an incredible ability to join people together, inspire them, get them helping each other without even realising the wider effect she was having.”

GBCC’s green-fingered donation GBCC has made a donation of £20,000 to the charities Greenfingers and Perennial, raised by the sale of the publisher’s Floreo photographic range that was launched in May 2016. Greenfingers is a national charity dedicated to supporting children who spend time in hospices around the UK, while Perennial is the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture who have fallen on hard times. Below: Chris Houfe, sales director of GBCC hands the cheque to Greenfingers’ head of fundraising and communications Linda Petrons, and the charity’s chairman, John Ashley.

Among others who spoke were Wendy Jones-Blackett, Jeremy Bacon of The Sherwood Press, Hannah Dale of Wrendale Designs, Debbie Wigglesworth of The Paper Library, Jessica Hogarth of Jessica Hogarth Designs, Eloise Hall of Eloise Hall and Belinda Morris of 1790. A recording from revered landscape photographer Charlie Waite set the bittersweet tone of the immense sense of loss of this very special individual, whose legacy lives on in so many ways. l Lynn’s legacy lives on in so many ways, not least through The Ladder Club (See pages 59-60).

IG Design Group buys Australian card company IG Design Group, the major supplier of own brand cards and wrap in the UK, is looking to bolster its position in the Australian greeting card market through the acquisition of Biscay Greetings, a long-established greeting card and calendar company. The £5.5 million acquisition, which is due to be completed on January 8, has been spearheaded by IG Design Group’s Australian joint venture business, Artwrap (DG Australia). Melbourne-based Biscay Greetings, which has been trading for over 30 years, is owned by Lou and Mieke Smit. The publisher has been successful in supplying the value end of the market in Australia and New Zealand with greeting cards, wrappings and calendars that are printed both in Australia and the Far East. Left: Frank Pynakker, chairman of Design Group Australia (centre) with Mieke and Lou Smit of Biscay.

GCA AGM and Conference coming up The GCA AGM and Conference on 24 October is when the card industry comes together to meet up with old friends and new, be inspired by great speakers, take part in workshops and enjoy a delicious lunch in a spectacular venue – this time the very grand Council House in Birmingham city centre. This year’s speakers include: Glynn Jones from the Bank of England who will share his views on the economy, designer and author Sarah Hamilton speaking about supporting independent retailers, and Kirsty Hicks, buyer of greeting cards, giftwrap and stationery at Waitrose. There are also several ‘meet the expert’ workshop sessions on using a sales agent, brokerage, Above: Glynn Jones will speak on the state of the economy. business strategy, copyright, creative development, export, social media and ecommerce. The cost for the Conference is just £62.50 + VAT for the full day’s event including lunch. Booking deadline is Monday 16 October.

Tesco new-look card department postponed Tesco has reinforced its commitment to introduce the new look card department that first debuted last August, into more stores, but its plans have been postponed until next year. Tesco, which won The Retas 2017 award for Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards started planning its radical overhaul of its greeting card approach three and a half years ago, initially ‘behind the scenes’ with

Hallmark before the publisher was announced as its category manager in June 2015. As part of the ongoing arrangement, Hallmark also brokers in other publishers’ products into Tesco. Hallmark’s Angela Anderson, whose responsibilities include heading up the Tesco account, informed Progressive Greetings that there has been a “confirmation of implementation to more stores postChristmas this year.” She also revealed that the “implementation will cover all three ‘layouts/formats’ again,” referring to configurations for Tesco’s very large stores as well as for its large and smaller stores. Above: Tesco is still intending to push on with its new look greeting card department, that debuted in its Peterborough store, but the roll out has been postponed until the start of 2018.



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Festive Feeling On A Low Simmer? Card retailers gear up for Christmas While Selfridges may have opened its Christmas shop in the middle of summer (July 31), most other retailers are only now starting to embrace the season. Clintons, Paperchase, John Lewis, Card Factory, as well as some of the other multiples and grocers, are teetering their way towards Christmas. But for many independents, it’s important to get the timing right. Too early and you risk alienating customers; too late and you miss out on sales. Emma Gillett, co-owner of Special Occasions in Castle Bromwich is steadfast the end of October is the right time to start putting out Christmas stock. “This means by the beginning of November we are fully stocked and in full swing for the festive season. This helps people get into the spirit of Christmas without forcing it upon them. We have to make a lot of changes in the shop to accommodate Christmas as we will not reduce down on relations birthday cards.” It’s end of October as well for Beverley Green, owner of Blue Rose Gifts in

Below: Boxed Christmas cards on sale at Card Factory.

Heywood. “The Christmas range takes over at least 70% of our available floor space.” In an exciting initiative this year, Beverley is working with 10 local primary schools to design the official Blue Rose Christmas card. “The idea is that the children will design a card then customers and parents will come into the shop (increasing footfall) and vote for the winning design, which we will professionally produce. This will bring new people into the shop. It has gone down very well with the local head teachers and we expect a good response.”

Inaugural Manchester Stationery Show For those in the card trade, the term ‘Henrys’ would normally be associated with the UK greeting card industry awards, but this is not always the case! H.E.N.R.Y’s is also the acronym for High Earning, Not Rich Yet, referring to the socalled millennial generation. Speaking at on both days of the Manchester Stationery Show, Phil Pond of trend forecasters Scarlet Opus, will be tackling how this group of consumers are different, in ways that have never happened before, and how understanding their expectations and influence over all consumer age groups will help retailers recognise how to win their custom. The inaugural Manchester Stationery Show (a sister trade exhibition to the London Stationery Show) will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, 31 October and 1 November, at the Victoria Warehouse in the Old Trafford area of Manchester. Among the stationery companies who will be exhibiting include Portico Designs, Go Stationery, Pomegranate and Allsorted. Visitors can register via

Making positive Tracks Tracks has completely overhauled its website and has just gone live on a brand new online reincarnation, which has been developed in conjunction with Skylight Media. The new Tracks’ site marks the 30th website that Nottingham-based website developer Skylight Media has developed in the UK greeting card industry. As Ben Fidoe, Tracks’ design manager told Progressive Greetings: “We are delighted with the new site, it is much more product driven than our previous one, enabling us to be there for retailers whenever and wherever. The website will work very much in tandem with our catalogues and actual samples.” Although there is a facility on the new site for direct sales to consumers, the focus is very much as a trade site. Left: The new Tracks website.

Millennials need to up their card sending New research into the nation’s communication habits has claims that 43% of millennials have never sent a card in their life! The disappointing findings of a survey carried out by ipostparcels (part of DHL) suggest that the rise in popularity of smartphones and social media apps has seen people communicating more than ever, but not necessarily by cards. Some 42% of those polled admitted to texting their friends every day and over 208,000 pictures being posted to Facebook, and 65,000 images posted on Instagram every single minute. Some 40% of millennials confessed to never having sent a handwritten letter, 46% have never sent a surprise parcel and 42% have never sent a thank you card. The study by ipostparcels also discovered some confusion as to how the younger generation want to communicate because, despite 43% never having sent a letter, card or parcel, 80% are sad that these aren’t sent as much anymore. 81% of those surveyed also said they would feel more excited if they received a package or a letter in the post from someone they know, over a text or message on social media. Right: Time to get millennials engaged in card sending!

American Greetings sponsors entrepreneurs Incoming president of the Greeting Card Association (GCA) and director of marketing at UK Greetings, Ceri Stirland, was on a panel of judges for the Enactus World Cup in London at the end of September. UK Greetings’ parent company, American Greetings, was one of the headline sponsors for the event. Enactus is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring university students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. Ceri says: “I feel proud to participate and be invited to be a judge of Enactus. Being part of the world’s leading greeting card publisher, investing time with future business leaders from 36 countries and hearing their entrepreneurial ideas is humbling.” Above: Chris Barr, UKG account director for Asda, Ceri Stirland, UKG’s director of marketing, and David Rowlinson, American Greetings’ executive account director Walmart.



You’re Invited

Perfect for planning ahead for spring/summer 2018 and picking up some last minute Christmas deals, the NEW Manchester Stationery Show will be full to the brim with fantastic writing and paper products for gift and greetings retailers. Don’t miss this two day stationery extravaganza featuring key brands, beautiful designs, new suppliers, leading trend and business speakers and great networking opportunities.

It’s where fashion meets function Register for your FREE ticket today at: Follow us @StationeryBytes

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Card Factory Opens 900th Store Value retailer delivers sales growth, but profits dip Continuing its long run of sales growth, Card Factory has reported interim results which showed its sales were up 6% (to £179.6 million) for the six months to end of July and like-for-like up 3.1% on the same period last year, but its pre-tax profits were down. Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory said the figures reflected the retailer’s “strong proposition which is resonating well with customers despite challenges in the wider consumer environment.” In her chief execution report she admitted that the Card Factory business has not been “immune to the cost headwinds of foreign exchange and national living wage.” She explains that these increased costs were partly mitigated by “business efficiencies, although the margin impact has been higher than initially expected, largely due to our decision not to raise prices so as to maintain our leading value proposition with our customers.” These factors impacted on profits, with the underlying pre-tax profit down by 4.8% to £26.3m (compared to £27.6m in the same period last year). Reinforcing the belief that there is further potential for expansion, she added: “We remain as convinced as ever of the strong growth prospects for the business.” The group opened a further 30 stores in the period as well as its first store in the Republic of Ireland (which has been

joined by a further three stores in Eire since the financial period). Its stores in retail parks “have performed ahead of expectations,” according to Karen. As PG went to press, Card Factory was just about to open its 900th store (on 5 October) at Epping Forest Retail Park, only a few metres from Clintons’ head quarters.

l McColl’s has had an eventful quarter as the 298 convenience stores it acquired from the Cooperative Group were fully integrated, giving a 31.1% sales growth for the period. This is the second quarter of positive like-for-like sales growth, driven largely by convenience stores (+0.7%) selling more items in key grocery categories. Above: Business for McColl’s is thriving.

l Wraptious cushions by Katherine Williams were selected to decorate the green room backstage at the Mercury Music Awards in London in September. The cushions used in the green room were 20 of Katherine's splatter range including the Hare, Stag and Bird designs which won Gift of the Year last year. Above: Katherine Williams’ Wraptious cushions backstage at the Mercury Awards.

Card Factory had lined up Chase from PAW Patrol to help cut the ribbon and goody bags were due to be given to the first 100 customers. Karen says: “We are thrilled to have reached this fantastic milestone of 900 stores, which demonstrates the rapid growth of Card Factory since opening our first store in Wakefield 20 years ago. We are confident that our value for money offering will go down well in the Epping Forest area.”

l Double Henries nominee, Objectables has found a new home. The publisher has moved from rural Sussex to the Old High Street in Folkestone. “Having worked from home for a few years we decided we wanted to be more in touch with our customers and have moved our studio into a shop,” says founder Tim Gould. “We are hoping this gives us the opportunity to test out new ranges and get more direct feedback on our designs.”

Above: Card Factory is continuing with its expansion on retail parks.

Above: Inside the new Objectables shop.

David Hockney’s Guinness World Record card To mark the 80th birthday of Bradford-born David Hockney, Hallmark Cards (also based in Bradford) has lent its support to the City Council’s quest to honour the world famous celebrity by attempting an official Guinness World Record for the most signatures on a greeting card. The giant card, which measures 180cm by 120cm wide, has been designed by Hallmark Cards using inspiration from Hockney’s famous artworks to create the number 80 as a collage. Commenting on the involvement in this special card, Kate Van Spall, art director of trends at Hallmark UK said: “As a Bradford-based company we were thrilled to be asked to be involved in the creation of a card for Hockney’s birthday.” She explained that the design is made up of “numerous postcard size images reflective of the style of David Hockney that our in-house design team created during a ‘Hockney Power Hour’.” As it stands the Official Guinness World Record for the most signatures in a greeting card is currently held by the Dubai Police force with 13,288 signatures. However, an attempt by Staffordshire County Council with around 21,500 signatures is still to be ratified, so the Hockney card needs at least 22,000 signatures to be in with a chance of the record. Left: Sonja Kielty, curator at Cartwright Hall Gallery adding her signature to Hockney’s birthday card.

l Greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection, has completed the successful roll out of its extensive range of greeting cards and accessories in 30 Gilletts branded Spar Stores in the South West. Above: Card Connection’s display in a Gilletts Spar store.

l One of Gemma International’s cards from its Little Thoughts range made it onto two recent episodes of Coronation Street recently. Tim Rudd-Clarke, licensing director, said: “We work so hard to find the right properties and characters to include in our portfolio, which often means watching quite a bit of TV in the process. So it is good to see a reversal with one of our Little Thoughts in-house designed cards hitting the right spot and passing the audition process to make it on to prime time TV!” Above: Little Thoughts makes a cameo on Corrie. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Independent Thinking Words ‘n’ Wishes to distribute QH to indies Words ‘n’ Wishes is taking over the sales and distribution of Quitting Hollywood products to the independent retail sector from October 1. Words ‘n’ Wishes has expanded its salesforce to 24 agents (including two agents who have recently moved across from Quitting Hollywood) to provide an even better service to independent retailers. As of the start of next month independent retailers will be able to place orders for both greeting card publishers’ brands with the same agent and with the cards being dispatched from Words ‘n’ Wishes’ Wigan warehouse. Explaining the rationale behind this significant development, Richard Edmondson, commercial director of Quitting Hollywood said: “The industry’s market dynamics are changing, we were keen to find a way to get more of our heritage humorous card brands out into independent retailers.” Words ‘n’ Wishes was right at the top of Richard’s ‘wishlist’ as the publisher to work with, due to its “enviable reputation for service within the

Grandparents inspire business

Below: Words ‘n’ Wishes joint md Rod Brown. Bottom: The Twisty range from Quitting Hollywood caters for both the male and female sends.

independent sector”, its extensive salesforce as well as the complementary product portfolio. Discussions were sparked back in February. Rod Brown, joint managing director of Words ‘n’ Wishes could see the synergetic opportunities. “Since we launched the company in 2011, the philosophy behind our successful growth and development within the independent retail sector has been to offer the market quality verse and sentiment design aligned to outstanding service with added value. Therefore, the opportunity to add 30 years of `specialist humour’, from a respected publisher, such as Quitting Hollywood, exclusively for independent retailers can only enhance our overall offering.” Under the new arrangement, the Words ‘n’ Wishes salesteam will be offering a streamlined ‘the best of the best’ Quitting Hollywood portfolio of 120 designs, including designs from the PawPlay, Twisty and QH ranges, some of which have been developed very specifically for the independent retailer.

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Bella Jacob is a new card and stationery company that celebrates its Jewish heritage. Owner Tamar Klaus named the company after her Saba and Safta (grandma and grandpa in Hebrew). “They are the original Bella and Jacob, from Riga in Latvia,” says Tamar. “They fled (9(5<21(1(('  621(  Riga in 1937 to live in Israel. Call me sentimental, but I wanted to carry on their names somehow and this felt like the perfect opportunity.” Tamar’s cards are inspired by her earliest memories listening to Saba and Safta speaking Yiddish to each other and from long standing Jewish traditions carried out in the community. “By nature, I have always been creative and I have tried hard to bring my own unique and modern twist to the Jewish stationery I design. Feedback from our first six months in business has been incredibly positive and we were curated for Spotted at Top Drawer where we ran our first ever show in September and secured a spot in high street retail. We’re also delighted to have been featured in the Jewish News and a forthcoming issue of the Jewish Chronicle, the support from the Jewish community has been overwhelming brilliant. During our next six months we will be focussing on developing our ranges and then looking to launch into the American market.” Above: A card from the Bella Jacob range Left: Tamar Klaus at Top Drawer.



l Abi Wilson (right) is now the papershop buying manager for Sainsbury’s, taking charge of three teams: cards/wrap, stationery and paper, and tablewear and party. She was previously buying manager for kidswear and says: “I’m happy to be entering such a diverse and strong category. It feels as though there is a lot of further opportunity to explore too.” l Carte Blanche has reinforced its commitment to the Wishing Well brand with the appointment of Jude Williams (right) to the role of lead designer. Jude, who has been part of the CBG team for nine years, predominantly working on the Me to You brand put herself forward for this new role. Prior to this Jude was involved on the design and brand side for several leading companies. l Sherwood Group has appointed Andy Watts (right) as its new managing director as part of its growth strategy and ongoing succession plan. Andy, who joined the Nottinghambased business, brings with him 30 years of printing experience. He latterly worked for Europe’s largest book publisher, CPI, where he was general manager of its UK trade books business, responsible for printing 120 million books a year. l Glick has welcomed Suzanne Audsley (right) to its team as distribution manager. Suzanne comes with 17 years of industry warehouse experience. l Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, the founder and md of Bright Agency (which supplies many card publishers with artwork), had a moment of fame in a piece in the Sunday Times on September 10. She was interviewed in the Money segment of the paper about how she got started in business. The Bright Agency specialises in licensing artwork from children’s books and currently has 100 artists on its books. Below: Vicki Willden-Lebrecht with some of the children’s books the company licences.

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Licensing Action Danilo clinches The Gruffalo licence Those on the hunt for licensing options or to get a feel for what is going on in the world of licensing will be gearing up to visit Brand Licensing Europe, 10-12 October at London’s Olympia. It will be double portions of ‘Gruffalo crumble’ at Danilo’s HQ as the card and calendar publisher has sealed the deal to publish greeting cards and giftwrappings based on the children’s evergreen, The Gruffalo. Retailers will be able to take delivery of Danilo’s Gruffalo cards and wrappings from the start of next year.

This will supercede the existing official licensing agreement with Woodmansterne, which has run its course after many years of publishing The Gruffalo cards. Woodmansterne however has the right to sell through its existing product range until early in 2018. The change is amicable all round. “We have enjoyed publishing The Gruffalo cards, but it will also be good to introduce our new ranges, including those based on literary classics of The Hungry Caterpillar,

Below: Danilo is to publish The Gruffalo cards from the start of next year. Below left: The Hungry Caterpillar is to join Woodmansterne’s greeting card portfolio.

The Tiger that Came to Tea and Mog,” Paul Woodmansterne, md of Woodmansterne Publications told PG. Meanwhile for Danilo, The Gruffalo deepens the publisher’s foray into publishing brands, as evidenced by its Henries-nominated Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups as well as its Enid Blyton spoof range. Daniel Grant, licensing director of Danilo, is delighted with the recent signing: “The Gruffalo is a fantastic addition to our portfolio. Our creative team is already well underway giving the brand our own take while remaining true to the integrity of this endearing property.” The Gruffalo’s popularity is not under question. First published in 1999, it has gone on to become a top favourite for 3-7 year-olds. Over 13 million copies of the book, based on the rhyming couplets by revered storyteller Julia Donaldson and brought to life by Axel Scheffler’s illustrations, have been sold all over the world, not to mention the spin off films, live events and a whole licensing programme that sees the property translated onto a myriad of different products. The Gruffalo joins a host of other recent signings for Danilo, which include Horrible Histories, Roald Dahl, World of Walliams, LOL and JoJo Siwa. l Danilo’s Ladybird for Adults greeting card range triumphed at The Licensing Awards 2017, winning the Best Licensed Paper Products or Stationery Range award.

The Art Files signs I Like Birds Under a new arrangement, The Art File is to publish I Like Birds’ contemporary bird artworks onto greeting cards under licence. Up until now, while the Scottish-based company I Like Birds has licensed its designs onto other products, it published greeting cards itself. However, as a result of the recent licensing agreement with The Art File, the company, headed up by Stuart Cox, is to cease publishing greeting cards. The collection from The Art File will be available to customers from December 2017, although the official launch will be at Top Drawer London in January. ‘We’re hugely excited to be adding the ‘I like birds’ collection to our portfolio. Stuart is a great talent and I was thrilled that he approached us with the idea. His contemporary look sits very well with The Art File brand,’’ commented Ged Mace, md of The Art File. Above: The distinctive artwork from I Like Birds will be available on cards from The Art File from December. Left: The Art File’s James Mace at Nottingham Childrens Hospital for ToYW.

Hotchpotch adds to Widdop & Co’s gift mix Leading giftware distributor, Widdop & Co, deepens its relationships with the greeting card industry with news that it is to launch giftware lines based on Carte Blanche’s Hotchpotch portfolio. The new range, which will launch at Spring Fair, will bring some of Hotchpotch’s trend-led designs onto a wide range of giftware. Emma Pearce, senior designer of Hotchpotch, comments: “Here at Hotchpotch we are beyond excited to be working with Widdop & Co! We’re committed to quality, so we’re delighted to be partnering with a brand that shares this focus. We can’t wait for spring to see the launch of the first range of Hotchpotch giftware featuring some of our best-selling designs.” Widdop & Co enjoys success with licensing greeting card brands, including Paper Salad and Wendy Jones-Blackett. Autumn Fair last month saw the giftware company feature a range of figurines and gifts based on Grass Roots’ Deco and Demi Moore collections. Above: Gerard O’Mahoney, commercial director of CBG and Stephen Illingworth of Widdop & Co.

Sara Miller launches Portmeirion tableware Last year’s winner of The Henries Most Promising Young Designer or Artist, Sara Miller, has seen her artwork under the Sara Miller London brand grace a new Portmeirion tableware collection that launched recently with a high-profile marketing campaign. The new collection of Sara Miller London tableware from Portmeirion sees Sara’s artwork join other products: cards from The Art File, on wrap from Penny Kennedy, Blueprint (gift stationery), Canova (home fragranced products) and My Gifts Trade. Next year sees the Sara Miller London brand launch into tins (with Elite) as well as bath and beauty products (with Heathcote and Ivory), with other collaborations in the pipeline. Above: Sara Miller at the launch of the new Portmeirion collection.



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Speaker Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, reflects on some motivational meanings. Three words said simply and asked directly can tell you a great deal about a person in relation to their work and beliefs: ‘What motivates you?’ Job interviews, Dragons’ Den and many other q&a situations have all used this as a staple question over the years and I have lost count of how many times I have had this question thrown at me. Professional athletes’ careers are also bookended by this question. At the beginning it is easy - they want to be the best, striving to break the world record – but once they have won all the trophies and medals and made their fortune the question takes on a whole new meaning. What is the driving force that makes you keep practicing, training and working to achieve once you have been to the top of the mountain? So the reality, as with most simple questions, is there is far from a simple answer. Motivation has been at the forefront of my mind for some time, perhaps because I am questioning my current ambitions. My shop buildings and large-scale design and build projects are all done for now; with the next grand design nestling in 2020. The shortterm goals - website, better management of time, more sleep - are in-hand and the day to day challenges are those that face all businesses - footfall, cash flow and of course staff. I have no desire to open any more stores for lots of reasons, not least that I would need to look at employing mid-level management. Also, if I am brutally honest I would miss the total interaction I had with my parents on these projects. As they get older it is not fair to keep expecting them to back and support them, despite my mum wanting to be totally involved. Perhaps because I am writing this column on my 43rd birthday I am more reflective. Your birthday is often a day you look 20


at the past, present and future - where you question where your position in the world really is. As most of you will know, having read this column or meeting me I am a positive person. I try and look to the future honestly but with great optimism. I always see that there is a way out, that there is a way to make things work. I always believe that you can get there if you try. It so happens that my birthday - 13th September - also happens to be Roald Dahl day. Dahl was a fascinating character. He took on the role of author, pilot, inventor, philanthropist and he would have been a 101 this year. He merged a successful career writing both children's stories with those of the macabre. I woke this morning to this quote from Dahl Day! “I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full

Above: Professional athletes train hard to reach their goal. Left: Illustrator Quentin Blake created the artwork for many of Roald Dahl’s amazing children’s stories – A design from Woodmansterne. Below: Just a few of the birthday cards David received for his 43rd birthday.

speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” Dahl’s life was far from easy. It was complicated and twisting, like one of his stories, full of fascinating characters. It was also filled with tragedy. A sibling passed away young, his father died when he was only three, and yet despite these huge life challenges Dahl was by all accounts a very positive person and of course he went on to have an amazing varied career, which despite significant wealth was not driven by money. I believe passionately, as Dahl did, that you have to really want it. You have to live it and breathe it, whatever it may be. Sometimes though life happens, and it makes things really difficult. Sometimes hurdles keep coming, that keep getting bigger, and it gets more and more difficult to get over them. So these thoughts made me look and question why I do all this, and in honesty I looked to the people that motivate me the most, my parents. My dad is now completely retired from his business, and he is fascinating in terms of what drove him. He had no interest in money, never sought or desired material things and would give away his last penny readily. His desire had always been simply to run and own a business, which he did successfully, although not starting this journey until the age of 53. My dad lost his own dad in his early years (10 years-old), and as the youngest any

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money there had been for further education went to his older siblings. By the time he got back to working after his National Service he fell into a job and grafted hard to work his way up, but never lost sight of his ambition. My mum’s story is also very similar, she lost her dad at 15. She worked in an office for £1.50 an hour as it was the only job that would fit around my schooling. Both are intelligent people who started from nothing and built something. So perhaps this is my motivation. I am perhaps motivated to take what they have done and make it better. To look at what they achieved through sacrifice, hard work, belief, 15% interest rates and determination and drive it forward. As indie retailing continues to get tougher and the challenges we face get more difficult how can we keep going? What is it that pushes us for success when opting out may be easier? Motivation at its core is defined as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-orientated behaviour. You are thirsty so you get a glass of water. That is it in its most simplest form. And as anyone who has set themselves a significant challenge knows, you can’t simply turn motivation on and off like a tap. There are stages that will take you there - whether you are a single owner operator or a multi-national, the process is similar: Activation - is the actual decisions to do something. These can be simple decisions like changing a display, stocking a new line or it could be something major like a relocation. The truth is we do this every day - as selfemployed we aren't guided by

a company or a boss, we initiate, and that in itself is a major achievement. It is also interesting to explore motivational triggers. Someone may say something, you see something or just a feeling that you suddenly have; literally can be anything that starts the activation process. Persistence - is the continued effort to work toward your goal. This will include a significant investment of time, energy, resources and you! In terms of business this is the inner voice or outer support network that keeps you going. Intensity - How much you put into it: how long and hard you work at it or, in some cases, how long you persist to get it right. This, I believe is the difference between success and failure. Anybody can start, anybody can try, but it is only through total commitment that you really get what you want. However, what interests me more is the question of why some people are motivated and others aren’t? Why do some people keep striving when others are content? Particularly why is it that I have to have a project or plan on the go? Motivation theories are diverse and many, but I want to mention just two, which hopefully you will relate to. Instinct motivation states that all activities, thoughts and desires can be drawn from being caused by nature - our biological makeup. Human beings do things because they are evolutionarily programmed to do so, not because we make up our minds to. We sleep, we drink, and these are pretty straightforward. We don’t however Top: David’s motivation – his mum and dad - who have supported him along his business journey. Above right: What is your driving force? What gets you ‘motor-vated’? - A card from Icon's Exposure range. Below: One of David’s recent projects was to completely refurbish and rebrand two of his stores.

instinctively open stores. That is not an evolutionary need to survive. So where does that desire to do well come from? I think it is from here… Arousal motivation - To be at your peak of motivation you need to have the right level of arousal. I can’t believe I just wrote that in PG! But what it actually means is that some people have a low arousal level, where reading and watching TV satisfies them. Others have a high arousal level where they need to be thrill-seeking. Projects and owning your own business must be your passion and give you that oomph! It is this arousal level that I find ‘turns me on’ the most. The buzz of constantly having a project, a destination, something that challenges me to work harder and longer, is addictive. Of course with all things that you like it can become a problem if you like it too much. As business people we should search for the optimum level where we are comfortable physically, emotionally and intellectually. If we experience harmony and balance within our bodies and our minds this gives us our peak motivation. The next part of the motivation puzzle is to decide if you benefit from extrinsic or intrinsic motivation. Perhaps this is what explains my dad. I am by nature motivated extrinsically. I like the spotlight, the rewards, the money, the social acceptance and that pat on the head. My dad however, is motivated intrinsically, and is happy with purely the personal gratification of solving a problem or being a success. Now neither of these is right or wrong, but they are fascinating to see how they make us different and how they drive us forward. Perhaps you are wondering why I would write about motivation and how and why it occurs within us all to various degrees? Our personal motivations are as diverse as each of our own businesses; each will reflect our character and our goals. And with the Christmas season fast approaching, I believe indies especially will be questioning their motivation. These next few months will be crucial to many, if not all, of us business wise and I believe it is going to be testing. So what do we do? Keep aroused people, keep motivated and aroused! To contact David email: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Aussies Are Coming! Inset: Australian, Angus Young of band ACDC. Below: Typo in Westfield, Stratford set up by an Australian company.

The world and his wife travelled to the Olympic Stadium in London’s Stratford back in 2012, and this impressive sporting venue is now being put to good use, including as home to West Ham Untied FC. Out that way recently, Cardsharp visited a very different ‘stadium’ adjacent to the ground – the Westfield Shopping Centre, where once again the ‘world and his wife’ were out in force, enjoying the great sport of shopping. Cardsharp said ‘hello sport’ to a few Aussie-based retailers that have entered the card and stationery league. Being a ‘cardie’, Cardsharp is always tempted by bit of a comparative browsing, which is very easy in Westfield’s East London mega ‘stadium’. Last Saturday, Cardsharp popped into a flagship Card Factory store there, which was packed with queues at the tills, having only just unveiled its Christmas box offering, that was truly spectacular in terms of quality and value for money. Then, it was straight into a very crisp looking Clintons, one of the best Cardsharp has seen recently in its portfolio. And then he spotted a Typo! No that is not a mistake! Typo in Westfield opened at the tail end of last year, the first outlet in the UK for the Australian stationery chain, which is part of the Geetong-based Cotton-onGroup (that Cardsharp confesses he had never heard of ). Typo is a really buzzy retail experience. It sells a quixotic mixture of quirky colourful stationery, gifts, homewares,



travel accessories and, most notably, greeting cards. There are now 140 Typos trading in 11 countries, as diverse as the UAE and The Philippines. It expanded into the US in 2012 and recently opened its second UK outlet in the Bentalls Centre in Kingstonupon-Thames.

The greeting card display in Typo was certainly interesting to Cardsharp. Displayed on modern slatwall, full-face were a selection of cards that all seemed to be own brand from China. To Cardsharp’s eye, the designs were something of a poor man’s ‘Paperchase-esque’. The cards were not expensive for what they were, but not Card Factory cheap! The store was packed and the tills were ringing, and it was obviously a great place to go for early Christmas present ideas as the product portfolio extends to everything from novelty animal head pens to bath robes and duvet covers, alongside greeting cards. Typo is just another example of a recent trend of retail ‘Reverse Colonisation’ in which our Antipodean cousins are attacking our already highly competitive retail market.

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CARDSHARP Smiggle, which has a store a few kangaroo jumps away from Type in Stratford’s Westfield, is based on a different stationery proposition – one that that places its emphasis on brightly coloured fun stationery products. Smiggle now trades from more than 24 stores in the UK and is aiming for 40 branches here in the next couple of years. It is evident as soon as you walk through one of its doors that it has built up a passionate following among mums and ‘tweenagers’. What is interesting to Cardsharp is that, while Smiggle is active on the card front elsewhere, it has given them largely a wide berth in the UK – maybe the competition is too good or landlords has clinched it as a tenant close to existing card players on the understanding that they hold off on the cards. But arguably the most impressive of all the Aussie imports is Kikki.K. A beacon in Westfield’s Shepherd’s Bush ‘retailing stadium’ as well as in five other locations the most recent of which being in London St Pancras Station.

To Cardsharp’s mind, this is a retail concept that is perfectly timed for now. The pretty pastel coloured products are displayed in collections that have more in common with a ladies’ apparel boutique than a stationery and card shop. Sentiment is high, with uplifting messages adorning journals, cards, pens and gifts. You can even book with friends to go on workshops for how to best use your mindfulness journals – and its founder Kristina Karlsson has been elevated to celebrity status, with shoppers making appointments to meet her on her tour! To Cardsharp’s mind this is not something that Don Lewin, the charismatic founder of Clintons, could have ever pulled off, even in its heyday! So three strong contenders have crossed from the other side of the globe

Left: The ever-so glamorous Kikki.K. Below left: Smiggle now trades from 24 UK oulets. Below: Card Factory’s management seem to be grounded.

into the greeting card world. Now Australia has long been a great export market for UK publishers. You only have to wander around PG Live for a few minutes before you hear an Aussie twang, searching for designs for their

home market. Generally speaking Australians (and for that matter New Zealanders!) have very similar taste in greeting cards to us Brits – but this is the first time really that we are seeing the two way traffic. While Kikki.K is powerful in its prettiness, both Typo and Smiggle are colourful, entertaining and in your face! Cardsharp thinks this duo is the brashest and loudest Aussie invasion since Angus Young bought ACDC to these shores for its last stadium tour!

Beware! Greeting card hubris! Without wishing to sound like a broken record, Cardsharp felt the need to return to the subject of Card Factory in light of its latest set of half-year figures. In the six months, up to the end of July, Card Factory’s sales were 6% up for the period. Equally impressive, like-for-like sales were 3.1% up in a really challenging market. Pre-tax profits were down a bit, but this was only down to the weakness of the £pound. And significantly as PG went to press, the value retailer was about to open its 900th store in Epping in Essex. Talking about rubbing rival Clintons’ nose in it! Clintons has long had its head office a couple of miles away in Loughton, Essex, a stone’s throw from Epping Forest. This area has traditionally always been ‘Clintons Country’. In fact, back in the 1990’s, Cardsharp recalls that any Clinton supplier who had the gall to supply a small independent card shop that opened in Loughton received a letter from Don Lewin, Clintons’ then chairman and major shareholder, asking them to contact ‘the chairman’s office’ immediately. The threat was implicit: Supply and you are out! How times have changed? Pride is often followed by a fall. Card Factory is on a crest of a wave at present as Clintons was then. Clintons reached the 1,000 store mark back in the early noughties when it bought the Birthdays chain, but this supposed high point planted the seeds of its own destruction in Cardsharp’s view. The Birthdays chain was not bought for good commercial or strategic reasons, Cardsharp thought at the time, but because basically it was there, and the Lewin family wanted the satisfaction of breaking the magical 1,000 store barrier. But then confusion followed with the fall of the Birthdays business, and then five years ago the business failure of the Clintons chain itself, forcing American Greetings to step in to protect its interests. The Card Factory management appears to be grounded, but it should guide against hubris. Clintons (back then) was technically a Plc, but non-family shareholders often felt impotent because of the huge swathe of shares and the top management positions that the Lewin family held. Card Factory shareholders must be feeling pretty chipper at present. £51 million pounds is being returned to them via a special dividend of 15 pence a share. Nice one, concluded Cardsharp, cursing the fact he never bought any!



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Service Matters

Inset: The face of service is changing for indies.

With the changing shape of card publishers’ sales forces, fewer agents and a spate of changing distribution arrangements recently, PG asked a number of indies about how they are feeling on the service front from suppliers, what they love and what would be on their wish-list for improvements.

Sally Matson owner of Red Card, Petworth:

Below: Red Card’s Sally Matson (centre left) spending her Greats awards voucher with Stop The Clock’s (left) Jo Knights and Kathy Harrington (centre right), joined by Richard Freeman of Five Dollar Shake.

“I find that the smaller the company, the better and more flexible the service. When you are dealing with the owner/artist these are also the people you meet and deal with at the trade shows, via email, and on the phone. You build a relationship with them, they know your shop and you are able to work together to the mutual benefit of both businesses, especially regarding issues like minimum order, delivery times, damages and special requirements. The medium-sized companies, which often started small, tend to offer the same good service as long as you build a relationship with their support staff. Invoicing and delivery issues can be a little frustrating once the company gets larger, but they are generally okay. As a small independent shop, the larger companies are generally a nightmare! Sorry, but sadly this is true. The only real exception to this rule that I have found is Paperlink, who are terrific - but I have been seeing the same agent for more than ten years. The larger companies always give priority to the large retailers, which means availability of stock, deliveries, invoicing and service always suffer.” The changing shape: “Now a lot more companies offer the opportunity of ordering online, which I find works for some companies and not for others. I still like to maintain contact with the actual people involved, as that is one of the things I most enjoy about running my business. I also like to see and feel the actual product when new things are available as this is pretty important when selecting stock. If companies are going to stop having reps and agents then they have to increase their presence at trade shows, otherwise shops will not see their product. There seems to have been a lot of shuffling about with sales agents/reps and companies in the last couple of years, and this is not always communicated very effectively, meaning sometimes companies drop off your radar as you are not contacted or don't know who to contact.” Service wish: “More representation from card companies at trade shows. And bigger companies behaving like smaller companies and treating small independents with the same care and attention they give their largest retailers.” 24


David and Teresa Coleman owners of The Only Place For Pictures, two stores in North London: “Overall the service is very good from our suppliers, most operate very efficiently and are represented by good agents (or reps) - however, a few companies have stopped using agents and this is when the problems start.” The changing shape: “As an independent retailer selling a broad range of products, from bespoke picture framing to greeting cards to general gifts and much more, buying time is of the essence. The input of the agent is essential - they open your eyes to designs and ranges that have been successful for them you may not have otherwise considered and can guide you through three or four companies’ offerings in less than two hours. Buying is not our only function in the business, we have to deal with customers, we deal with deliveries, we merchandise the shop and do all the things you have to do to run, and hopefully keep, a small business successful. We simply don't have time to stare at a screen and do a card order, we need to work with agents (or good reps), hence our business with Archivist and Art Angels, two companies with fabulous cards, has been virtually nil since they stopped using agents.” Service wish: “Less is more! Some companies’ ranges are simply too big. Be bold. Concentrate on the winners and remove the dead wood - it would make us all more efficient.” Right: Teresa and David Coleman at PG Live.

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Rachael Barnes partner of Dragonfly Cards & Gifts, Knaresborough:

Below: Rachael Barnes in UKG’s distribution warehouse in Dewsbury.

“I'd say that the service we receive from card publishers has improved over recent years, mainly due to the development of web-shops. As much as we love to see our reps and agents it is so useful to be able to look at new product between visits or do a top up order at midnight in my pyjamas!” The changing shape: “There has definitely been a lot of change recently with regard to sales forces, so much so that I was beginning to dread opening a letter or answering the phone. We have very mixed feelings on this - on one side we are really sad to say goodbye to some reps that have been calling on us for years and have become good friends, but on a more positive note, the web-shop reduces the number of reps that we have to see, so it is more time efficient, and it will allow us to reach minimum orders more frequently in the instances where companies can be combined to make one single order.” Service wish: “I love how many agents and reps have become good friends over the years - it makes for a much nicer way to do business. My wish-list for improvements would be for all companies to offer web-shop facilities (as long as the reps are paid for the sales accordingly), reorder tickets to be issued as standard by all companies, and agents not trying to bombard you with too many different card publishers’ product - if we're interested we'll let you know!”

Nicky Stephenson partner of The Tutbury Present Company, Tutbury:

Below: Nicky Stephenson (left) and her partner Claire Jarvis with their Retas trophy at the awards last July.

“I feel that the service we receive from the majority of our suppliers today is excellent. There are lots of options for ordering - over the phone, with a rep/agent or in a lot of cases online via their trade websites.” The changing shape: “Personally I prefer to order online for my everyday card buying and then see reps for the larger seasonal orders. Once we have seen the quality and look of the card range, either at trade shows, via a rep or from requested samples, we are happy to order our cards via websites. This allows us to order exactly when needed without waiting for appointments or holding too much stock.” Service wish: “A couple of our existing card suppliers allow us to order what we need when we need it without a minimum carriage paid. This means we can keep those best selling designs in stock all the time without waiting for the next full order. Ideal when there is an unexpected rush on a particular caption! My wish would be that all suppliers would allow us to do this.”

Below: Best Newcomer South in this year’s Retas Awards, Megan Eyles.

Megan Eyles

owner of Peppertrees, Northampton: “I’ve only been in contact and dealing with publishers for a year now so the service hasn’t massively changed for me. However, the service that they provide is amazing and they are always at the end of the phone to help with any questions or queries and its usually sorted while on the phone or shortly after.” The changing shape: “I think there are becoming fewer agents as they are taking on a number of companies instead of just one or two. I only really see three reps on a regular basis, but I do think for indies like myself it’s much easier to order online, the main reason being you can order inbetween helping customers - I don’t know about other shop owners but I find that if I am the only one working and I’m looking through the cards with a rep, that my customers get put off and there is often nothing purchased.” Service wish: “With most reps there is no hesitation in coming to see you, nothing is out of their way and you form a pretty good relationship with them, however I do find that there is a small number that it is hassle coming to see you, which makes me more inclined to order online or go straight to the company’s head office.”

Stuart Delahoy owner of Set Design, Leicester:

Below: Tracks has revamped its website and continues to send retailers its beautiful brochure.

“I‘m reasonably happy with the service for my suppliers, but, just like us retailers, I feel these days suppliers should be trying a little bit harder to keep or attract customers. Most staggering to me is when I have been to a trade show, I place an order with an exhibitor and the stock arrives, and then I never hear from that company again; no follow up call or email asking how the range is going and would I like to reorder, no product catalogue with new ranges. We’ve got a couple of fantastic agents. One couple are extremely proactive and personable. They often pop in the shop with a best sellers’ list, publishers’ brochures and help solve any problems. Others totally ignore us. In fact, we’ve only just found out that we have a rep in the area from one company. If a rep keeps in touch then it helps us focus our attention on that brand.” The changing shape: “My bugbear is publishers’ trade websites. How difficult is it to have a straight-forward functioning website, with new additional ranges? Or, then there are companies who makes a lovely looking, arty website but it’s difficult to order on. Reps visit the store and quickly tap in our order on their iPad in 10 minutes, why can’t it be that simple to replicate on their website? One thing on a certain publisher’s website is that you can only see what’s in stock at that time. I’m never confident of what’s actually in the whole range. And also grouping the cards into genres, such as new baby or humour, would help.” Service wish: “All we want as indies is a phone call/email asking us what’s going well, product updates and help with any niggles from a dedicated account manager who knows our name and shop. It’s what we as retailers have to do with our customers every day.”




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GCA Market Report

For What It’s

Worth The British public spent more on greeting cards last year than ever before - an astonishing £1.75 billion, up £500,000 on the previous year. This triumphant industry news is revealed in the recently published GCA UK Greeting Card Market Report 2017. PG considers the facts and figures of this important annual research, which provides a health check for those in the greeting card industry. This industry is very much anchored in the visual and the emotional, the buying and sending of greeting cards, as we all know, performs a vital role in our nation’s social communication. Its ‘worth’ in this sense is immeasurable, but as one of the most retailed consumer products it is important to know how the humble but mighty greeting card is faring in our technologically instant age of pinging texts and What’s App messages, overfull email inboxes, Instagram abundance and where ‘sharing’ and ‘likes’ are things you do with people you may never meet. A recent study (from ipostparcels, a parcel provider that is part of DHL) claimed that 43% of Millennials have never sent a card, letter or parcel. Now, is this worrying stuff for

those in the greeting card industry or should it be viewed as an opportunity? It depends on how you look at it. Certainly the UK greeting card industry is holding its own at the moment, in fact, it is doing rather well. The recently published UK Greeting Card Market Report 2017 from the GCA makes for reassuring reading. The facts speak for themselves. The British public spent £1.75 billion on greeting cards in the last year (2016 compared to 2015), up a chunky £500,000 on the previous year. Any increase is good, not only as it reaffirms the product’s place in contemporary society, but it also puts food on the tables of

The report card method The UK Greeting Card Market Report is commissioned annually by the Greeting Card Association (GCA) to provide reliable figures on the greeting card industry. Award-winning market data company, Ebiquity, once again undertook to manage the project this year. Publisher members submitted their UK retail sales data covering January 2016 - December 2016 to a confidential, secure online survey. The report assumes that the actual data submitted by members’ accounts for 73% by value and 64% by volume of the greeting card market (considering the market shares of the likes of Card Factory and online operators). The collected sales data is then extrapolated to give full market figures. The Market Report is available at no additional charge to GCA members (in the Members’ Library of the website) and for non-members for a cost of £750 (+VAT). Above: GCA’s ceo Sharon Little took to the streets to promote Thinking of You Week last year which saw members of the public proclaim their love of cards. Left: The GCA Market Report shows how UK card purchasing held up across everyday, Christmas and Spring Seasons in the last year.

the 100,000 people that are estimated to be employed directly and indirectly by our industry, and this is likely to be a conservative estimate on the indirect front considering the wide ripples to the masses of people who are involved on the retail, creative, sales, production, warehousing or transportation sides of the trade. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the sales in the period came from everyday cards (accounting for 77%), encouragingly with relations and occasions, the bedrock of the specialist retailer, performing very well, up by almost £1million on the previous year. The report will no doubt prompt member publishers (and retailers) to have another look at the Spring Seasons area to PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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GCA Market Report

find a way through the unviable SOR demands and potential wastage issues as these four events are still indeed a sizeable ‘golden egg’ – accounting for 11% of the market’s sales, with growth showing on all the events, bar Valentine’s Day. And, for all the talk about Christmas card sending dropping, the sales of single Christmas counter cards are still full of festive cheer. Almost 100 million single Christmas cards were bought last year, at an average price of £1.90, an increase of 8p a card on the previous year, something that plays right into the hands of specialist card retailers who are known for their wide selection of caption cards. Due to the highly fragmented nature of the supply and retailing side of Christmas boxes and packs (where any decline volume wise is likely to be felt), data collection for this sector is nigh on impossible, hence the reason the report includes a conservative estimate of £230 million, a figure that is cross-checked with leading players in this field. So, value wise (as in the amount people paid at retail for all single greeting cards) it is looking good. Even more reassuring however is the pattern of sales, which can be tracked across the years since the GCA commissioned this annual independent survey. This year’s Report shows the continuation of an encouraging picture in that sales have increased steadily since 2012. And even on the volume front (ie the number of cards bought), this dipped ever so slightly, down by a tiny 0.1%. Something of which of course the industry should be mindful, but not worth losing any sleep over. In the report’s preface, Ged Mace, president of the GCA (and managing director

GCA Market Report highlights l The total retail value of single cards sales in the UK stood at over £1.52bn in 2016, with 881m single cards

being sold in this period. l The results show that everyday cards account for 77% of total retail value for all single cards bought in the UK, making the

ARP for an everyday card now £1.68 (up from £1.64 in 2015). l Volumes (ie number of cards bought) have also held up well, dipping by a tiny 0.1%. l Everyday cards are now worth £1.178m, an increase of £28.7m from 2015, with sales of ages, occasions and relations

showing the greatest growth to £680.6m.

Left: Within everyday card sales, relations and occasions were stellar performers with an average selling price of £1.90 a card. Below: The data being harvested annually means that a moving picture of the UK card buying habits is formed.

of The Art File) makes a strong point, that greeting cards are helping to drive trade to bricks and mortar retailers. He highlights how greeting cards “remain an important high-profitable product for all manner of retailers, sold in more types of outlets than any other products.” This retail support is crucial to the ongoing development of our industry. The consumer always has a reason to send a card, be it for a designated event or a non-specific send, the high retail presence of greeting cards as well as the diversity of design choice available means that there is no shortage of ‘reminders’ to buy cards or difficulty of finding

those which perfectly fit one’s needs. It is no surprise that all of the major supermarkets are upping their game on the greeting card front - Tesco is rolling out its new look, Asda is well underway on its new approach, Sainsbury’s is gaining ground with its selection and Waitrose has just installed a whole new display right across its estate. On the multiple front, Card Factory (on the verge of marking its 900th store) is still gung ho about its expansion and Scribbler has just opened its largest store ever (one of four new stores it is opening), just for starters. Although tough out there for indies, independent buying group Cardgains’ membership is stable, accounting for 750 rooftops. And certainly on the publisher front, the appetite is still there - as the growth in GCA membership and continued sell out of The Ladder Club’s Day One seminar last week testifies. As Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA so rightly points out: “The findings in this report prove that the British appetite for buying and sending greeting cards continues unabated, with cards remaining the preferred choice when it comes to expressing a personal message.” And making reference to another important piece of research, that was carried out by Mindlab for Royal Mail, “As scientific research has shown, texts, social media messages or emails will just not do when it comes to making someone feel special. And long may it continue!” Greeting cards are worth it on many counts! PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Retailer Profile


To The Challenge Waitrose has given its greeting card departments their biggest shake up for many years - all part of its quest to double the grocer’s card sales in the next five years. As a completely new selection of card designs, anchored by a Unique and Different bespoke range, beds in on the racks of all 350 Waitrose stores, PG catches up with the grocer’s buying manager Sarah Brett and buyer Kirsty Hicks to learn more about their ambitious greeting card aspirations.


aitrose excels on so many fronts, but by its own admission it has not invested in evolving its greeting card offer for several years. But that’s all changed with the total revamp of the greeting card offering, which was installed across the entire estate last month. As part of a partnership arrangement with Hallmark, the largest percentage of the new 1,500 greeting card portfolio are bespoke designs that have been developed

largely by the designated Waitrose team at Hallmark Studios under the new ‘Unique and Different’ banner, with the remainder coming from 25 different greeting card publishers. Though still very early days, Kirsty, whose buying remit spans greeting cards, wrap, stationery, candles and home fragrance, is “thrilled” that sales “have started to lift” as customers are responding positively to the fresh collection. This is no small ‘tweak’, there is a lot riding on this. Elaborating on the bold ambitions for its new approach on the card front,

Sarah Brett, buying manager responsible for greeting cards, quantified the goal: “Our ambition is to double our card sales in the next five years.” And, their gaze is broader than just cards, with work already underway to overhaul its giftwrap offering too. The anticipated growth on its greeting card sales is expected to partly come from

Above left: Waitrose card buyer Kirsty Hicks (centre) with colleagues (right) Sarah Brett, buying manager and Nicky Westgarth, greeting card buying assistant. Above: Part of the new display in Waitrose Newbury store. New fixturing and redesigned PoS are to follow shortly. Inset: Waitrose has totally revamped the greeting card selection across all its 350 stores.



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Retailer Profile

Left: Waitrose Weekend newspaper dedicated a whole page to the card selection and also promoted Thinking of You Week as part of this. Below: Hallmark’s creative manager Gill Wood and product marketing manager Kirsty Brandon who have been working closely with Kirsty and the Waitrose team, with a few of the cards from the new selection. Right: The new selection is going down well with Waitrose customers.

existing card buying customers being encouraged to buy more cards from Waitrose as a result of the refreshed selection, but the real prize will be through encouraging more of the grocer’s customers who currently do not buy their cards from Waitrose to do so. “We have a lot of loyal customers, but for whatever reason they have not considered our greeting card selection. We are looking to change that now”, says a determined Kirsty. Despite cards having never enjoyed a front of store slot in Waitrose branches (though the prime sightings of the seasonal FSDUs are a recent exception), they have always been a significant contributor to the grocer’s non-food sales. “Even without this revamp, greeting cards account for an important chunk of our general merchandise sales,” says Kirsty. In addition to the drive on the main card selection, this year has seen Waitrose up its game on the seasonal front by locating FSDUs of Spring Seasons’ cards at the front of the stores, enabling it to cross promote with other relevant products. “This worked incredibly well on say Valentine’s Day as we could position the cards near to the flowers. As a result we experienced massive growth on our card sales,” says Kirsty. As she points out, greeting cards have always been strategically important to Waitrose: “Our customers like to send cards and feel confident when making their card selection and writing their messages,” she says, alluding to the fact that Waitrose customers’ card buying habits are more skewed towards blank cards than say other grocers who opt for more captioned cards. Waitrose’s decision to introduce the new selection, as part of a partnership with Hallmark (as the main supplier as well as broker for other publishers’ products), was not

Up close and personal Waitrose buyer Kirsty Hicks reveals what makes her tick: l What three words would your mates use to describe you?:“Pink, passionate and creative.” l How do you switch off?:“By dancing - I have just retaken up tap and street dancing.” l What is your fave card sending occasion or event?:“Easter, I love the colours.” l Who would you most want to receive a card from?:“Mr Darcy.” l What is your guilty pleasure?:“I have a terrible sweet tooth, so it would have to be crème brulee or Hotel Chocolat’s white chocolate with raspberry.” l Where is your favourite place in the world?:“North Norfolk, staying at Cley windmill.”

taken lightly. The basis on the new thrust has evolved from an eight month trial in 40 Waitrose branches, which saw the ‘Unique and Different’ approach being put to the test. “What the trial confirmed was that our customers responded well to designs that are bespoke to us, though are not overtly Waitrose branded,” says Kirsty. Another mechanism that flouts fellow retailers’ practice is that the new cards are prepriced on the rear and not the front. “Price is a consideration for our customers, but it is secondary to the design. As long as the price is in line with consumer’s expectations or lower than they anticipated then invariably they will buy the card,” says Kirsty.“We just need to get them in front of the card display.”

The launch of the range got off to a good start, with awareness boosted by a full page article in a recent edition of the Waitrose Weekend newspaper (which boasts an impressive readership of 400,000), which is given away to customers. The piece not only fanfared some of the designs, but championed the general benefits of sending cards, tying it in with Thinking of You Week. While many of the new designs have been created by Hallmark, these have been developed under Kirsty’s watchful eye,

ensuring that “every single design adds something different to that which is out there already.” Even with Hallmark now providing a lot of the designs, the new selection also incorporates designs from 25 other publishers too. “I have always enjoyed strong relationships with so many card publishers and I aim to continue to develop these. Product is at the very heart of this industry and it is up to myself and my team to keep up to date with the trends and innovative design treatments that publishers are offering so that we can feed them in when we refresh the selection next year,” says Kirsty. Summing up her role, Kirsty said: “I am the gatekeeper whose job it is to ensure we have the best selection of cards possible for our customers.” With the new selection now instore and selling well, work is now underway on new fixturing and Point of Sale that will chime with the new look. But Kirsty has another marker she is working towards – as a keynote speaker at the GCA AGM and Conference next month (October 24) where she will be addressing the greeting card industry. As she admitted: “Revamping our whole card selection of 1,500 designs is one thing, standing up in front of your peers and sharing your thoughts and beliefs with them is quite another. But I do like a challenge!” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Halo Effect A further 27 captions are being added to Kingfisher Cards’ very popular Aura range. Covering themes from baby to relations to family events, the gorgeous artwork is heavily foiled, has both embossing and de-bossing and is printed on a very high quality board. Kingfisher Cards 01245 327226

Eye Popping Make some noise on your birthday with Party Popper, the bright new neon children’s range from Cinnamon Aitch. There are 20 fun designs, full of cute and quirky animals, including boys and girls ages from 1 to 5. This eclectic tribe of colourful patterned monkeys, llamas, kittens and frogs is festooned with vibrant balloons, confetti and best party hats, all ready to celebrate with you! Cinnamon Aitch 0121 773 6833

Double Vision Kate & The Ink’s popular range of 3D cards is growing! Now with nine designs, including birthdays, engagement, get well soon, Valentine’s and new home cards. The clever retro designs come to life when seen with 3D anaglyph glasses. Each card is A6 in size and sold wrapped with a kraft brown envelope and a pair of 3D glasses. Kate & The Ink 07876 011823

Hand To Mouth It’s a greeting card with a recipe - or if you prefer, a recipe card with a greeting! Splimple’s new Eatings Cards is a range of 24 six-page cards featuring recipes donated on behalf of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Each card makes use of leftover food that might otherwise be thrown away - and a donation from each sale goes back to WRAP, so not a penny is wasted either! Splimple 01386 872752

Uniquely Chic The Hearts and Words range is a new range of occasion cards from Uniquely Yours featuring delicately painted hearts and caring sentiments. There are 17 designs in this range including, get well, new home, birth of twins and the range is expanding rapidly. The cards can also be created with bespoke wording for your shop! All the designs are printed on high quality board, sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with a white envelope. Uniquely Yours 01207 528819

Christmas Collage Tigerlily is launching Confetti, an enchanting new Christmas range featuring paper artist Suna Sor’s beautiful paper collages all capturing the spirit of this magical occasion. Titles include The Nutcracker, Santa en Route, Polar Station and lots of festive animals, all printed on lovely textured paper. All the cards are sold wrapped with a kraft envelope and gold sticker to match. Tigerlily 07835 893775 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Robin Along Nicely Love Christmas Robins? Catherine Pain has added 10 colourful designs to her Christmas Robins range showing robins getting up to all sorts of capers, with titles including Tobogganing, Gingerbread and Mistletoe Robins. The cards are sized 105mm x150mm, and sold wrapped with a white envelope. Catherine Pain 07831 672 535

Put A Pin On It!

Time To Rhyme

Badge of Honour is new range of 10 cards just launched by Caroline Gardner, each with its own enamel pin, bringing individual flair to hats, jackets and lapels. Designs include vibrant toucans, juicy watermelons, and even the traditional Caroline Gardner heart makes an appearance! Caroline Gardner 020 8288 9696

This new humour range from Go La La! features 24 naughty but Nice Little Ditties irreverent poems which take the reader to the point of naughtiness – and then veer off at a respectable tangent! The range includes birthday and occasions including new home, new job and wedding. All the cards are in a 120mm x 170mm format, are printed on silk finished board and sold wrapped with a white envelope. Go La La! 01458 830913

Bug’s Delight Rebecca Christian's Counting with Ladybirds range has been created from original watercolour paintings, and comprises ages 1 through to 6 with the number of ladybirds increasing to match the child's age. All the cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with a ribbed kraft envelope. Rebecca Christian 07751 983682

Aerial Display Henries finalist, Flying Teaspoons, has been busy adding to its fabulously quirky Christmas Card collection. The distinctive illustrative style is created using collaged magazine cuttings, which combined with humorous puns and funny facial expressions are bound to delight! There are eight new designs sized 150mm square, printed on luxuriously textured board and sold wrapped with a brown ribbed envelope. Flying Teaspoons 07975 940194

Man Kind Spiffing, a new collection of six trendy male cards, is being released by The Paintbox. It’s classy! It’s so sophisticated! And lots of fun. All the cards are sized 150mm square, printed on heavy uncoated board and sold wrapped with a gold envelope. The Paintbox 01633 881409 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Crayon Craze Sarah Kelleher is extending her popular rustic Crayon range to include milestone age cards, perfect for men and women alike, with five colourful new cards covering ages 18 to 80. All the cards are printed in the UK come wrapped with a ribbed envelope to complete the look. Sarah Kelleher 07758 123957

Petting Zone For people who love their pets more than anything, Rose Hill will be adding 12 new designs to the hugely successful Make Your Pet Famous range. All the cards are in its classic 150mm square size and presented wrapped with yellow envelopes or red for Christmas and Valentine's Day. Rose Hill Designs 07742 347603

Call Of The Wild Popular artist Diana Harding's wildlife pictures are known across the world and her images are now being released as a range of cards by Tilia Publishing. The first selection comprises nine British wildlife images, soon to be augmented by many more! Tilia Publishing 01273 844436

Good Vibrations Drop Outs, the latest collection from Aloha Calling, features vibrant vignettes, bold illustrations inspired by beach culture and a few surf dogs thrown in for good measure. The cards are all blank inside, sized 150mm x 105mm, printed on uncoated board and come wrapped with a matching envelope. Aloha Calling 07989 595279

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Giddy Sprite is launching a brand new range of cards featuring the dogs we all love, in its bright and bold signature style. The range currently includes: a Pug, French Bulldog, Whippet, Labrador (black, honey and chocolate), Scottie, Dachshund, Chihuahua, British Bulldog. All the cards are sized 160m square and come with white envelopes. Giddy Sprite 07807 979 311

Introducing an exciting new range from Papersole called Badge Me Happy. This cheerful addition to its portfolio is decorated with not one badge but two! There are 22 designs in the range, covering adult ages 16-50, open birthdays and occasions including wedding, new baby, anniversary, new home and thank you. All the cards are sized C6 and supplied wrapped with a gold envelope. Papersole 07730 614437 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Joy Of Life Rush Design is very excited to bring you Happiness, its brand new range of 30 designs. Happiness features a stylish array of female relations and open birthday designs in muted on trend pastels and hand-finished with glitter and diamantes and sold wrapped with white pearlised envelopes. Rush Design 01788 521745

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Pink Pig’s brand new Blokey range for guys is launching with 50 designs covering male birthday, relations and occasions, designed by Mabel Forsyth and featuring quirky little male characters. The cards are all sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with a textured eco kraft envelope. Pink Pig 07583 088596

Following on from the success of Cherry Picked For You’s Flora and Fauna ranges, Still Flowers sees artist Lesley Buckingham putting her beautiful flowers into vases, jugs and cups. The stunning blooms have been finished with varnish to create a real wow factor. The cards are sized 150mm square and are sold wrapped with a white textured envelope. Cherry Picked For You 01273 721353

Making More Magic! The Grumble & Co. has just released new designs to its very popular Wizard Bear Collection which has been nominated in the Best Cute Range category for The Henries 2017. This range is based on imaginary little bears that live up on The Edge in Cheshire, customers love the little story behind this collection! The Grumble & Co. 07712 639416

Luscious Leafiness Paperwhale is very excited to launch four new additions to its Botanics Collection which takes inspiration from a love of indoor greenery and urban jungles. Delicately collaged by illustrator Lianne Harrison, this collection now features 10 designs all of beautiful house plants including the kentia palm, zz plant and umbrella plant, perfect for anyone who appreciates beautiful leafy life forms. The cards are sized A6, printed on soft white textured board and sold wrapped with brown kraft envelopes. Paperwhale Greeting Cards 07960 812279

Shakin’ All Over Thirteen new children’s birthday cards have been added to the ever expanding Shakies range from James Ellis. Appealing to children (and a few to those slightly older too!), these handmade cards are filled with loose silver stars and coloured dot confetti which can be shaken around to change the design. All the cards are sized 130mm square and come wrapped with coloured envelopes. James Ellis 0117 927 7667



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Words & Sentiments - The Henries Finalists 2017

AnEclipse Of TheHeart Touching the heart with the expression of words on their card collections, some of this year’s Henries’ finalists in both of the Best Words & Sentiments Ranges - Traditional and Contemporary - share their thoughts on current developments and trends within the words and sentiments market and what makes their heart swell with emotion. Every Picture from Icon – finalist in the Best Contemporary Words & Sentiments Range Kate Jamieson, creative manager for Icon: Evolvements: “I have definitely noticed a growing trend for the wittier, more succinct and pithy words on cards. Stylistically, there are a lot of hand-drawn designs and the bold, geometric designs using neons and foils are still very eyecatching and easy to send. I think many more people are Above: Every Picture from Icon combines uplifting quotes with simple photography. sending cards to loved ones for a ‘Thinking of You’ scenario as a token of support. A carefully chosen card for someone who is going through tough times can speak volumes and will always be hugely appreciated by the recipient and thus it’s a simple and affordable way of sending positive thoughts of friendship and love.” Heart & soul: “I tend to well-up when I see people being genuinely nice to each other, especially to older people, for instance if a small child does something cute with a grandparent. Reading cards from small children is always hilarious and heart-warming at the same time. My daughter always signs off her cards with a very British ‘All the best!’, even in her cards to me!”

Everlasting from The Handcrafted Card Company finalist in the Best Traditional Words & Sentiments Range Alison Skingsley, designer for The Handcrafted Card Company: Evolvements: “‘So Sorry to hear of the loss of someone so loved’ has been a popular design within the range, as it shows the sender has genuine empathy for the recipient of the card and the sadness they are experiencing.

Below: The Handcrafted Card Company’s sympathy designs offer solace as well as condolences – a design from its Everlasting range.

The tone of sentimental words definitely seem lighter and more evocative within the current marketplace. ‘With sympathy’ will always be perfect for many, but popular phrases for us such as ‘Seashells remind us that every passing life leaves something beautiful behind’ show that people want to offer solace as well as condolences. Handwritten fonts are perfect as they are intimate and express sentiments in the style of a handwritten note. And colour is important - the trend for watercolour has allowed publishers to bring in subtle and beautiful colour.” Heart & soul: “‘You need a Happy Hat’ claimed my daughter when she was little when any sad occasion merited the immediate drawing of a ‘happy hat’. She still does this even though she’s 23!”

Heart Story and Made With Love for Tesco from Hallmark - finalist in the Best Traditional Words & Sentiments Range Ruth Turner-Blood, senior editorial manager for Hallmark: Evolvements: “There’s so much instability in the world right now and it’s driving people to focus more on what they value most in life – their friends and family. Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to the perfect sentiment. Many people still love lengthy traditional rhyming verse, whilst others want something a little more succinct and contemporary in style. Underneath it all though is a desire to make an emotional connection through the words they’ve chosen. Of course, social media has Above: Along with its Made With Love for Tesco range, also had an effect on how people Hallmark’s Heart Story range shows longer sentiment communicate and use language, combined with a more contemporary look can work equally as well. but as long as our words are relevant, and say what someone maybe can’t express themselves, then they’re sure to be a success.” Heart & soul: “We recently asked our editors and designers to write down their most-loved quotes and words of wisdom. Our favourite, by author Libba Bray, perfectly sums up what our writers and editors aspire to do every day: ‘Write like you mean it – and it will.’” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Words & Sentiments - The Henries Finalists 2017

Keepsakes from Grass Roots International - finalist in the Best Traditional Words & Sentiments Range Lisa Ardren, director of Grass Roots International: Evolvements: “The sentiment market is not diminishing – it is expanding. It is fairly evident that there is room for the variety of styles that are available. At Grass Roots we still have our core traditional styled sentiment product, which pulls at the heartstrings. The Above: Thoughtful words on a Keepsake Keepsakes range is a traditional product Friendship design from Grass Roots. that sits alongside the more succinct product that has a more simple flavour that is lighter in tone. There is a distinct difference in the style of artwork, with the more traditional words leaning towards traditional styled artwork and the contemporary product leaning towards simple, clean lines and more focus on the style of font or typography.” Heart & soul: “Anything to do with my grandchildren makes my heart swell!”

Cloud Nine from Redback Cards - finalist in the Best Contemporary Words & Sentiments Range Capella Andrean, designer for Redback Cards: Evolvements: “It’s clear that typography is still having its day, and that’s understandable for this market where of course words are key. There seems to be a strong trend of focusing on the simplicity of the words, making them the key feature or using the illustrative qualities of the text in the design itself. Because this style can be quite simple the use of special finishes, such as foiling and bright colours, are becoming very popular to help these cards stand out from the crowd. Here at Redback we’ve noticed the popularity of informal or colloquial language such as ‘Baby Girls Rule’ increase over the more traditional ‘Congratulations on your New Baby’ sentiments. School leavers is a sending occasion that seems to be growing year on year and of course there is an ever growing market for cards that represent modern family life with additions to traditional cards for step parents and siblings.” Heart & soul: “I love you to Spain and back” - Emily Stanley aged 4! My daughter’s own take on “Love you to the moon and Above: Bold, beautiful and bright, a back” makes me smile every time!” design from Redback’s Cloud Nine range.

Words Of Wisdom from Dandelion Stationery finalist in the Best Contemporary Words & Sentiments Range Jo Wilson, director for Dandelion Stationery: Evolvements: “I think there are more cards available on the market which offer heartfelt and sentimental messages, but perhaps with a more light-hearted/contemporary tone. We are finding that Thinking of You cards are increasingly popular, but in many different ways, and not necessarily sympathy related.

We are also finding that images that are simple but relevant to the wording on the card are increasingly important – people don’t always want cards with flowers on them.” Heart & soul: “My 10-year daughter loves to write me messages and pictures – some are heartwarming, others are simply hilarious, guaranteed to bring a smile every time. I was poorly a few weeks ago (man-flu) and she made me a card that said ‘Mummy – I’ll look after you so that you don’t die’.

Above: Simple imagery with emotional wording on a Dandelion Stationery Words Of Wisdom design.

Letterpress from Words ‘n’ Wishes - finalist in the Best Traditional Words & Sentiments Range Rod Brown, joint managing director for Words ‘n’ Wishes: Evolvements: “There will always be the requirement by our older generation for a card with a longer verse, lots of sentiment and a more traditional image on page 1. This generation at the moment obviously is the largest percentage of purchasers of traditional verse and sentiment cards. However, the terminology of a ‘verse’ card is what continues to evolve. We are moving into an era where the card that is sent is deemed as a representation of the sender, and therefore the Above: A heart-felt Letterpress younger generation want to say something more design from Words ‘n’ Wishes. than Happy Birthday that includes a term of endearment to the receiver without being too sentimental.” Heart & soul: “I cannot get past the emotion I feel hearing ‘Flower of Scotland’ by the mass pipes and drums. Priceless!”

Perfectly Said from UK Greetings - finalist in the Best Traditional Words & Sentiments Range Pete Bottomley, editor for UK Greetings: Evolvements: “When it comes to the sentiment in cards, we find that although certain buzzwords and language trends come and go, a lot of what people want to say remains the same. It’s just how they want to say it that alters. More and more, we’re finding younger generations need the language to reflect them and stay authentic to their way of speaking. However, this doesn’t mean we shy away from more traditional greeting card phrases, as there’s a familiarity and a comfort that still continues to resonate. Overall, we tend to judge each card by who’s sending it, who’s receiving it and what the occasion is. There’s a place for both traditional and contemporary cards with heartfelt or open editorial and it’s our job as editors to find that balance in our line.” Left: So Proud of You – a Perfectly Said card from UK Greetings.




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Words & Sentiments New Product Launches


Language Of Love l The new designs for Hammond Gower’s best selling range Piano shows a fun twist on the original range concept of sharing with loved ones. The core colour palette is sophisticated yet youthful and fully on trend this year. Whether you want to send a heartfelt message, or just want to brighten someone’s day, these cards are perfect. l Coulson Macleod has added 15

new designs to its existing and super popular typographic Word Cloud range, including this one My Sister - made up of heartfelt and funny quotes about being a sister such as ‘never let an angry sister comb your hair’ and ‘what’s the point of good news if you haven’t got a sister to share it with?’ The wordy Word Cloud range consists of 34 square cards (15cm x 15cm) and come supplied with a white envelope. l A premier greeting card line from the

masters of sentiment and inspiration, Blue Mountain Arts’ Windows of the Heart range offers 16 vibrant, tri-fold designs printed on heavyweight board with a layered die-cut window creating a beautiful 3D effect. The range covers all key sending occasions that call for the most heartfelt of well wishes.

l Quotable Cards’ newest

release features 12 all-new greeting card styles in the company’s signature typographic style of design. This batch of 5” square cards covers a range of sentiments and includes classic authors, like Winston Churchill, as well as newer authors to the line,

Short and sweet or long and heartfelt, PG showcases some freshly launched words and sentiments card ranges that are helping us share our thoughts and feelings to loved ones.

like Amy Rees Anderson. The release also offers a well-rounded batch of new designs in each gift category, including the magnets, framed prints, mugs, pouches, dishes, tote bags, and canvas. Spread the words! l The Great British Card Company

(GBCC) is delighted to announce the launch of its male Occasion and Relations sentiment collection. The collection features a charming new character range called 'the Tweets' alongside Filigree, a sophisticated and classy typography driven range. With the addition of brand new cute and contemporary designs and luxury finishes throughout, the collection as a whole offers something for everybody. l In a time where family and friendships are important, particularly close relations like Mum, Daughter and Granddaughter, Nigel Quiney felt the need to expand its successful Pizazz brand into sentiment. This exciting new collection combines the successful Pizazz styling with the addition of heartfelt sentiment. These stunning floral designs are awash with beautiful butterflies and enhanced with gold and silver flittered text, the stunning images will attract, but the sentiment will sell! Designs retail at £1.75 and £1.90 l Old English Company first launched its Small Card Collection in February 2017 - a range of cards in a smaller size, perfect for a range of occasions – and due to the success of this range it has expanded the collection from 15 designs to 45 in the range. The art is in the simplicity. Featuring handlettered messages that resonate with people, the designs are finished with a range of foils – from gold to pearlescent - to make them not only that extra special but to add texture and light to the range. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


**NEW** Designs


Grass Roots International

For further details, please contact your Representative or our friendly Customer Service Team.

Tel: 0151 541 0448 E-mail: Web:

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Words & Sentiments New Product Launches

l Heart Story from Hallmark is

simple and emotive - these expressive quotes and sentiments get right to the heart of the matter. With the focus on front page editorial, the beautifully hand-lettered cards are embellished with delicate foil and illustrative elements. Additionally, Bracketology (left) is one of Hallmark’s newest editorially-led ranges and is bursting with wit and personality. Each card features an added message in brackets to deliver a (sometimes unexpected) finishing touch. l Saffron’s Time to Shine range

is a super exciting new range of dazzling creative birthday cards developed with the new trend for inspirational and motivational greetings in mind. This gorgeous range features the amazing and very specialised finish of cold foiling which brings these beautiful cards to life and creates a range of magical designs with greetings for all those special friends. l Grass Roots International’s Sympathy Collections play a major part in its verse and sentiment element of its product offering. With a portfolio of over 40 titles to choose from it has recently launched a new Sympathy Collection in September, to add to an already very strong portfolio of titles and design.

l Found in Translation is a fresh and stylish new range from Go La La of 30 designs, 125mm square, on uncoated textured board with a gunmetal grey envelope. The range depicts a selection of beautiful words from around the world that have no direct English translation; from Bilita Mpash to Zhaghzhagh, some are funny, some are sentimental, but all are fascinating. l A trio of UKG words and sentiments collections include: Happy Talk (top far right), an eclectic trend-led collection of 18 designs that really hits the mark with its of-the-moment messaging and language style; Or, when you simply want to send a hug, a pick-me-up or say a quick hello, Perfectly Said has all the right words in fresh rhyming verse,

guaranteed to make anyone feel extra-special; Send even more warm wishes their way with 15 Word Portraits (above left) designs, an unreservedly heartfelt and traditional sentiment-led range, each with a beautiful book-fold verse insert. l Cherry Orchard has added 18

fantastic new typographic words and sentiments designs to its Autumn Collection 2017. With a range of foiled and flittered styles on white backgrounds, the cards cover captions including Get Well Soon, Congratulations, New Home and more informal words including Ta Very Much and A Huge Congrats. The cards are available at price points Code 45 and 55.

l In October Jonny Javelin will be

releasing a total of 24 brand new titles into its Velvet Moments range. These extensions are all Sympathy and Thinking of You titles but the messages inside are a little bit shorter than previously because sympathy is such a deep and emotive subject. The cards will retail at £1.79 likewise with the other titles in the range.

l Huetribe is a

multiracial and LGBTQ greeting card company created in 2017 to address under represented group in the greeting card market. The line features 40 designs and will release an additional 40 designs in 2018 in partnership with Manchester Pride. All of the cards are eco-friendly and the models used on the cards are in actual relationships, which give the cards a personal feel. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Trends Spotlight


South Maybe it all started with the popularity of the super-food quinoa, heightened by the Rio Olympics in 2016? It could be the sense of ancient communities and historic craftsmanship - the ying to the yang of our busy, tech lives - or simply a colourful backlash to the grey calm of Hygge. There are a number of possibilities, but there’s no denying, the South American influences this year are ‘Amazonian’ in stature. As we bash at the piñata of this continent’s culture for cuisine and design in 2017, the sweet treats pour out, especially on cards, in the shape of cacti, colourful pompoms and especially alpacas and avocados, which are also perfect for some hilarious puns.


lpaca my bags’ or ‘You’re Allama-ingly good looking’, how about, ‘He may be small and green but he does avocado’? These are just a tiny taster of the witticisms that are making us smile and groan simultaneously - on cards featuring the healthy but humble avocado and the adorable alpaca and its wilder cousin the llama. And they’re part of a wider Latin American flavour that’s samba-ing on the dancefloor of current illustration and design. Traditional South American craftsmanship and patterns have been a huge influence on design this summer - in homewares (such as colourful weaved baskets, tassels and terracotta pots), rhythmic geometric patterns and saturated sizzling hues on textiles, gifts and stationery - sharing a glimpse of the history and culture behind the highlyskilled hands that made the original crafts, and reminding ourselves of community and an earthy authenticity in a tumultuous world. ‘



“I think it’s the vibrancy and diversity in the South American trend that has made it so popular. But also a sense of escapism from our busy, ‘always-on’ lives. Bringing another part of the world to you, whether through colour, design, objects, or all three, helps us feel more connected and a part of something. It makes us belong”, says Adam Watts, owner publisher Duke & Rabbit. Owning South American inspired objects creates a feeling of connection to those who value their roots, believes Laura Frame, director for Alicorn Cards: “The trend

Inset: Paper Salad giftwrap from Glick. Above: A motoring avocado on a card from publishing punster, Jelly Armchair. Below: Cherry Orchard’s new Aloha! children’s range of 32 age designs covers boys’ and girls’ birthdays from ages 1 to 16. Below left: A prickly character from Paper Plane. Bottom: Bluebell 33’s Avocado range is full of sweet avocado characters.

seems to be particularly popular with young people looking for something at once homely and fun; making a space warm, relaxed and welcoming by embracing the South American culture. The way the trend is being used is unapologetically celebratory and fun so it translates very well to greeting card design.” Riding on the tasty wave of fashionable fare from Peru and Mexico, super-food, the avocado, a fruit originating from South Central America, is not only ‘ripe’ for the health trend but design-wise has also ‘pitted’ itself as part of the Pantone Colour for 2017 – ‘Greenery’. “We just love avocados at Bluebell 33… and knew that there was a whole card range waiting to be designed using them. Not only are they such an amazing superfood, it's the sweet round iconic shape people love too. This meant making our Avocado card range have little personalities incredibly easy!

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Trends Spotlight

Especially our pregnant ‘You're having a baby’ card… the avocado shape completely lends itself to looking like a mum-to-be! And using the obvious and not so obvious puns made us all laugh out loud in the office when we were designing them. It has definitely been one of the funniest ranges to design and is selling brilliantly for us!” exclaims Bluebell 33’s Tim Clark. Avocado passionista, Meghna Jhuremalani, director for Nocturnal Paper, believes the South American penchant may have erupted from another trend - in the past few years we have started to place a lot of importance on the craftsmanship and designer, and the story behind the brand or craft is given equal emphasis to create a unique bond with consumers. It is the complete opposite of our busy nature and tech loving culture. “I love my iPhone, but my love for paper products and handmade goodies is much more because there is so much more to it. South Americans have always

stuck to their roots of craft so I think that and added burst of colour in everything has become popular. Plus, avocados are just plain delicious (and nutritious) and can easily be cutely illustrated to sit with a pun that makes you LOL, literally, says Meghna, adding that, “Simply eating avocados is not enough, ha! They need to be everywhere! Our cards are all about whatever is #trending. We try to bring what we scroll through on our phones to paper to bring back that personal touch to communication one card at a time.”

Above: Stormy Knight’s 'Party Pinata' card from the new Good as Gold collection. Above right: Llamas are perfect for puns, as seen on this Duke & Rabbit design. Below: A fa la la llama Christmas card with an enamel pin from Hotchpotch’s Flair range. Below left: Nocturnal Paper’s cards reflect what’s trending on social media. Right: A spontaneous alpaca designed by Neil Slorance for Alicorn Cards (image by Holly Booth Photography). Bottom: Using Liberty print fabrics, stitching, ribbon, beads and tiny pompoms – a Valentine’s llama from Pearl & Black. Bottom right: Card Nest’s Go Wild collection is created in collaboration with illustrator Lydia Nichols.

Then, there’s perchance the Latin American unicorn, the llama (or alpaca)? For a couple of years now we’ve been enraptured by the magic and mysticism of the unicorn, sipping coffee out of unicorn cups and resting our heads on unicorn pillows. However, quietly, over the last year, a new four-legged animal has been gently trotting onto card designs. Not as glittery or dramatic as the single-horned mythological beast, but a homelier, cuddly version, one with a winning smile and a soft woolly coat – the alpaca. Emma Pearce, designer for Hotchpotch, whose ‘Flair’ range features enamel pins featuring (among others) a piñata and a Christmas llama, enthuses, “We just love llamas! They’re the goofy, dorky cousin of the magical unicorn and they really appeal to the animal lovers who are after something other than the usual cats and

dogs. Llamas and alpacas work with such a great variety of hilarious puns for birthdays and celebrations… our favourite is ‘Fa-la-la-la-laa-la-la-LLAMA!’” For Duke & Rabbit’s Adam Watts, the llama character in his range actually stemmed from a play on words of ‘You’re alarmingly good looking’ when coming up with ideas for a new card design: “After rejecting an alarm clock design and reading out the phrase again and again, ‘llama’ just seemed to fit in nicely. As for their appeal, I just think it’s the mix of them not being commonplace in our lives, their cuddly, unique shape and also all that hair that makes you just want to brush and style all day long! Or is that just me then?!”, jokes Adam.

Alicorn Cards’ Laura Frame believes, “Llamas’ and alpacas’ happy and self-assured expressions are a lot of their appeal, and the fact they can have an attitude. Illustrator, Neil Slorance, explains why he included them in his range for Alicorn Cards: “I've always loved characters in illustrations and especially animals. There's something about llamas and alpacas that seem so funny yet almost a bit under appreciated. They also have great pun potential.”” So from the naturally ‘smiley’ face and big brown eyes of the alpaca and llama, the ‘super’ avocado, and the bright colours and joyful patterns, Latin American design brings the sunshine, wherever it ends up. Tim from Bluebell 33 wraps it up (or maybe that should be burrito) when he says, “Who doesn’t want to have a South American vibe in their home? Especially with the British summer we have had! Pops of colour makes everyone happy, and the South American look and feel certainly does that, whether that's in your home or on your stationery!” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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

The Digital High Street Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun, looks at the digital high street. There’s no escaping it, we are living in an age of rapid technological growth and it’s having a dramatic effect on our high streets and retail businesses. The internet and online shopping are obvious examples. Payment technology like direct debits, standing orders and online banking have also reduced footfall to high street banks and post offices, which in turn has made it tougher for other retailers at these locations.

Consumers are changing Most of us are using our phones and mobile devices daily. We are sharing our experiences and thoughts and feelings about the world on a regular basis online. The way we consume products is also changing. Anything that can be commoditised is, and the lowest price has become the dominant choice factor for these items. Only strong brand stories are able to survive the squeeze on pricing that the internet has brought with it. It’s never been more important to be clear on who you are, who your customers are and how you communicate your story to them. Consumers are savvier than ever. They often know exactly what they want when walking into stores after having spent hours online researching. They want authentic brands and experiences that they can share online. They want to buy from companies that share their values. This changing retail landscape brings with it a number of opportunities that retailers can take advantage of and obstacles that businesses must overcome.

Opportunities Here are four opportunities that digital technology offers card and gift retailers: 50



Clout The internet allows you to punch above your weight. Your card retail business is no longer restricted by the physical size of your bricks and mortar store. You can project yourself as much bigger than you really are. The web also gives you reach by allowing your brand story to be shared beyond your physical locality. l Amplification Social media allows you to amplify your message by harnessing the power of your raving fans, allowing them to shout about you from the rooftops. You can create reassurance through customer reviews and discover what people love and hate about your business. Using tools like Google my

Above: The high street of the future? A scene from the classic film Blade Runner. Below: Shout about your store from the roof tops and online!

Business makes it a lot easier for people to find and talk about your business. It’s also easier to find journalists and PR opportunities to boost your profile. l Global The internet is global, which means that you can now sell worldwide at any time of the day or night. Your story can travel to all four corners of the planet. You also have access to digital marketplaces like Amazon, with over 20 million customers a month visiting its website. Never before has it been easier to get started selling online, even without a website. l Fast and fun This technological change has brought with it opportunities for personal growth and development on an unprecedented scale. We can train ourselves in almost any subject online. Social media is allowing us to create powerful networks and discover new friendships that can help us to grow. Social selling has become a thing. In some respects, it’s never been easier to retail goods or services. For

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JEREMY’S JOURNAL example, my yoga instructor posts pictures of body butters she manufactures at home. The orders are placed in the comments below her posts on Instagram and Facebook and she collects the cash from them when she hands over the goods. She can also take payments by PayPal, where all her customers need to know is the amount and her email. Despite all this, most retailers often have some hurdles to navigate.

Obstacles Here are four obstacles for card and gift retailers to overcome on the digital high street: l Time We all know that spending time on our phones and digital devices can sometimes feel wasteful. There’s also so much choice that it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s useful to focus on customer needs to decide on your priorities. Then you can allocate sufficient amounts of time to your digital activities. The trick with all online marketing is to be consistent. If you start a weekly blog, make sure that you can keep it up every week. l Finance Building websites and investing in digital marketing can be expensive. I always recommend that people test first. So, try selling on an online marketplace, like Amazon, before spending thousands on a website. Your website will never beat Amazon for SEO, efficiency and technological sophistication so test there first. Sort out your Google listing for free first. Buy your web domain and have a simple web page before spending on an ecommerce website. l You’re unknown Building a website is not like starting a shop on the high street, it’s like starting a shop in the desert with no roads to or from it. You need to be discoverable online, so start with something, even if it’s just a Facebook page or a one page website. Get clear on what your brand story is and what makes you unique, then start consistently sharing it online. Think of yourself as a road builder, building links to your digital presence on a daily basis. l Technology Tech is changing all the time at a rapid rate. You are a retailer not a web designer, so outsource to experienced experts to get the best results. Get training so that you make

Eight technological changes in retail There are some remarkable changes happening in retail at the moment. Some of which have already made it into our everyday lives and some that are on their way to mass adoption in the coming years. Here are eight examples: l Robots and AI

Softbank have been testing a humanoid robot called Pepper in thousands of retail sites. Pepper is fun, speaks 19 languages and is designed to recognise principle human emotions (by analysing facial expressions) and respond accordingly. l Virtual shopping Customers can scan a variety of products on a display wall at train stations and airports and their order will be waiting for them when they return home. Early adopters include Home Plus in South Korea and Tesco, Ocado and John Lewis in the UK. l Voice Voice recognition software has been getting more and more powerful. Amazon Echo and its virtual assistant, Alexa, make it remarkably easy to order almost anything by voice from the comfort of your home. l Self-service checkout Mostly used by supermarket chains, we’ve all adapted to scanning and paying by ourselves at checkout tills. Customers are able to move at their own speed and retailers are able to reduce staff overheads. l Amazon Go Amazon has been testing a bricks and mortar grocery store concept in the US. Using ‘Just Walk Out’ tech and its app, you simply walk into the store, grab the items you need and leave. There are no tills and payment is taken from your account on exiting the store. l Payment devices Companies like Square, Paypal and iZettle now offer solutions for anyone to be able to retail from anywhere. You can attach a variety of devices to your mobile device and take credit card payments. l Contactless There are now over 100 million contactless bank cards in the UK. We are using them, our watches and our phones to make faster payments for small purchases. Alibaba have recently started debuting payments by facial recognition at KFC in China. l Drones Amazon has started making small deliveries by drone, which reduce waiting times for certain products down to as little as 15 minutes from the time of ordering online in the comfort of your home. Top: Pepper is the humanoid robot being tested in thousands of retail sites. Above right: Drone deliveries have already begun at Amazon. Left: Make your presence felt on the internet – a 1,000 Words design from U Studio.

the most of your SEO, social media or ecommerce online. Finally, make sure you study your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) each week so that you can adjust quickly as you learn what works and doesn’t. Have you adopted aspects of the digital high street yet or do you still have your head in the sand? You must act now. You can begin by getting to know your best customers well, understanding your brand story and start connecting with

them online. If you only do one thing though, work hard to reduce queues (eg with contactless) and improve customer experience in your shop. This is what most of the technological advances shown are focused on. Read more on Jeremy’s blog at Watch The Greeting Card Project weekly videos at PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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01234 740 051

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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.


Natalie Hancock I’ve been working as a professional illustrator and designer for the last 10 years, having graduated with a degree in illustration in 2007. During this time I’ve worked in a wide range of creative areas, starting out as an in-house designer for a clothing brand, and then going solo and setting myself up as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Most of my clients have happened to be in the hospitality industry and therefore naturally my specialism has fallen to illustrating food and drink. I’ve even taken my specialism to the extreme and I paint on food for my hand-painted wedding cake business, MurrayMe. I’m a traditionalist at heart and I find that nothing can truly replace good old-fashioned pens and pencils when it comes to creating art. Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some large pub chains in the UK, creating beautiful illustrations that adorn


tables and walls all over the country. One of my favourite pieces of work to date has been creating a number of gin bottle illustrations that were used for a summer drinks campaign. When I’m not working with clients I’m constantly thinking up new ideas for personal projects and working on new artwork. My most recent project is a range of greeting card designs, which combine my intricate hand-drawn illustrations with a bit of cheeky humour. I hope that I’ll get the chance to have these published in the future. l Web:

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 This is an editorial feature and as such is free of charge. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Salesforce e MOBILE Ordering using iPhone, iPad, i Pad, T Tablet, ablet, etc. i l Consignment incl. C Consignm i entt and d Van Van Sales S l s Email us at or visit our website at UK- 01924 950500 / USA- (617) 8618-517 / Australia- (0432) 846546 Exponential Limited Suite 37 Charles Roberts House Charles Street +RUEXU\:DNH¿HOG:HVW<RUNVKLUH:))+     

53_55_49/51 27/09/2017 12:33 Page 55

ART SOURCE Eleanor Hancock

For as long as I can remember I have been addicted to drawing. From being small I would design quirky caricatures of all of my school friends and sneakily stay up late drawing whatever came to mind. I studied at Loughborough University where I gained a First Class Degree in Printed Textile Design and started my career in London. After a successful few years designing for international brands, I decided to brave a freelance career and moved to the seaside to set up my own studio designing for giftware and greeting cards. I love the variety of work that I have been commissioned to do, I find it inspiring to try different styles and looks to bring something new to a brief. All of my work still begins with drawing, overlaying textures and prints to achieve a beautiful design. I am also a sucker for some hand-drawn fonts and calligraphy. Working within the greeting card industry has changed a lot over the past fifteen years, cards have become contemporary design items, and with the development of social media I believe people now take more time and consideration over the cards that they want to send. I enjoy creating contemporary and beautiful designs that people choose to mark a special occasion. I am now excited to begin a new chapter with The Bright Agency and I am looking forward to working on new and exciting projects with them. When I am not scribbling away at my desk I can be found running around after my three children who keep me busy, browsing at the gin shelf in the supermarket or pretending to read a good book. Please contact Hannah and Fiona at Bright Art Licensing. l Tel: 0207 3269140 l Web:

Lauren Lowen A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, I like to describe my art as “whimsically awkward, or awkwardly whimsical”. After working in mainly editorial and publishing for several years, I happily found a home for my quirky and often humorous illustrations in the world of art licensing and surface design. My illustrations have been used for a variety of products, including books and magazines, stationery, giftware, and even kid’s luggage! Although past work was produced primarily with gouache paint, the computer and digital brushes revolutionised my process about five years ago, and I now enjoy utilising both methods to create lush and texture-filled images for clients. My future goals include working with companies manufacturing kid’s apparel, bedding, and plush. When I’m not in the studio, I fulfill my passion for teaching at Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville. After celebrating a decade of teaching there, and at other acclaimed institutions such as RISD and Montserrat College of Art, I believe that teaching allows me to stay inspired, stay sharp, and spread my love for illustration to the next generation of artists and designers. I spend my days in Mt. Juliet, TN, with my husband Keith, dog Starbuck, and Mario the Hedgehog. I am happily represented by Jennifer Nelson Artists and have worked with clients such as Hallmark, Klutz, Mudpuppy Press, DEMDACO, Design House Greetings, and Scholatic Press. Some of my favorite things in life include sushi (specifically Philadelphia Rolls) and Star Trek. l l l l

Lauren’s Agent: Jennifer Nelson Email: Web: Tel: 781-643-2002 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


56-57_46-47 27/09/2017 12:51 Page 56

PG asked a selection of card retailers for their ‘hot’ card sellers. Matthew Berger, owner of Caxton, Temple Fortune, North London A small shop in a city suburb with a very loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Proud Couture



Peartree Heybridge

Camilla & Rose


Stop The Clock



Alice Scott


Full Stop

English Graphics

Glitter Dots

The Handcrafted Card Company

Beau Couture

Really bang-on trend designs! Fashion illustrations of gorgeous, skinny fashion models. Constantly a good seller for us; some customers buy them by the half dozen. The humour really tickles them. With a subtle letterpress feel, they just ooze class and quality. Very smart black and white designs with a touch a gold that makes them pop! A whimsical wordy range that appeals to a younger market. Inspirational friendship sends with a few little gems. Chic and modern with a bit of sparkle, a female range that’s fresh and refreshing.


Handmade/ Hand-Finished

Above: A gorgeous fashionista on a Proud Couture design. Right: The Handcrafted Card Company’s new Beau Couture range is chic, modern and fresh.

Maxine Matthews and Sharon Baker, partners of Bromley & Co, Ipswich, Suffolk A medium shop in a historic town with a visitors and loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Noel Tatt






Rosie Made A Thing

Gin & Frolics

Redback Cards

Cloud Nine


Stop The Clock



Two Little Monkeys

Pick & Mix


Noel Tatt


A great quality range from a recognised brand. Cute and loveable characters just adorable! Everyone loves them! A wonderful range of cards that just keep selling! The designs relate to everyday life with tongue in cheek humour! A Henries awards finalist this year, the bold and bright word cards are constantly updated with new titles. A great collection of delicate floral and leaf designs that appeal to young and old alike. A brightly coloured range of cards that would be perfect for your best friend. A vast offering of traditional handfinished three-dimensional cards that remain as popular as ever, and at a competitive price.

Above: Perfect for friendships, the Pick & Mix range from Two Little Monkeys. Right: A Whimsicals anniversary design from Desito.



56-57_46-47 27/09/2017 12:51 Page 57

Julie Fiske, proprietor of Paper Wishes, Wymondham, Norfolk A small shop in a market town with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range






My Design Co

Music Box Cards





Whistlefish (previously Milkwood)



Paper Rose

Jojo’s Jungle

Handmade/ Hand-Finished Ancillary

A Made Hand


These cards just sell and sell for us - customers come from far and wide for the range of age relation cards. The front of the music box card looks like a conventional card, but opens to reveal a magnetic dancing character which moves around the card to the music when you press play. Customers love to watch them and listen to the lovely music. Holly Auchincloss’ amazing photographs of animals. The black and white tortoise image has been particularly popular. The floral designs are very popular but because the cards are such a good price many people buy lots at a time to stock up. We definitely could not be without them. Bright and fun. Lots of lovely colours mean these cards appeal to adults and kids alike. Simple beauty - customers appreciate this.

Boxer Gifts

Starlight Bottles



Above: An adorable tortoise design from Wildcards. Below: In sunshine shades, Jojo’s Jungle Paper Rose.

With sentiments on the bottle and lovely star shaped LED lights inside, these just continue to grow in popularity. Gorgeous, soft, cuddly plush that everyone loves.

Roy Beswick, partner of The Card Collection, East Molesey and Teddington, Surrey and London Two (small and medium) shops in an affluent village and city suburb with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Emotional Rescue (Distributed by Is It Art?) Paper House (GBCC)

On The Ceiling


Medici Cards (GBCC)

English Heritage


I Drew This



The Art File Museums & Galleries Wendy Jones-Blackett

Sara Miller London, and Matthew Williamson Quicksilver

House Of Sarunds

Belgium Chocolates

Black and white retro images with on point topical jokes. Gentle humour with a simple illustration - such as an image of a couple of wine glasses with the sentiments ‘Always together in spirit’. Beautiful images of lovely places people recognise or have visited. Because both the shops are located near to the Capital customers are familiar with the London scenes, which are bright and colourful and depicted in a different way. Fashion-led illustrations and prints with a depth of colour highlighted with tiny bits of foiling. Customers are attracted to the designs’ Above: This Paper House's (GBCC) Fine Line card raises a glass to friends. simplicity, colours and foiling. A wide variety of delicious Belgium chocolates that are beautifully packaged by us in-house.

Handmade/ Hand-Finished Ancillary

Fine Line



on to Su lin the bs c e at new rib PG s e Bu flas zz h .n et

Card works

From the team behind Progressive Greetings Worldwide, PG Live, The Retas and The Henries, has launched as the new online central resource for the greeting card sector online...

News, Editorial and Content Opportunities: Jakki Brown Joint md & editorial director

Twice weekly newsflash delivered to over 9000 inboxes

Regularly updated jobs-board

The very latest news, views, articles and analysis

Digital issues of Progressive Greetings Worldwide

Dedicated pages for the GCA and The Ladder Club

Warren Lomax

Up to date information on PG Live, The Retas, and The Henries

Tracey Arnaud

Michelle Board News editor

Advertising, Recruitment and Sponsorship Opportunities:

News • PG Worldwide • Interviews • PG Live • Newsflash • Events Gallery • Jobs • Ladder Club • GCA

4_PG_June 2017.indd 1

30/06/2017 16:3

Unit 8, Archers Park, Branbridges Road East Peckham, Kent TN12 5HP Email: Tel: 01622 871449

IC Advert Panel A5 Landscape.indd 1 58_PG October 2017.indd 80

09/06/2017 12:01 28/09/2017 12:05

59-60_Grid 28/09/2017 14:02 Page 1

The Ladder Club 2017



Below: The attendees and speakers from the first day Ladder Club seminar in Westcliff-on-sea. Bottom: Scribbler’s Jennie Procter with McMillan Cards’ Jenny Cummins.

The Ladder Club seminars went up a few extra rungs of ‘specialness’ last month - it was a record turnout, there was a fabulous speaker line-up and there was a palpable feeling of ‘belonging’. Taking place in The Ladder Club’s ‘spiritual home’ of Westcliff-on-Sea, these 18th anniversary seminars were especially poignant, being the first since the death of Ladder Club main founder, Lynn Tait. But there was definitely some of her sparkle, warmth and mischief in the room. PG gives a whistle-stop tour of the two days on the ‘Essex Riviera’, where listening, learning and camaraderie were top of the packed agendas. Over 150 newbie and expanding card publishers attended the two back-to-back Ladder Club one day seminars - and they lapped up the advice and insights that were so generously shared by fellow publishers, retailers and suppliers who took to the lecturn. On Day One, having been taken right through the production process from ‘imagination to actuality’ by supporting suppliers (Enveco, The Imaging Centre, GF Smith and The Sherwood Group), Jeremy Corner, md of Blue Eyed Sun shared an invaluable formula as to how to cost out your greeting cards (in order to make a profit!), Midlands’ agent Ian Bradley explained what makes agents tick, while Jess Hogarth (of Jessica Hogarth Designs) and Megan Purdie (from Megan Claire) shared their warts and all stories of their respective greeting card journeys. Ending the day on both a punchy and emotional note, Unit 7’s Andrea Pinder’s

telling of her personal story of how she has “taken on the challenge” time and time again to grow her retail business was undeniably infectious, before she handed over to Jenny Cummins, md of McMillan Cards (Australian card distributor) who continued this positive vein with a heart-felt delivery about a vital element of being a card publisher - passion! The Day Two agenda, aimed at publishers looking to grow their business, was

“My brain is buzzing with ideas and I’m itching to get started… I feel like we have the tools and the knowledge to know how to find them. The Ladder Club showed us direction, something which has in the past taken so long to get right.” Upasana Sonigra of Akari Maharani Designs “Wow, wow, wow… what an absolutely amazing day (and night!). It was everything I expected and so much more. Lots of giggles, lots of amazing insight and lots of meeting fabulous people. A fantastic line-up of speakers and I was scribbling down notes throughout the whole day. As an industry we're incredibly lucky to have such rich support network.” Jo Clarke of Toasted Crumpet PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


59-60_Grid 28/09/2017 14:02 Page 2

The Ladder Club 2017

Left: There was a card packing exercise during the Day One suppliers section to demonstrate the time it takes. Below right: Ladder Club attendee, Geri Livingstone (of The Geri Livingstone Studio) created this charming illustration featuring the Day One speakers. Below middle: The cover of a great booklet that The Imaging Centre, Sherwood Group, GF Smith and Enveco created for the Day One attendees covering the journey from card design idea through to actuality. Bottom: Local connections! Jess Hogarth (second left) with fellow Whitby-ite Bridget Wilkinson, while Megan Purdie (far left) and mum Gill (second right) found a Market Harborough-ite in Mandi Welton of Pig Card Design.

strong on paper, but it delivered so much more. Ged Mace, md of The Art File, set the bar high, getting the brain cells working by sharing his 12 Point Strategy Plan; Wendy Jones-Blackett then revealed the ups and downs of this leading publisher’s development; McMillan Cards’ Jenny Cummins took to the floor sharing her tips for making the most of export opportunities, while Jeremy Corner kept the ‘foot on the gas’ of learning with an ‘MOT checklist’ of what publishers need to do to keep in the fast lane. Leaving everyone in a headspin was the talk by John Procter, co-founder of the Scribbler chain. “We came away with such a long to do list but all good, well it will be when we get it all done!” Maccine Hall of Uniquely Yours “You guys rock! All fired up today with a ‘To-Do’ list (that I’m calling a Taaa Daaah! List) as long as Mr. Tickle’s arms. The Ladder Club really has opened my eyes up to the sense of community that you all drive each and every day.” Lee Thomas of Cardshit “Another wonderful Ladder Club – so positive and inspiring. It can be quite tough working alone all the time and it's so great to have a support network like that, it makes a world of difference.” Jenny Morrison of Paper Sole “A fabulous Ladder Club event. I have so much to digest and think about. I am very excited now to rethink and move forward.” Sandy Peterson of Dingbats “Utterly useful and fun to meet so many people.” Sai Pathmanathan of The Taste Buds



“ The event was excellent and although being newbies, we felt very welcomed by everybody. We also learnt a lot!” Ali Kittermaster and Emily Parton of HH Designs “It really was such a great, and a very inspiring day! I could really feel dear Lynn’s spirit yesterday, bless her dear bright shining soul. So grateful to her for bringing so many of us all together, and with such a great ethos and intention. Thanks for helping to keep dear Lynn’s legacy shining!” Chris Christoforou of Feelgood Images

John’s engaging, selfeffacing delivery spun an enlightening tale that spans 40 years. Lulling the audience into a false sense of security, he began in the laid back hippy era, but progressed to more sobering thoughts of how being a card retailer today in city locations is calling for smarter solutions. While certainly still a champion of independent greeting card publishers, he explained that in order FROM IMAGINATION our margin to cope with the to justify the “ridiculous TO IMAGES escalating costs,” he said.“We are keen rents” of the high footfall to look at other ways of working with sites that Scribbler relies you, collaborating on licensing your on, will see the retailer designs, for example.” increase the percentage of With loads of ideas of how ‘own produced’ cards and Scribbler can continue to innovate, gifts, but invited publishers especially once its new website is up to join in the journey and running, through using printof vertical integration by on-demand technology, John had considering licensing their to rein himself in. designs to Scribbler. “Both Jennie and I are trying Currently only 10% of its everyday cards to retire, but are struggling as we would are own brand, but John sees this inevitably miss this industry and everyone in it far too doubling to 20%.“That still leaves 80% and we much”. And, going by the enthralled faces in sell a lot of cards! The magic of Scribbler is you that full room in Westcliff-on-Sea, the guys, but we have to find a way to improve industry would miss the Procters too! Lynn Tait’s motto was ‘Carpe Diem’, The Ladder Club seminars certainly did ‘seize the day’. l The Ladder Club seminars

are organised by Progressive Greetings once a year. The dates for the 2018 seminars have not yet been finalised, but pre-bookings are being taken by Clare Davies of Createvents on or by ringing 01183 340085.

61-68_Product Directory October 2017 29/09/2017 10:26 Page 61




To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on 


           !""  #$%    "& "     "& "  '''  

Abacus Cards Limited t: 01638 569050 e: w:


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

To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

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

or email



To appear in the Product Directories contact



Warren Lomax

=)%63*&-68,+6))8-2+'%6(7 )0)+%28 '328)1436%6= %2( 6)863+-*8;%6) %'')7736-)7

020 7700 6740 or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

or email




61-68_Product Directory October 2017 29/09/2017 10:26 Page 62




 A Hi


Publishers of quality blank greeting cards 01565 830546


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

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



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

PProducts: roducts: Everyday Everyday cards cards - birthday, birthday, blank blank & occasions, occasions, charity ch harity Christmas Christmas cards, 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

61-68_Product Directory October 2017 29/09/2017 10:26 Page 63




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

Colour House Graphics

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

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

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



0800 7710771



G RASS R OOTS INTERNATIONAL 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.

M ETHOD OF SALE Direct to Retail


Welsh and English cards

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

from the

Lovely greetings cards & other paper stuff Ç&#x2C6; 07815 153582 -Ѳbvv||v r;1b-Ѳbv| 7v"r;1b -uu7v" ࢟m]];;;࢟ u;;࢟m 1u |_mbb1u |_m S end i n g YOU Y YO O OU U



agents wanted

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

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

Colneis Marketing

Ch nese Chinese HE IS

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





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




Online Shop

Beautiful greeting cards from contemporary British artwork

Polish P olish o sh

and more!

Tel: T Te e el: 0161 1 64 641 641 0655 0655 06 Email: Email: m sales@da T +44 (0) 1273 241210 E

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



61-68_Product Directory October 2017 29/09/2017 10:26 Page 64





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

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

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

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

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

Market leaders in Humour, Art, Photographic, Occasions and Relations cards offering a full planning service with merchandising and retail development opportunities. WATERWELLS DRIVE, GLOUCESTER GL2 2PH UK TEL: 01452 888999

PHO PHOTOGRAPHY TOGRAPHY g 01626 369269 E Established stablished 1993



61-68_Product Directory October 2017 29/09/2017 10:26 Page 65





60 years

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

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

With Love

Agents Wanted

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.

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

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


For further details please get in touch.

+44 (0)7779 578340

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062



61-68_Product Directory October 2017 29/09/2017 10:26 Page 66





what lovely cards! 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.

All our cards are supplied on consignment, so you only pay for what you sell.

Our In-house design studio and established supply chain enables us to offer bespoke services.

We also supply card fixtures and spinners free-on-loan.

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

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

p p paperlink... the home of fabulous cards!

356 Kennington Kennington Rd London London SE11 SE11 4LD 4LD T 020 7 7582 582 8244 P Paperlinkcards aperlinkcards

@paperlinkcards @

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



61-68_Product Directory October 2017 29/09/2017 10:28 Page 67




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



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

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

T: 07767 896807

2 @=


greeting cards & contempoRary gifts

Just food and their friends... e: t: 01803 712793

Greeting cards and gifts for every occasion. 07906 367 663



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

Greeting Cards that are unique & special with creative wit. Looking for top-notch agents to join our expanding team. 01992 536461

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

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

The UK’s leading publisher of highest quality handmade Greetings Cards. Products: Greetings cards for all occasions, Christmas and Spring Seasons. Spinners and other retail displays available. Talking Pictures Cards Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6BE

Tel: 01892 838574



61-68_Product Directory October 2017 29/09/2017 10:29 Page 68






range of high quality qua Greeting Cards Cards for fo Greeting ALL Occasions Occasions,, CHRISTMAS HRISTMAS and Spring Seasons Seasons. w: www e: t: 01243 837300

Method of Sale: D Direct to Retail

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


Tel: T e el: 01942 01942 233201 233201

Market Leaders in


& entimen TEL: 01480 435562 FAX: 01480 450599 UNIT 2, 12 BLACKSTONE RD, STUKELEY MEADOWS IND EST,

an extensive range of superior quality,

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


Method of Sale: Direct to Retail

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Orders can be placed on our trader site or call our customer services team on

+44(0)1243 792600

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on

Top-notch British Greeting Cards for Thoughts that Count

01923 200600 | 68


69_Wholesale Directory October 2017_whole sale dirSeptember 2004 29/09/2017 10:34 Page 69







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


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


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


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

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

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



To appear in the Wholesale Directory simply contact

Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740

Stationery and greeting card wholesaler

Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL

or email on

magnus RUPERT

T: 01923 200 900 F: 01923 200 909

Just off the M1 Junction 5



LONDONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NO 1

Great deals Great location Plentiful parking



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

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


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

01922-646666 www info@gr

Great range, competitive prices, excellent service.

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



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



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

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



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


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Polypropylene bag specialists


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

T 01206 396209 E sales



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





01773 0 1773 7 537810 5378 810





01228 560526

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

Available v 100% Recycled Paper Available Stock & Bespoke Cello Bags Peel & Stick Envelopes Bespoke Service on Request

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

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




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




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

Contact DAVID JIGGINS Tel: 01245 400104 Email:



PJ Print (London) The Capitals only specialist Greetings card printer

Take the time to give us a call

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

you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t regret it.

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

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

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



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Introducing a joint venture from

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

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

150 50 1 .uk

Our specialist services include:

• high quality • fast turnaround • competitive pricing

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

2 .co 011es4@loxleys

Promotional items Marketing literature


Exhibition graphics /stands Stationery any more ribution

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

0114 250 1150 •

07974 133735 •

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

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

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

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



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

01274 305832






Tel: 01274 531828 Contact Chris Sharman. Email:




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Tel: 01929 550085 Email: Web:

Home of the Wire Spinner Stand

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

Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740 or email on


We are looking for a Designer to work in our busy and exciting design department. We are a London based greeting card publisher of contemporary, humour, and handmade cards.


Designer/Art worker

You must be versatile and have very good Mac skills. Experience in greeting card design and making print ready essential. You need to have a ‘hands on’ approach, not take yourself too seriously and enjoy being part of a close-knit creative team. Salary commensurate with experience. Please apply with examples of your work to: Louise Tighe Paperlink, 356 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4LD or email: Closing date; 21st October 2017



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Territory Sales Manager



SALARY Competitive



% OTE, Personal KPI & Accelerated Uncapped Earning Potential

Notts, Derbs, Lincs, Staffs, Leics & South Yorks

Due to retirement, we are seeking to replace our Territory Sales Manager for the region above. WIDDOP and Co is a well-respected, award winning giftware designer & importer with a family heritage of more than 130 years.

Hello! We are looking for a Sales Manager and also additional Agents to work with our ever-growing award winning ranges and customer base in the UK.

THE CANDIDATE Previous experience working as a territory sales manager. Preferably have relevant industry background gained from a competitor or company in a related industry. Excellent people skills and an ability to build long lasting relationships with people

Candidates must have a proven track record in the greeting card industry.

at all levels. Proven track record of building business and hitting sales targets. An attitude to selling that retains humility and avoids arrogance.

Sales Manager position will ideally be based DWRXUKHDGRIæFHLQ/HLJKRQ6HD(VVH[ Contact:

INTERESTED? Please forward your C.V. and any relevant information to: WIDDOP and Co. Broadgate, Broadway Business Park, Chadderton, Oldham, OL9 9XE


JOB:: Head of Sales JOB EMPLOYER: Boxer Gifts / Books By Boxer CATEGORY: CA ATTEGORY: Supplier SALAR SALARY: RY: Competitive TYPE: Permanent LOCA LOCATION: ATTION: Leeds based

require agents for the UK for our Card ranges and new Gift ranges

e ppro in






ole in For full details of the role see: salary expectations should be sent to A CV with covering letter and salary Websites: www Websites:



Progressive Greetings, September 2017, Second nature .pdf




e l k r a sp C








Exceptional NEW looks for


Contact your rep/agent, call us or go online: E: T:+44 (0) 1983 209 590

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Profile for Max Media Group

Progressive Greetings Worldwide October 2017  

Progressive Greetings Worldwide October 2017