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NEWS TOP STORY
Grass Roots Ceases Trading Goodbye to long-established traditional card publisher Carina Cards, which was better known under its trading name of Grass Roots International, ceased trading last month resulting in a loss of 15 jobs. Co-owned by husband and wife team Rob Brown and Lisa Ardren, Grass Roots had been trading for 24 years. The Liverpool-based publisher, best known for its Write from the Heart brand, is expected to be liquidated on April 8. As PG went to press, Ian Brown and John Fisher of Parkin S Booth were in the process of being appointed as joint liquidators of the business. According to Parkin S Booth’s Robert Rutherford, the
initial contact for all Grass Roots matters during this interim period, Lisa and Rob had been trying to sell the business to avoid the demise, but were not successful. GRASS ROOTS Grass Roots was renowned INTERNATIONAL for its service, especially to the independent trade, always ranking highly in The Henries Best Service To the Independent Retailer award category. Robert told PG that a combination of factors, including “a difficult market, competition and struggles on the high street” as among the reasons for the business’ failure. TM
Left: Grass Roots’ co-owner Rob Brown.
Sad loss of Loxleys’ Craig Zelly Craig Zelly, the well-known and highly popular business development manager of greeting card printer, Loxleys, has sadly passed away, having lost his hard fought battle with cancer, aged 59 years. Paying tribute, Loxleys’ managing director Tony Lorriman, who joined the company on the exactly the same day as Craig, said: “He was so much more than a colleague, he was a great mate to me and so many others. He has to be one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet; he had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. And as for his role in the business, he was instrumental in so many positive developments with the company. He has left his smiley mark on Loxleys, on the industry and on this world.” Craig was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour two and half years ago and underwent a series of treatment. Such was Craig’s commitment to Loxleys, he continued to work for the company, serving its publisher customers up until four weeks before he died. Craig leaves behind a partner and two grown-up children and a wave of love and respect from colleagues and publishers who had the privilege to know him. Above: Craig Zelly, business development manager of greeting card printer, Loxleys has sadly passed away.
PG Live Jan 2020 shelved The plans to launch a second Progressive Greetings Live show, in January 2020 have been shelved by organisers Max Exhibitions. However the June PG Live shows for 2019, 2020 and all the years afterwards are totally unaffected. Commenting Warren Lomax, director of Max Exhibitions said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. Having been very involved in the greeting card sector through Progressive Greetings for almost 30 years, we only want to do what the industry wants and what the economic conditions allow for.” He elaborated that while there had been a great deal of enthusiasm from retailers for the January 2020 show, as well as commitment from many publishers, but “given all the Brexit paralysis, general uncertainty and the subsequent sense of caution we felt we would not be able to meet the expectations that visitors to PG Live have come rely on. The last thing we would ever want to do is not put on a good show for all involved.” As Warren added, “We really do appreciate the support we have received from so many great publishers, over 50 of whom had booked stands for PG Live January 2020, but we wanted to have the whole industry behind it to make it a real success for all.” Underlining a total commitment to PG Live June, which will take place on Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June at London’s Business Design Centre, Warren said: “We’re here for this industry - and are doubling our efforts to ensure that PG Live 2019, now the largest greeting card exhibition in the world, will be better than ever.”
GBCC’s gifted move GBCC is diversifying from greeting cards and is launching into gifts with the company recruiting a real ‘Golden girl’ to head up the new division. Katy Golden, who has 20 years’ experience in the retail sector in stationery and gifts, latterly as online category manager (stationery and gift) at WHSmith, has joined The Great British Card Company (GBCC), taking up the brand new role of head of gifts. Katy joins bringing with her a wealth of experience and a passion for products. She started in the industry on the WHSmith Graduate Scheme back in 1999. She has worked in various buying and new product development roles within WHSmith stationery team for over 14 years, with the last seven as category manager for stationery and gift for the WHSmith website. Katy has also worked as account manager/product development for Portico Designs and Far East sourcing manager for Parragon Books sourcing gifts. “I love stationery, love gifts, love cards, love the designs that GBCC has produced, so I am now pulling it all together to create some ranges to launch pre-Christmas,” Katy told PG. Commenting on Katy’s appointment, GBCC’s md Chris Wilcox said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Katy into our business. She is a true specialist in her field. With her expertise, drive and total commitment, Katy’s appointment marks a new and important development for GBCC as we diversify into other non-card areas, supported by our retailers.” Above: Katy Golden, GBCC’s new head of gifts, with Michael McGunnigle, the company’s national sales manager (right) and Nick Adsett, group product director.
All a flutter Tache has announced Postmark as the winner of the competition to launch its new Lashes brand. The London-based retail group won £1,000 worth of the publisher’s best selling cards. When Postmark’s co-owner Mark Janson-Smith heard the news he said, “We couldn't believe it when we were called to say we had won this wonderful prize. We were absolutely blown away and to have this much Tache stock to play around with is just fantastic.”
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