Let's Make A Date!

Let's Make A Date!

I am going to show my age now by admitting that I am one of the Filofax generation. I started work in the 1980’s when they were the thing to have that showed you had a ‘proper’job and had to plan because you were so busy and needed to be organised. Then it was electronic organisers, Blackberrys and the rest, and we were told that paper diaries were going to be a thing of the past! But here we are in 2018 and there are still racks and racks of diaries in WH Smith and Paperchase and Calendar Club’s whole business model is based on selling hundreds of thousands of paper calendars and diaries. So it is fair to say the sector is still thriving… and here are some of the latest big trends.

Do Buyers need Summer Trade Shows?

Do Buyers need Summer Trade Shows?

Have you seen the countdowns to Christmas doing the rounds on Facebook this week? (Just 22 weekends apparently?!) Thinking about Christmas during June, July and August isn't everyone's cup of tea - but today this blog looks at what influences the timing of trade shows and what 7 things influence a buyer's decision to attend (including 'last minute' top ups for Christmas/Spring stock)...

2018 Trends: What's hot in Journalling, Organisation and Stationery

2018 Trends: What's hot in Journalling, Organisation and Stationery

Following on from my last article on the Top 3 Stationery Trends of 2018, I promised to share some of my favourite examples of 'on trend' stationery that may be of interest to your customers. From Diaries and Journalling products to Social Stationery and Calligraphy sets - it's all covered in my blog this week...

Stepping down as GA Chair...

At the Giftware Association AGM in Birmingham on 20th June 2018, I stepped down as chair, and handed over to Blue Eyed Sun founder Jeremy Corner.

Having worked hard in this role for the past two years, during my handover speech, I mentioned just a few of my personal highlights, including:

  • Improved engagement with our members
  • Launching the Meet the Buyer initiative
  • Exceptional growth of the Gift of the Year Awards
  • Lobbying at Parliament on behalf of members, and 
  • The GA's new look and feel with fresh branding.

I also talked about the fact that the Giftware Association IS its members. Sarah Ward [GA chief executive] and the team work incredibly hard to make sure that our collective voice is heard. Last year we travelled to over 60 trade shows throughout the country to speak to as many of you as we could, and Sarah spent time with members both at our office and at theirs.

As I become deputy chairman I look forward to continuing this great work and being able to support Jeremy in his role as chairman...  Along with Gert Schyberg of home fragrance brand Sebnini who will be vice chair (set to take the reins from Jeremy in 2020) we'll head up the GA’s current National Committee, whose members span the giftware sector.

I'm delighted to be handing over to Jeremy who I know will do a great job - and wish him all the very best in his new position...

For more information including notes from Jeremy's opening speech as chair, visit: www.stationerymatters.news

Are these 3 Stationery trends relevant to your customers?

Are these 3 Stationery trends relevant to your customers?

Every trade show you go to, industry magazine you pick up or website you read will tell you what is 'on trend' - but as retailers and suppliers our role is to decide which trends are relevant to our customers and how we can tap in to this to maximize the opportunity it presents for us to grow our businesses by satisfying our customer’s needs. 

Do you have eligible product?

Do you have eligible product?

Why doesn't every supplier or manufacturer enter at least one eligible product for an industry award... every year? With the many, many category options across the various industry awards, nearly every supplier or manufacturer has an eligible product - which means any buyer or retailer can stock award-winning product! It's time to embrace the fact that wherever you are in the supply chain you can use this year’s industry awards to your advantage. Here's how:

Celebrating the Big Day

Celebrating the Big Day

The great thing about weddings and anniversaries is that they drive a whole tranche of linked events that are card giving occasions. As retailers we need to consider whether these present an opportunity for us in terms of the products we offer. Once Easter is over it could be a strong product focus for you if you believe it is relevant to your customers and there would be enough demand to justify the space and stock investment needed. And if you decide to go for weddings ‘big time’ - here are my top tips for making your wedding range profitable…

What's on Trend in 2018?

What's on Trend in 2018?

Its amazing to think that we're mid-way through April 2018 already and the trends for the year are quite clear: both design trends and the socio-economic trends that influence what we want to buy. As retailers and suppliers our role is to decide which trends are relevant to our customers and how we can tap in to this to maximize the opportunity it presents for us. After all, understanding trends only becomes useful if you know who your customers are and therefore appreciate the relevance of a trend to those same customers...

Modern Calligraphy - what's it all about?

Modern Calligraphy - what's it all about?

It's National Stationery Week - and today's theme is #PenandPencil. So it makes perfect sense to talk today about a fast growing trend: Modern Calligraphy. Why are people getting hooked, and what exactly is it all about?

How rude is too rude (on a greetings card)?

How rude is too rude (on a greetings card)?

'Funny' varies hugely so humour cards come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and genre - including cute, clever and downright rude. It’s really important to choose the right type of humour for the recipient or they might not laugh at all - or worse, take offence!! Humour is definitely proving popular with a lot of publishers this year and lots of new ranges were launched at Top Drawer and Spring Fair... so I have collected a set of cards together which I love - and hopefully they will make you smile! Please note, my shortlist contains a couple of rude ones!