Gifts

Bold, Brave, Brilliant, British (and Brexit?)

Bold, Brave, Brilliant, British (and Brexit?)

For most of us the referendum vote will be the biggest single thing to impact our personal and business lives in the coming years. It has been looming for a few years now and will continue to do so given the events of the last couple of weeks. Meanwhile, negative talk and scare mongering is creating increasing uncertainty for consumers, businesses, our government and the EU itself as no one knows what will actually happen…

How does the rise of ‘Health and Wellness’ impact the ranges that retailers stock?

How does the rise of ‘Health and Wellness’ impact the ranges that retailers stock?

As retailers, we should all be thinking about how we can maximise any opportunities that changes in circumstance present. More than that, we need to be keeping our eyes open and actively looking for them - and Health & Wellness is a growing trend that I believe we should all be paying attention to! Here’s why…

What does no more gratuitous gift-buying mean for homewares?

What does no more gratuitous gift-buying mean for homewares?

Anyone involved in retail knows just how hard it is to maintain sales at the moment. Now more than ever, every little bit helps and offering relevant and related products to supplement your homewares offer could be one way of increasing sales by driving up your average transaction value. So with this in mind what type of ‘gift’ products would be relevant to stock in a homewares shop?

My greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement?

Last month, I stepped down as chair of the Giftware Association - and in doing so, was asked what I felt my greatest achievement was. It took me a while to come up with the answer! For those who didn’t make the AGM, here are my notes from my handover speech, and the answer to the question…

When do card designs make good gift ranges?

When do card designs make good gift ranges?

If you visited the Greeting Card Hall at Spring Fair 15 years ago, all you would have seen would have been ranges of greetings cards. Fast-forward to this year, and when you walked the hall you will have seen a significant proportion of the exhibitors with non-card products on their stands, ranging from coasters to cushions. What has led to this diversification and can all card publishers put any design on any product format?

Read on to find out what to look for in a card design that means it will be successful on a gift too...

Animals and humour - a great combination

Following on from my last blog on Animal Magnetism, I've got a few more examples of how charismatic and alluring animal imagery can be for your card, stationery and gift ranges...

Humour seems to work particularly well with animal imagery, be they photographic or illustrative, either because the images show animals doing ridiculous things, the style in which they have been created, or the caption that makes them so human.

Tracks have been always offered great animal humour either with pictures of animals dressed up in crazy gear or doing some really silly things; as retailers we love their ranges because we know they will sell really well.

A relatively new kid on the animal humour block is the Avanti range of cards from USA distributed by The Great British Card Company in the UK. They have some fantastic images and captions and are certainly bringing a lot of fun to many card shops displays this year. 

The Great British Card Company have also published a new illustrative collection by Jess Grant. Her work is beautifully executed and I am sure the gentle humour shown in the images and captions will be popular; 'Cracking Pins' certainly made me smile...

So too did a range I saw for the 1st time at PG Live: the Grumble and Co range inspired by a miniature schnauzer and his 3 pug friends.

Or at the other end of the visual scale are some really bright and colourful cards that show humour in a completely different way. Rose Hill has built her card range around fantastically bright pop art and her fab range is becoming more and more popular with retailers and you can see why...

I am not sure whether animal imagery is becoming more popular or I am noticing it more because there is so much good product out there; either way there seems to be something available whatever your taste and I will certainly be buying some of them this summer. Will you?