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Check out these related news stories from Gift Focus magazine

Research shows a compelling shift in shopping habits over the festive season

Despite a festive spending slowdown, the GCVA, in collaboration with Global Data, reveals a compelling shift in shopping habits during the holiday season.

Their nationally representative survey of 2,000 consumers indicates that over 20 million gift cards were exchanged during Christmas 2023, with nearly a third (31 percent) of respondents receiving one.

Interestingly, almost a quarter (24 percent) of those surveyed received more gift cards than in previous years.

Younger generations emerged as the primary recipients, with an astonishing 50 percent of those aged 16-24 unwrapping the gift of a gift card, compared to 18 percent among the 55-64 age group.

The research also showed diverse reasons why gift cards are a popular choice.

Posted: 18 March 2024

Retail is top for local gift card sales in 2023 with, 69 percent uplift in 2024 to date

Retail is top for local gift card redemptions in the UK in 2023 says Miconex. Primark, M&S, Boots, Next, Sainsbury's, John Lewis and Aldi are within top national retailers.

Around 50 percent of cards are spent with independent retailers and businesses.

Local gift cards are driving spend in high streets and downtowns around the world, says fintech Miconex as it shares key insights from its local gift card programmes.

The range of independent businesses which accept Miconex's local gift cards – usually alongside a range of national brands – makes the cards unique in the sector. A typical 50 percent, and up to 100 percent, of its local gift cards are redeemed with independent shops, restaurants and venues.

Posted: 11 March 2024

Spring and Autumn Fair announce new advisory board

Spring & Autumn Fair, the UK's largest and most inspirational retail trade shows for Home, Gift and Fashion, has announced the creation of a new Advisory Board designed to drive the continuous enhancement of the two shows and ensure that UK retail has a thriving marketplace in which to do business.

The board, chaired by Stephen Spencer, Ambience Director at Stephen Spencer + Associates, comprises 15 of the industry's leading figureheads.

Including John Halliday from British Independent Retailers Association, Sarah Ward of the Giftware Association, Ben Massey from the National Association of Jewellers, exhibitors including Stephen Illingworth from Widdop & Co, Aylish Ellwood from Enesco, who all provide valuable industry insight and advice assisting in the on-going development and growth of Spring & Autumn Fair.

Posted: 22 February 2024

Divine Savages opens its first showroom

Divine Savages is opening its first showroom and working studio in what is being dubbed 'the unofficial design quarter of Bath' - Margaret's Buildings, right between the historic Royal Crescent and The Circus.

Founders Jamie Watkins and Tom have created a Maximalist's dream selling exquisite wallpapers, luxurious fabrics and decorative accessories for the brave and the bold.

Co-Founder, Jamie Watkins, says: "We're eccentric to the core and love the weird and wonderful. The quirkier the better. We like to push boundaries and design aesthetics and want to encourage our customers to do the same - our showroom is the first step in inspiring them to do so."

Posted: 21 February 2024

Top Drawer delivers an expanded show and second successive visitor increase!

Top Drawer S/S24, the first sourcing event of the year for the UK's retail industry, closed its doors last week following three days of successful, vibrant trade at Olympia London; having delivered a show that was 10% larger than 2023, it also benefited from a second successive year of visitor growth following a hugely successful acquisition strategy that resulted in thousands of new faces on the show floor, with 35% of them never having attended previously. The international flavour of recent editions also continued, with over 40 countries represented across the three days including the likes of Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, Greece, Iceland, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey and the United States.

Posted: 24 January 2024

Brits to shell out up to £1,000 this Christmas

With just weeks until the big day, new research shows that 45 percent of Brits will be spending the same this Christmas as they did last year. 73 percent worry about finding the perfect gift and 98 percent are keen to support local businesses.

Despite cost of living concerns, over 45 percent of Brits will be spending the same this Christmas, with 33 percent spending more, according to new research from local gift card champions Town & City Gift Cards.

28 percent of people say they'll be spending £751-£1000 this Christmas, with the need to purchase gifts for friends and family given as the reason for Christmas spend staying the same or increasing.

Posted: 8 November 2023

Ben Massey appointed as NAJ Chief Executive Officer

Ben Massey has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), with the announcement made at the NAJ Summit.

Ben Massey's appointment comes after sustained growth for the Association across membership and its education offering. Ben transitioned to Principal Officer last year, helping lead the NAJ's Senior Management Team, building stronger links within industry and in government and ensuring the effective implementation of the Association's strategy. He now becomes CEO with immediate effect.

NAJ President Gary Wroe said: "I would like to express my gratitude to Ben on behalf of the National Committee for his dedication and hard work during the recent structural and strategic changes. His contribution has been vital to the Association's progress and accomplishments."

Posted: 29 August 2023

Pure London teams up with Just Around the Corner from 2024

Pure London, the UK's largest Festival of Fashion, has announced that from February 2024 Just Around The Corner (JATC) will unite with Pure London to create Pure London x JATC, sitting under Hyve's retail division umbrella.

The first combined show will take place on the 11th – 13th February 2024 at Olympia London and will offer buyers a transformed show with an increased number of inspirational fashion designers and brands.

Posted: 16 August 2023

Pure London spotlights Romanian design

Pure London, the UK's largest Festival of Fashion, has partnered with the Romanian Contemporary Jewellery Association (FRDVA) to showcase 24 Romanian fashion, footwear and jewellery brands including Bizar Concept, Carolina D, CHIC, Nissa, Desire Avenue, Maoro, Concept Nature, Ginette, HAIART, Hamza, Inga Valerie, Fena, Leonard Collection, Les Waves, Mark-Off, Monarh, MYSIMPLICATED, Narru, Diana Cojocaru, Nissa, Paisi, Papucei, Colloris and Stada Boutique.

Posted: 30 June 2023

Independent gift shop wins high street hero award

Independent gift shop chain Maybugs in East Sussex has been crowned the UK's best small high street business at this year's Small Awards, which saw hundreds of the UK's most exciting small businesses brought together for a glittering ceremony in London.

'Maybugs' is a family-owned, independent gift and homeware retailer based in Sussex, which sells a range of unique gifts. It won the 'High Street Hero' award, sponsored by TSB, with the owners being presented with their award by presenter, writer, actor, and comedian Sue Perkins.

Posted: 7 June 2023