Marketing: Industry news from Gift Focus magazine

Social stationery deal for acclaimed artist partner of The London Studio

Designs by Emmy Lupin, an exciting and highly original artist represented by art licensing and design company The London Studio, have been licensed for a series of 2025 diaries and calendars to be launched across Europe by Dumont Kalenderverlag, one of the leading calendar publishers in Germany, in late 2024.

In total, Dumont commissioned 14 Emmy Lupin images for its 2025 social stationery collections.

Already available to the trade, the diaries and calendars will be on sale to the public, both online and at physical retail, including kiosks, groceries, card shops and department stores, across Europe from Q4 2024.

Dumont's strong presence in Germany and France means it is likely to see a particularly good response from these markets.

Posted: 13 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

Unleash Creativity this Easter with Décopatch

This Easter, Décopatch, the leading UK distributor for creative papier mâché shapes, is thrilled to introduce a trio of enchanting additions, promising to infuse your festive celebrations with creativity and charm.Crafting enthusiasts can now explore the art of decopatching with an exclusive pack containing 6 Cracked Eggshells, each possessing its own unique charm. For those seeking additional delight, the adorable baby lamb and the charming bell are available for individual purchase. Ideal for concealing treats, these delightful papier mâché shapes will add a touch of magic to your Easter decor.

Posted: 7 March 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

Fashion industry committed to sustainable fashion, says new study

A new study with 100 senior executives who work for fashion brands and retailers in the UK, US and Australia, by Aquapak Polymers Ltd, reveals that the majority (88 percent) plan to stop plastic in packaging altogether.

Some 8 percent are planning to abolish plastic within the next 12 months, 14 percent within one to two years, 19 percent within two to three years, 30 percent within three to four years and 28 percent within four to five years.

Almost half said that they are extremely concerned about their business' use of polybags such as carrier and garment bags, the majority of which are used for merchandise bought on-line, and the damage they cause to the environment.

Posted: 5 February 2024

Scotland Loves Local Gift Card sales top £1m

Significant show of support in drive for people to choose local and to help businesses in their communities thrive during festive period and beyond.

Sales of gift cards designed specifically to lock spending into local economies across Scotland have topped £1m for the first time.

Corporate orders - mainly rewards for staff - have made up half of the sales of Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards across the country throughout 2023. Cards can be spent with both national retailers and independent businesses.

The gift cards are an extension of the wider Scotland Loves Local initiative. the drive spearheaded by Scotland's Towns Partnership (STP) and supported by the Scottish Government.

Posted: 1 February 2024

Ethical jeweller Lily Arkwright opens Birmingham showroom

Ethical jewellery Lily Arkwright has opened a new Birmingham showroom in the Mailbox, the UK's largest mixed use destination outside of London and an ideal landmark showroom.

Voted as one of Birmingham's best breathing spaces, Mailbox boasts unrivalled accessibility to canal side dining and some of the city's best retail and leisure amenities, providing an exclusive sense of community for Lily Arkwright's clients.

The opening of the Birmingham showroom in February 2024 marks a significant point in Lily Arkwright's expansion plans.

After years in the pipeline, Lily Arkwright is thrilled to see an instant response to this exciting next step, with appointments being booked at record rate.

Posted: 30 January 2024

Joe Davies to become 100 percent employee owned

Manchester-based giftware importer and distributor Joe Davies has announced that it is to become a 100 percent employee-owned business.

The shareholding of the business will be held by the Joe Davies Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) for the benefit of all employees.

The existing management team remains in place, headed up by CEO Steve Davies, it was Steve's great grandfather Joe that set up the business 105 years ago.

Davies commented; "I'm very proud to be able to say that the transition of the company to a 100 percent employee-owned business will see Joe Davies being run, and owned, by the very people that make Joe Davies what it is."

Posted: 30 January 2024

Smart Toys & Games acquires All Jigsaw Puzzles

Belgian puzzles and games company Smart Toys & Games has acquired of All Jigsaw Puzzles and welcome the team to the growing Smart family.

All Jigsaw Puzzles is a puzzle manufacturer based in Devon, England with a mission to share the endless possibilities of puzzling.

With a large customer base for white label puzzles and a successful ecommerce division, the business has its own range of over 300 puzzles working with national brands such as A-Z Maps, The National Gallery, and quirky artists such as Tim Bulmer and Mike Jupp.

The acquisition by Smart furthers the growth and presence of the company in the UK after the 2022 acquisition of The Happy Puzzle Company.

Posted: 17 January 2024

Joe Davies appointed as Read My Lips distributor to independent retail

Joe Davies has been appointed by Amber House as exclusive distributor for the Read My Lips brand of licensed Lip Balms.

The full collection of Read My Lips will be available from the Manchester-based importer in February. The range consists of single lip balms, multi-packs and tear & share packs; all with flavours and packaging coordinated to each brand.

John Kingham, Managing Director at Amber House commented: "Read My Lips is hugely popular and successful in the UK, and we have been looking for some time for the right distributor to take the brand forward into independent retail. With their reputation for award-winning customer service and their 'little & often' order system Joe Davies are the perfect fit for us."

Posted: 12 January 2024