Industry news from Gift Focus magazine

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Autumn Fair returns, Sept 2024

Autumn Fair returns on the 1st – 4th September at NEC Birmingham as the indispensable destination for buyers to explore a wealth of new and captivating products from the most coveted brands in retail. Take great products from the show floor to the shop window in time for retail's peak season with Autumn Fair's curated selection of over 600 suppliers including the retail market's bellwether brands in every major sector across Home, Gift, and Fashion. Historically over 30% of brands are also exclusive to Autumn Fair - you won't find them at any other show.

Posted: 11 April 2024

Wholesale marketplace Faire achieves stellar success in first three years

Wholesale marketplace Faire has facilitated 400,000 product orders from 50,000 retailers across the UK since its launch in the market just three years ago.

Since 2021, Faire has helped establish 200,000 new relationships between British brands and retailers.

The platform, which connects independent retailers with unique and exciting independent brands, now has a retail customer base that totals four times the number of stores across the UK's four largest supermarket chains combined.

Jeff Kolovson, co-founder and COO of Faire, said: "It's been a phenomenal three years for Faire in the UK.

"Despite a challenging economic climate, the independent retail community is resilient and we're so proud to be part of the journey for so many inspirational British businesses."

Posted: 9 April 2024

The Somerset Toiletry Co. celebrates 25th anniversary

The Somerset Toiletry Co. is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024, commemorating a successful quarter-century within the gift industry.

To mark this significant milestone, Sakina Buoy is thrilled to announce its '25 for 25' campaign, a series of charitable initiatives.

Over the course of the year, staff across The Soap Bar Cafe, the head office, warehouse, and factory teams will undertake 25 acts of kindness, ranging from charitable donations to community projects.

Over recent years, the company has given local homeless charity BillyChip space to grow and, recently, has become a corporate friend of SWALLOW Charity, which supports individuals with learning disabilities.

Posted: 4 April 2024

OPRL awards ‘Recycle’ label to first seaweed-based packaging

A start-up business based in Wales is the first company to use the OPRL 'Recycle' label for seaweed-based packaging.

PlantSea's packaging comes in a range of weights and can be used to replace paper and card to make stationery, boxes and bags. Manufactured from seaweed-derived fibres blended with recycled and virgin paper fibres, it's been tested under the CEPI v2 protocol and shown to be suitable for recycling through a standard paper mill.

Alice Harlock, Director of Technical and Member Services at OPRL, said: "It's always exciting to see innovation and the successful application of novel materials in packaging. As businesses look to adapt or replace current packaging types to meet sustainability goals or legislation, OPRL is keen to support them with labelling."

Posted: 2 April 2024

The Creative Retail Awards latest!

The Creative Retail Awards, in collaboration with Shop Drop Daily, is excited to announce the launch of a groundbreaking new Award – The Shop Drop Daily Concept of the Year Award. This prestigious Award celebrates the most innovative and inspiring branded concepts from around the world, as featured on Shop Drop Daily - the premier destination for cutting-edge brand experiences. This Award features the Top 10 most viewed concepts of 2023, curated from the platform's daily drops, showcasing the pinnacle of creativity and excellence in the global retail industry.

Posted: 26 March 2024

Bulldog announces multi-product Popeye x Skinnydip deal

Bulldog Licensing, the leading licensing agency which represents Popeye in the UK on behalf of brand owner King Features Syndicate, has announced a new deal for the iconic brand with Skinnydip, a renowned supplier of fun and quirky accessories, clothing and lifestyle products.

The deal comes in the year Popeye celebrates 95 successful years.

Recently launched on the Skinnydip site is the Popeye x Skinnydip London collab featuring the original classic Popeye and girlfriend Olive Oyl, and (of course) Popeye's trusty can of spinach on cases ready to adorn iPhones across the UK.

Much more is on the way; this agreement extends to apparel, accessories, gifts, stationery, and health & beauty products.

Posted: 25 March 2024

SmartMax receives three accolades at Loved By Parents awards

The recently launched SmartMax 'My First Build & Drive' took the top spot in three different categories of the Loved by Parents Awards including Best Stimulative Toy 1-3yrs, Best Construction Toy 1-3yrs, and Best Innovative Toy 2024.

With an age range of 18 months to 5 years, the award-winning toy gives children an early introduction to the amazing world of magnetism.

Engaging little minds for hours on end, it is no surprise it was a hit with both the judging panel and the public during the voting stage.

SmartMax's My First Build & Drive takes children on a creative journey.

A 2-in-1 playset, toddlers as young as 18 months can build and play and pre-schoolers from the age of 2-5 can enhance their skills.

Posted: 21 March 2024

Cardzone Group acquires Clintons

Cardzone Group parent company Pillarbox Designs has acquired Clintons, with the company's 163 stores adding to Cardzone's 180 outlets.

Cardzone Founder Pat Taylor said he was proud to be the nation's "only national specialist chain selling quality cards."

Having been owned by the Weiss family since 2012, the deal to purchase Clintons was originally set to take place before COVID."

Cardzone will retain the Clinton's brand name, according to Taylor: "The name is still synonymous with quality greeting card retailing.

"There will be some changes, but we are very excited to be growing our family business with Clintons joining our portfolio."

Posted: 20 March 2024

Farm Shop & Deli Show reveals 2024 retailer awards finalists

Farm Shop & Deli Show has unveiled the regional finalists in its 2024 Retailer Awards, championed by Fieldfare and in partnership with The Grocer – comprising some of the UK's best loved specialist retailers, pillars of their respective communities and champions of great produce and sustainable practice.

Judging took place last November, where an esteemed panel of judges came together in person at Fortnum & Mason in London for a day of deliberations and decisions.

From this they have created their shortlist of category finalists, whittled down from hundreds of entries, by taking into consideration the achievements retailers have made in the independent sector.

Posted: 19 March 2024

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