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in the news


Butterflies taking off


THERE are some very happy folk in the butterfl y house as Symetria have just landed a deal with Fenwicks to stock three ranges. Their Little Black Cat, Dotti, and Morning Mr Magpie cards will soon be gracing the shelves of the


famous department store which has branches in London, Newcastle, Leicester, York, Canterbury, Colchester, Bracknell, Kingston, Tunbridge Wells, and Windsor. Director Ben Joel Price, who runs the


publisher which has a butterfl y logo, tweeted his delight when the order was confi rmed. T: 07830 112066 www.symetria.co.uk


Eric does the business


NEW business is no problem for Card Connection’s Worthing and Portsmouth franchisee Eric Knight. He opened seven new retail accounts in a single day in May and will now supply Card Connections extensive range of greetings cards and accessories to the outlets on a regular basis. “My merchandisers were putting


Mother’s Day cards in the last few stores,” said Eric, “so I had a little


extra time with my Card Connection business development manager. I asked him to spend the day with me looking for new retail accounts. Armed with my presenter and a selection of samples we set off and by the end of the day we had agreement to supply every single store we visited!”


Extra members get


CHANGES are afoot at the Greeting Card Association after an extraordinary general meeting voted to allow associate members to join.


The vote at Birkbeck College, London, on June 26 was 40 in favour with fi ve against, meaning that as well as greetings card publishers, anyone involved in the industry can apply to join. It was proposed by Paul Woodmansterne who explained that when he joined the old GCCA it was a handful of people “a club, who saw retailers as enemies and suppliers as diffi cult people”. Paul added that Paperchase’s Timothy Melgund hit the nail on the head at the 2011 AGM when he explained 80 per cent of his business is own brand, so the retailer had turned publisher.


thumbs up “There will be an announcement,” said GCA president


Bill Greeno, “and then people can apply to join and that will defi nitely include people like yourselves at Greetings Today, you’re exactly the sort we want. “The more people we have in the GCA who are connected to the greetings industry, the bigger voice we will have – instead of an association of 470 members we could have a thousand which gives us much more clout when we need to go up against Royal Mail for postage price hikes, for example.” www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk


Hallmark collect double award


EMPLOYEE volunteering, community initiatives and environmental management have earned Hallmark Cards two prestigious corporate and social responsibility accolades.


Their ethical approach to business was recognised as they scooped a Local Impact Award for Employee Volunteering Company Of The Year and achieved Platinum Big Tick status from the CR Index for corporate responsibility - for the fourth year running. Recognising Bradford-based Hallmark’s industry- leading, integrated approach in the fi eld of environmental management and a fantastic programme of community initiatives, Platinum Big Tick status is the highest rank in the Business In The Community 2013 Corporate Responsibility Index.


In addition, Hallmark and Bradford


Foyer’s innovative skills-based learning and coaching programme Step Up To Success blended employee volunteering and long- term educational development opportunities to help youngsters back into education or work. Tamsyn Johnston-Hughes ,


Hallmark’s PR and Social Media Manager, said: ‘Essentially, the awards recognise that we treat our employees,


More Blotts on landscape


BRIGHT-EYED and bushy-tailed newcomer Blott is adding zest to UK High Streets and shopping centres with two shops opening last month and the ninth is under way.


Blott started with two stationery


and greetings stores in Tunbridge Wells and Guildford in 2011, followed by four more last year, with this year’s plans for fi ve openings well in hand. Their brand of stationery with form and function opened in the Arndale, Manchester, and Intu Lakeside, Essex, on June 11, and the hoardings are up at the Trinity Centre, Leeds, ready for the July 22 big day. Founder Chris Manson said: “I’m thrilled with the reception Blott has received in the last two years. Our six shops have proved its customer appeal, and our unique product


8 www.greetingstoday.co.uk


ranges have been a huge success. I love standing in our shops and overhearing our customers enthusing about us. Now Blott will be spreading its wings and we can’t wait to open our next 3 shops.” www.blottshop.com


the environment and the communities in which we operate with the same creativity, quality and high standards of ethics that we put into our products. “We work hard to embed a responsible approach to all that we do throughout the company, which is why I think we also have such high staff engagement in our campaigns. “We’re proud we’ve helped members of the next generation back into education or work; we’re proud we’ve contributed towards a cleaner environment and we’re proud we’ve supported local community groups to achieve their aims - we genuinely cherish these important awards.”


The Platinum status is given for Hallmark’s ReSPECT strategy. Designed to instil the company’s values throughout the business, the ReSPECT pledges include Responsible Employer, Sustainability, business Performance, Environment - Hallmark have Carbon Saver Gold Standard certifi cation - Community and Trading with integrity. www.hallmark.co.uk


● Honoured - International Supply Chain Director Richard Campbell and CSR manager Steven Smith collect the Platinum award from BITC CEO Stephen Howard, while operations systems manager Ann Dewhirst picked up the Volunteering award


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