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12 Giftware Review May/June 2014 GANEWS&VIEWS.

The GA is aiming to make its members’ day on June 5 an event that gift and home industry people cannot afford to miss. The focus will be on how to attract

customers and keep them buying from you.

‘Converting your customers into fans’

will be the theme of the day and retailers and suppliers will hear how they can generate more business – and bring in more money – simply by the way they treat their customers. Jenny Lambie of the Lambie Gilchrist

Consultancy – which is reported to have started the ‘service revolution’ in Scotland – will discuss the importance of outstanding customer service to increase sales. Another speaker will be former GA

member, Oliver Ashton, who is now with Jump! This is a training provider that specialises in giftware industry-oriented apprenticeships. GA chief executive, Isabel Martinson

believes that taking on apprentices presents businesses with an opportunity to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility – by setting young people on a career path – and also, by training their young recruits in the ways they want things done, reap the resultant rewards. Completing the trio of speakers will

be Simon Woolgrove, gift and home buyer for, the members-only online luxury lifestyle store which has introduced a new type of gift and home retailing. The Members’ Day, which takes place

at The GA’s Birmingham headquarters on Thursday, June 5, will see Ravensden director Michael Papé take over as GA chairman from Widdop Bingham director Andrew Illingworth, and independent greeting card consultant Henri Davis become deputy chairman. There will be opportunities for

networking over lunch, after which The GA’s service providers and members will hold surgeries which will cover a variety of subjects. Additionally, GA members – who

already benefit from advantageous Retail Week subscription rates – will, on the day, be able to take advantage of a yet to be revealed initiative involving the magazine and online information source.

GA seeks new national committee members

The GA is seeking three full supplier members to replace long-serving members of its national committee who have either completed the 12 years they are permitted to serve or are now focusing their time on the work of the

as soon as possible at

More benefits for GA retailer subscribers

The GA’s database of retailers grows apace. And the association is now increasing the amount of information that non-member subscribers receive, while maintaining exclusive benefits that only members enjoy – such as legal protection insurance cover worth up to £100,000; reduced rates for Streamline card processing, and the many other money-saving services. The GA’s aim is promote its supplier

members to as many retailers as possible. Retailer subscribers will, in future, be

able to trade with GA supplier members via the money-off/special offer vouchers that the association makes available for specific trade shows. They will also receive – a week later

Find The GA online ‘Converting your customers into fans’ will be theme of GA members’ day

British Allied Trades Federation, of which it is a part. Says Isabel Martinson: “We are

looking for people who are keen to put something back into our industry by being part of the committee that drives the activities of The GA.” Those interested should contact Isabel

than members – GA Reflect, the blog-style weekly message from chief executive Isabel Martinson that gives her ‘take’ on some of the industry’s news stories and statistics. Non-member subscribers are already sent Giftwrap, The GA’s e- newsletter, and are also notified about the association’s virtual showrooms.

David takes Innovation to the TV screen

GA member David Fletcher recently featured in the BBC2 programme, ‘Mind the Gap - London vs the Rest’, which looked at the apparent London-centric view of the UK. The programme explored what the

capital was doing to create such a buzz for business – and how other towns and cities could follow in its footsteps. David, from aptly named gift shop

Innovation, talked enthusiastically about his small but thriving northern market town of Hebden Bridge. The secret of its success? An eclectic

mix of creatives and entrepreneurs who have the courage to re-invent themselves. Says Isabel Martinson: “We always say you should never be complacent and Hebden Bridge could not be a better example of true innovation harbouring success for all.”

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