This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Giftware Review July/August 2014 5 GRNEWS. * News from around the giftware industry. Gift industry continues to work together

The new chairman of The Giftware Association has pledged the organisation will continue to seal its position as the leading authority within the gift and home sector. And he said his vision for the

future could be summed up in three words – community, collaboration and reputation. Ravensden’s Michael Papé

was installed as chairman at the recent AGM and said: “By members working together and sharing knowledge, information and best practice, in the long run it can only lead to benefits for both our supplier and retailer members. “Often we have common problems and I

can pretty much guarantee you as a company, if you are facing a problem, or need some specific advice, someone within the GA community will have been there before you and be able to assist. “Within this room and the GA there is a

vast breadth of experience and knowledge, so please don’t be afraid to use it.” The GA team was further boosted by

independent retail advisor, Henri Davis who was installed as vice-chairman. For Henri’s detailed look at the greetings and stationery industry turn to Page 6. Outgoing chairman Andrew Illingworth

of Widdop Bingham becomes deputy chairman and cast his eye over current trading conditions. He said: “Costs have risen and many companies are still finding business tough as everyone is watching every penny they spend.” Although some hard-pressed

businesses let GA membership lapse he

Ravensden’s Michael Papé (left) takes over from Andrew Illingworth as The GA’s chairman

was pleased with high retention rates in 2013. Trade fair discounts, preferential payment card processing fees, free legal advice and member to member to offers continue to be rated the most important GA services. Legal Protection Insurance was now

included in members’ annual subscription and the British Allied Trades Federation had just negotiated a deal with E.ON to include free energy audits and free smart meters to help track/control energy usage and spending. Andrew was thanked for ‘being such a

devoted chairman’ while still managing to be involved with his local business community. He is a car enthusiast and was presented with a Bentley-inspired weather vane. * Categories for Gift of the Year 2015 are

currently being reviewed. The competition will be launched at Autumn Fair this year. Entry deadline will be midday December 17. Judges will include a senior buyer from John Lewis and Simon Woolgrove from Achica.

Poppy designs fit for a Prince

Jan Constantine was among British suppliers who met the Prince of Wales at Stoke-on- Trent last week. The

Prince was visiting the Middleport Pottery to commemorate the completion of a £9million project led by his charity, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust after it stepped in to save the UK’s last working Victorian

Pottery from closure in June 2011. Jan Constantine was one of six local creative companies brought together by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to expand their export activities. Jan was launching her new Poppy collection.

Campaign support for

independent retailers Independent retailers are being urged to celebrate their individuality as part of Independent Retailer Month in July. The aim is to raise awareness of local businesses and increase footfall in town and village centres to help them stay open and improve collaboration between retailers. Clare Rayner, founder of the campaign, said: “ We want consumers to understand the importance of their local businesses. It’s really important that shoppers return to their local brands and see what small independent businesses can offer.” Find out more by visiting MonthUK

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