This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Company Profile

Keeping things Personal Giftware Review’s editor pays a visit to the UK’s largest personalised gift operation, PMC

Having set up their Stoke-based family business 12 years ago, Mark and Keren soon found that personalised mementos weren’t just going to be big, they were going to be huge. Starting out with simple, traditional items such as

candles, mugs, engraved crystal, wedding and Christening gifts, PMC quickly expanded into thousands of individual product lines. By 2008 the company had to move to a larger

headquarters in the famous potteries region of their home town, and this year opened up a new warehouse to cope with soaring demand for its customised gift lines. Now the clear market leader in the personalised

gift category, PMC employs 75 full-time staff at their manufacturing unit and is geared up to take on 140 temporary workers to cope with the Christmas rush. The machines will have been in operation 24/7

for roughly six weeks ahead of Christmas, ensuring PMC maintains its excellent reputation for same day production, decoration and fulfilment of thousands of bespoke orders. Hearing about the intricacies of such orders – and

the entire personalisation process – was something of a revelation, at peak up to 2,000 customised baubles are produced per day and shipped out to adorn Christmas trees across the length and breadth of the UK. Different products of varying materials require an

impressive array of machinery to keep things personal for customers, ranging from industrial embroidery mechanisms and customised pencil devices to wood or metal-burning lasers and ceramic kilns. “We are the biggest at what we do because of our

manufacturing operation,” says Keren, “most of our investment has gone into IT, it costs a lot of money to get the right system in place but it’s fundamental to the straight-through-processing that’s required if we’re

personalised range last Christmas and it was a huge success that we’ve been building on this year. This is a huge brand and it’s taken us a year to get all the occasions sorted out – we now have a teddy that fits every occasion” Speaking of occasions, the latest one to be taken

up by personalisation is Halloween, a good area of growth for many retailers that has an increasingly high public profile, partly thanks to the American influence but also because of celebrity fancy dress parties that achieve widespread media coverage. Already of great importance to the personalised

to fulfil our delivery promises. “Customers know that when it comes to

Christmas, no matter what the rush, we won’t let them down, even when we’re getting over 20,000 orders per day, as happens in December. We work closely with our customers to deliver the right website functionality, but it can be quite difficult explaining the IT side of things to them. It’s surprising how many big companies don’t invest enough in IT when it’s so important. “Home is one of the

areas we’ve really focused on in the past 18 months and it just keeps getting stronger. It doesn’t matter what we add, it just keeps going, including mixing bowls, which is a bit tricky at times as we can only get eight of those on a kiln at one time. “We launched our exclusive Me to You

gift trade are Catholic occasions such as Baptism, Confirmation and first Communion gifts – plus personalised Bibles, no less - while Godparent-specific messages and sentiments are also key areas. One occasion that Keren would especially like to

see grow is Grandparents Day, which takes place in September but is still largely overlooked. “We want Grandparents Day to take off,” she says, “as we can already see a lot of grandparent gifts being sent around Mothers and Fathers Day, so there’s obviously a big market for it. In fact, our top selling picture frame is for Grandparents.” One of the secrets to

personalisation of licensed product, says Keren, is “making sure the core sentiment is right for different sorts of product. What works really well on a greeting card, for example, may not translate perfectly to kitchenware,

so we collaborate with the brand owners to get the messages just right on each item.”

November / December 2015 Giftware Review & Home Interiors 11

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72