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Cath Kidston to present Gift of the Year Awards at Spring Fair


The iconic British designer, Cath Kidston has agreed to become The GA’s new ambassador and will present The Giftware Association’s 2016 Gift of the Year Awards at Spring Fair at the close of the opening day of the show on Sunday, February 7. She is world famous for her polka dot and floral designs and, until recently,


acted as creative director for Cath Kidston Ltd. Sarah Ward, chief executive of the Association, said: “This is a terrific coup.


Cath is revered in the gift and home industry and her involvement with Gift of the Year is testament to the esteem in which the industry’s most prestigious competition is held. “We are delighted that she wants to become a part of the great community


that is The GA. Her presence will give great encouragement to all those who take part in Gift of the Year, irrespective of whether they are successful or not.” There has been a notable increase in Home Accessories, Card and Wrap and


Branded/Character entries for the 2016 competition. The Kids and Under £10 categories have continued to attract heavy supplier


support, while the Hot Novelty and Festive and Seasonal categories are also more popular than in previous years. Cath Kidston will present the awards on the Trends Catwalk in Hall 20. The


winning and highly commended products can then be viewed on The GA’s stand in Hall 5, F84-G89, throughout the show.


New Cardgains Campaign


The buying group, Cardgains which once again will host a large group stand within Greetings & Gift at Spring Fair, has unveiled a new strapline for 2016: “Passionate about Independent Retailing.” Chris Dyson, joint managing director said:


“Over several years we have seen a shift in our core membership of greeting card shops and see that more space has been created for ‘other’ necessary products. Historically many card shops were 90% cards, where now our surveys show it to be a lot less. “This is great news for the ancillary product suppliers and


consequently Cardgains and the members have seen growth in these areas, particularly in candles and home fragrance, and also gifts, party and jewellery. “Interestingly, the shift has also meant growth for greeting cards


as the consumer is drawn to shops offering more product diversity where they can also still buy quality, value for money cards at good prices, and can buy their gifts and self-purchases too” The Cardgains team will remain focused on customer service and supporting its


loyal greeting card retailers, yet now feels its advantages, trading terms, bonus opportunities and marketing offer great benefits to other retail sectors outside


6 Giftware Review & Home Interiors January / February 2016


‘traditional’ greeting card stores. This has become apparent in the type of outlets


wanting to join the group and Cardgains feel its portfolio now offers so much more choice than even just a few years ago with some really big names, as well as some fantastic new niche products and suppliers offering a great product portfolio for all. Chris said, “Part of our strategy for 2016 is our intention to develop all the store types of our existing membership. The strength and breadth of the 2016 portfolio


will also make Cardgains effective to non-traditional retailers”. The by now quite famous Cardgains character, Cyril Service – who


has been popping up at industry events all over the country for the past five years - will still play his part in 2016. Cyril now has his own direct email address and has taken on the important role of social media communication so is very active on both Twitter


(@CyrilService) and Facebook (Cyril Service at Cardgains). In 2016 Cardgains will continue its social media development


programme and move on to social media training courses for members. Regional courses are planned up and down the country later in the year. Any members wishing to register for a place on one of the courses can email Cyril on cyril@cardgains.co.uk


A M International to celebrate 30 years with prize draw


A M International is looking forward to celebrating 30 years in business at Spring Fair 2016, from the stand in Hall 5 H50 – J51.


For the duration of the show the


company will be running a competition to win a lovely Beatrix Potter children’s tea set worth £90. Retailers are invited to visit the A M International stand and enter their business cards into the prize draw. Managing director, Mark Eckersley,


said: "My company is driven by the passions and desires of its customers. We have always looked to only offer carefully selected products which are of the highest quality, meet the strictest safety regulations and are fun to play with or to treasure. “We specialise in products made in


Europe, where excellent design, awareness of environmental issues, recognition of employees rights and the skills of experienced craftsmen are still the


most important factors in our success." A M International was subsequently


awarded a Nursery Award for its pre-natal monitoring device, "First Sounds" before again diversifying within the Toy & Nursery sectors by relaunching the vibrant baby plush collection from Sigikid of Germany. With the huge success of it's Beatrix


Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Flower Fairies and Wizard of Oz designs, A M International has more recently distributed high quality porcelain gifts for children and collectors. At a time when many companies have


relied on cheap production in the Far East, the company believes that many more consumers today are looking for high quality, well designed and unique, original styled products, which AMI has exclusively brought to the UK and Ireland from several leading European companies.


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