News & Articles

the giftware association


00:01 - Introductions

00:04 - Harrogate Home & Gift show

00:18 - Refreshed the room

00:19 - Covid how is it affecting businesses again

00:22 - Will what's going on around the world change the industry buying patterns?

00: 34 - Whats new in the HR world? A lot of people's starting salaries are increasing in order to motivate them to come back to work. Is this true?

00:40 - Kickstart

00:42 - Refreshed the room

00:42 - High Streets and online sales

00:56 - Spring Fair

01:00 - Outro



Harrogate Home & Gift show

It’s a relief to get back out again and have that communication and be around people, it is very important for us as human beings. It was overall a super positive vibe, buyers were there to buy, suppliers went in with low expectations so they were exceeded. We didn't know how to prove people had 2 jabs but it was an incredible show and an easy process to turn up to. People were a bit tense and first but then when the show went on everyone got more relaxed. The Organization did a good job. They made it brief. Had a nice festival type vibe and was a lot of fun. However, everyone who visited was there to buy and do business not just to have fun which was lovely to see. There were a lot of new people who gave interesting stories. The people who were made redundant are now picking up a new skill and starting their new business after covid. People were really positive looking forward to what's about to come.

There were more craft companies than before, entertainment and modern craft kits were also popular. Sustainability ran through the show. Terracotta is still very trendy. A lot of diversification featuring a lot of ethnic background in design which was lovely to see. Gin man who was new to the market stood out. Kit making, reusing old cereal boxes and such remaking them into toys. Pastel colours are still popular in terms of colours. Sustainability was immensely popular but it should already be a thing and not just a trend.

Covid - how it’s affecting business again

Covid spreading again around the world (declining in the UK) had a few major suppliers closed down, in China workers are living in the factories so it's quite well managed. The next few months are going to be interesting as we are going to see how people navigate in these circumstances. It is going to get tougher before it gets better, the Christmas buying period is coming up. Manufacturing is going to increase which is great, people are now starting their micro businesses because they have been furloughed. The buying patterns for them will change. New buying patterns for them will hopefully mean they get supplied with UK manufactured products. Going to see how the new microbusiness will behave. Hopefully it will be back to normal by Jan 2022.

Everything has changed in the last 18 months. It all flipped on its head. Trends have changed a lot, manufacturers of wholesales have been changed so buying patterns also changed because big companies have a lot of furloughed workers so we don't know if everyone is going to come back so a lot of people are saving money to see if they can afford stuff in the future. Everything changed and it's unknown now so we have to manage what we can sell and who we can sell to.

Need an understanding of who the customers are and how they are buying. A lot of people are diversifying with customers online and locally. The whole thing has completely changed and we will see how it is managed. Big retailers are more willing than ever to stop smaller brands because smaller brands are on trend. Good for the smaller businesses as they can order smaller if it's from the UK and can order later in the season. A lot of bigger companies stock would already be on the way or in the UK so they won't be affected but the smaller business might be hit by it for Christmas so they need to look into their supply chain a bit more as they might think they are ordering from the UK but it's still shipped from the far east.

The future will be very solution driven, people looking at alternatives for their products and other opportunities to see what they can do. People looking to move their product by rail perhaps. Good efforts and solutions for companies are coming up. Looking at other countries like Indonesia, India for shipping, it will also help those economies. Need to help everyone with creative ways to get your products shipped.


Haven't noticed a salary increase, now that people have been furloughed and made redundant there's a shift in what people think about work and how work should be. People with more choices are going to look for better opportunities in terms of flexibility and pay rise. A lot more of a change for skilled jobs than for unskilled jobs.

New people were brought on board after covid so employers need to think about how to engage them, train them and bring them onto the team.


Few clients have taken on kickstarters as it helps economically and is a good way of testing the water. The problem is however that the employees are brand new and you have to plan, give them the time and training to help them.


More online sales. Giftware has dropped, however, a lot more people are buying online. Sales have been slower online for smaller businesses. It's tough out there. Have to start strategizing now, and do it well. The next few months are going to be exciting. A lot of the businesses who are struggling online are comparing themselves to their sales from last year which was during the pandemic. They need to have a look at their customer journey to see how they are hearing about the business and how you are generating them. Dig deep and be resilient because a lot of change has happened. We’re in a very social type of industry so relationships come first.

You can't sit at home or in the office and expect the businesses to come to you, now is the time to get out there. Being inside saves a lot more money than when you're out and about.

Spring Fair 2022

Reduced to a 2 day show, people looking forward to it, good thing that the show is doing something different to so many other shows with the long days. How will the exhibitors manage such a long sunday and monday? Every show has an end of show day that's difficult to get through so condensing it is quite the right thing to do and it's different so that's good too.

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