Scotland Trade Fair 2

Ten days to go until Scotland’s Trade Fair opens on 21 January as one of the biggest shows yet with a huge and diverse range of exhibitors. With a new layout and many enhanced features, the 2018 Show will allow buyers easier navigation and a better buying arena.

The Launch Gallery for new young companies and the Craft Gallery have greater prominence in the centre of the Show with a new ‘block’ layout. The Best Product Awards judged on Sun 21 at 9am will also be more visible allowing the ‘best in Show’, as judged by industry experts National Trust for Scotland buyer Gemma McQue, Top Drawer Gifts Jenny Morrison and Brodie Countryfare’s Anna Taylor.

The Seminar theatre will be offering informative and valuable tips for retailers throughout the three days on all topics from social media, digital marketing, Trip Advisor, making your own promotional videos to the future of retail, Brexit and retail and many more relevant themes.

Mark Saunders, Director of the Show said: “We are encouraged by the wealth of talent and innovation displayed by our exhibitors. We believe this Show offers many top quality and inspirational products that will appeal to the many thousands of visitors whom we look forward to seeing on 21 Jan.”

For further press information, please contact:

Fenella Taylor at Fenella Taylor PR

Tel: 01389 830390/ 07721 324696      



IMG_4013.JPGThe finalists have finally been announced. The Gift of the Year live judging day took place at The Button Factory in Birmingham on Thursday 11th January, in the home city of The Giftware Association.

With industry judges ranging from retailers like Mark Jones and Lindsey Adams to group buyer Mike Cook from Choice Marketing.  The judges arrived early to judge the 15 categories and chose their favorites of the day and choose the ultimate judges choice winner too, The products were put through their paces and some tough decisions were made.

With a hard to choose from selection of gifts ranging from Stormtrooper speakers, make your own beer kits and teddy bears. The judges whittled down the entries and selected the finalists for the awards night in February.

Sarah Ward CEO Of The Giftware Association, said of the day ” Today was a great success and we got some great feedback from the judges with the general consensus being that the companies are upping their creativeness year on year which is making the judging day harder and harder, also to see all the products in one room is great to recognise all the hard work that has gone into this year competition”

All the finalists can be viewed here


Bookspeed - Lewis Dawson (left) and Matthew Perren.jpgGiftware Association members and Fast-evolving independent UK retail supplier Bookspeed has reinforced its position for future growth with Lewis Dawson’s appointment as Managing Director and Matthew Perren as Operations and Finance Director. Lewis will also become a shareholder in the company as part of the owning family’s succession plan.

These new appointments of the Board members underpin the significant growth of Bookspeed which expanded into additional facilities last year after reporting a rise in sales from around £6million in 2015 to just under £9million in 2017. The company is now expecting sales for this financial year to surpass £10million for the first time in its history.

Lewis said: “Through investing heavily in all areas of our business, we have exceeded growth expectations and it is important that our team structure continues to evolve to support ongoing expansion.

“In recent years, I have been involved in working closely with our Sales Director, Fiona Stout, on business development while Matthew has performed a crucial role in expanding our operational functions, including our IT infrastructure, which now allows us to operate efficiently out of the company’s two sites.

“Together, the team is looking forward to the ongoing growth of the company and our customer base by continuing to deliver a highly-personalised, proactive and responsive service. We believe our commitment to this service, combined with the team’s industry insights and track record for staying ahead of the game for up-coming trends, is behind the strength and longevity of Bookspeed’s business model. My goal is to make Bookspeed simply irresistible to do business with.”

Edinburgh-based Bookspeed, which was established by Lewis’ parents more than 30 years ago, specialises in creating bespoke ranges of books to meet different retailer needs. Its portfolio of customers ranges from independent businesses and multi-site national companies to heritage attractions and other specialist retail sectors while the company is also the exclusive UK distributor for a number of overseas brands behind some of the most sought-after design led gifts and toys.

Last year, Bookspeed more than doubled its operational capacity by investing in additional warehouse facilities on Edinburgh’s Albert Road, which is located close to the firm’s headquarters at Salamander Yards in Leith. The new facility saw operational space increase from around 13,500sq ft to more than 25,000sq ft.

For more information about Bookspeed, visit:

For more information on The GA please email or ring 0121 237 1105

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Top Drawer 18

It’s only one week to go until Top Drawer S/S18 – an unmissable event bringing you the world’s most exciting, design-led lifestyle brands and designers.

6 top reasons to join us at Top Drawer:

·         See thousands of new products and new brands from our S/S18 exclusive edit of 1,500 UK and international design-led brands all in one location.

·         Each exhibitor is carefully selected by our panel of experts to ensure beautiful design, creative integrity, great quality, originality and commercial appeal.

·         The majority of brands are showing exclusively at Top Drawer this January, so you won’t see them anywhere else.

·         As the first trade show of the year, brands make their world product launches here meaning you will be the very first to see them.

·         This January’s edition has expanded to give you more scope and scale. Showcasing products across Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft plus Food Emporium and Spotted.

·         Hear expert voices at PaperFest, with speakers from Selfridges, Facebook, Vogue Living, Farrow & Ball and more >.

Register now to access all this and more. It only takes 30 seconds to confirm your complimentary ticket (saving you £50 onsite entrance fee). 

We look forward to seeing you at Olympia, London on 14–16 January.




Help your small business make the most of Small Business Saturday on Saturday 2nd
December 2017.

Hang the poster and window sticker in a prominent place to show your support for
Small Business Saturday and attract customers through your door. You can pick up a
poster from the Small Business Saturday Bus Tour or download a digital version of the
poster to use on your website and social media via

It would be great to see the poster in your small business. Take a photo and share it
with the campaign:

Tell the world what your business will be doing on 2nd December to celebrate.
Be creative and make your business stand out!

Encourage more customers to your small business by getting yourself on the Small
Business Finder via It is
available on the website and mobile app.

About Small Business Saturday UK
Small Business Saturday is a grassroots campaign that highlights small business success
and encourages customers to support small businesses in their communities. The day
itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year and the campaign aims to
have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2017 Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday 2nd December. Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010 and it remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.

In October, Small Business Saturday will once again hit the road on its annual Bus Tour.
Follow Small Business Saturday on social media to see when it is coming to a town near
you. Want to join the bus at a stop? Get in touch:
With thanks to Vistaprint for supporting the printing of the flyer and poster /SmallBusinessSaturdayUK @SmallBizSatUK @SmallBizSatUK As a company dedicated to supporting 17 million small businesses globally, we strongly believe in the vital role you play, both in the local community and the national economy. Every day we are inspired by your passion, drive and creativity, and are motivated by seeing your businesses achieve their full potential. Campaigns like Small Business Saturday UK play a crucial role in encouraging customers to shop local and support businesses in their community. We are proud to once again be supporting Small Business Saturday by printing this flyer and the poster contained in this marketing pack. You can use these materials to promote your involvement in the campaign, spread the word and show solidarity with other small businesses in your community. On behalf of all at Vistaprint, I wish you the best of luck and a successful Small Business Saturday 2017.






Giving & Living 2018 – presenting you with what your business needs.

 If you’re looking for exciting new products for your customers, then look no further. Giving & Living is the largest Gift and Home trade show in the South West, and presents a sensational selection of products and lifestyle inspiration for retail buyers, from bags to books, cards to clothing, maps to mugs, soaps to sculpture, and tea to toys, at a wide range of price points. The 2018 show, which takes place at the Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter, and runs from Sunday 14th January to Wednesday 17th January, will bring together up to 250 exhibitors and 4000+ retail buyers.

As the first show of the season, Giving & Living provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to see and purchase the very latest new and exclusive 2018 product ranges before anyone else. Packed full of inspiration, and with an impressive lineup of exhibitors, you’ll get a real insight into current and new trends for the coming seasons. Restock successful lines and enhance your offering with new gifting options to get ahead of the competition before Easter, Mothers’ Day, the Summer and beyond.

Regular visitors to the show will recognise familiar faces such as Berserks Glass Works, Bomb Cosmetics, Bramble Foods, Cole, Dolphin Minerals, Elgate Products, F & J Collection, JBA, KandyToys, Melamaster, Nauticalia, Puckator, Santoro, Quay Traders, Talbot Fashions, and TY UK. Making their debut at the show are many first-time exhibitors – new faces to meet, with products not seen at the show before. Try out the contemporary garden furniture & wind sculptures from Jonart Design, admire the beautifully gift boxed collections of necklaces and collectable bracelets from Life Charms, check out the award-winning tablet stands from iBeani, and relax with the cocktail-inspired, alcohol themed body care gifts from Boozi Body Care. And that’s just for starters!

Photography by

In addition to the exceptional array of general gifts and homeware for all occasions on display, the show covers more Coast than anyone else. For buyers from retail outlets and attractions on or near the Coast, and for those that are keen to order coastal merchandise to target the holidaymaker, it’s THE show to visit. Once again Giving & Living’s Coastal Path will lead you around the show to find exhibitors that are perfect for your business. This dedicated path will lead you to Claire Vaughan Designs, Glass Relief, Gone Crabbing, Small World and many more, and you’ll discover an exciting variety of unusual products, niche suppliers and fresh ideas

Other special show features include a Newcomers’ area dedicated to new companies that have never done a trade show before. The show offers special rates for these companies, giving them a chance to showcase their products to retailers that they might not otherwise be able to afford. It’s your chance to spot emerging design talent and pick up beautiful & original new products that will delight your customers.  Discover the gifts & prints from Paul Liggins Art, the beautiful, handmade Hammam towels from Ebb & Flow, the enigmatic Preseli Bluestone jewellery from Out of the Blue, the farmhouse soap made with sheep’s milk by New Ewe, and much more, before anyone else.

The Designed and made in Britain area is dedicated to unusual products of high quality and authenticity that reflect the UK’s unique heritage, such as the intricate decorative terracotta wall plaques from Black Dog, the creative crystal gifts from Wild Things, the artisan confectionery from Buttermilk Confections, and the stunning range of coastal themed household wares from Iona Buchanan. Many of these exhibitors only exhibit at Giving & Living, giving retailers exclusive access to locally produced items that shrewd customers will love.

The show also attracts a range of exhibitors with a strong ethical and/or environmental background, such as Cadwyn Fair Trade Gifts, Gringo Imports, Purbeck Candles, and Silver Jewellery Cavern. These “Naturally” companies will be clearly identified at the show, offering retailers the chance to track down products with the right credentials, in keeping with their brand values.

Get your 2018 off to the best possible start, and make your way to Exeter in January.  With two halls to explore, and four days in which to do so, Giving & Living makes buying an enjoyable experience. In fact, 92% of visitors to last year’s show would recommend it, while 87% placed orders at the show or shortly afterwards. Meet existing suppliers, discover new ones, place orders for the coming year, and build partnerships for the future.  From pocket money toys and gifts that can be personalised for your venue, to one off pieces for the customer in search of something a little more unique, Giving & Living has it all.

For more information about the show, to book a stand, or pre-register to attend, please call 01934 733433, follow @giving_living, or visit

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Phillip Hammond

Philip Hammond announced yesterday, 22nd November 2017, his second budget as chancellor and here are some key points on what will affect our members, focusing on the business aspects and the effects on UK companies.

The small business VAT threshold will be kept at £85,000. There had been speculation that this will be brought in line with other European countries and reduced. Philip Hammond says he is consulting on the design of the system and whether it could be used better to incentivize growth, but in the meantime, it will remain at its current level of £85,000 for the next two years.

There will be a rise to the living wage from April, rising 4.4% from £7.50 an hour to £7.83, giving a much-needed payrise to those on minimum wage and those working full time an extra £600 pay increase.

The business rate change has been brought forward, with a changeover from RPI (Retail Price Index) to CPI (Consumer Price Index) now set to change in April 2018. Worth more than £2.3bn over the next five year, further evaluations will now take place every three years rather than above average wait in recent years, this will hopefully result in more fairer business rates for companies.

UK economy is now expected to grow by only 1.5% in 2017, downgraded from the more buoyant figure of 2% forecast in March. Watchdog database reports shows this growth report as the weakest forecast report produced by any treasury between November 1983 and June 2010.

There will be extra Money for Brexit, to cover any possible outcomes.whatever these outcomes may be, are still under discussion from the ever present ongoing Brexit divorce talks.

Income Tax to be applied for April 2019 on digital economy royalties relating to UK sales which are paid for too low tax jurisdiction, raising about £200m a year for the government and in the long run the economy.

If you would like to see how you fair after the budget personally, Deloitte has created a Budget Calculator, which you can find here

If you are affected by any of these changes or would like how they can affect your business then please get in touch with the Giftware Association at