Progressive Greetings April 2018 Issue Out Now

Read all about it! Progressive Greetings’ April issue is out now, delivering all the views and news, industry stories and new greeting card launches.

James Conn, ceo of UKG is enjoying the challenges of sitting in the ‘big chair’.
James Conn, ceo of UKG is enjoying the challenges of sitting in the ‘big chair’.

Having taken over UKG’s ceo reins from recently retired Gary Rowley, who happily spent 44 years with the firm, James Conn discusses with PG the acquisition of American Greetings (UKG’s parent company) by US investment company, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, developments within the publisher, as well as the opportunities and challenges for the industry as a whole (See pages 26 to 27).

To Wrap Or Not To Wrap? That is the question. With plastic reduction front of mind in all industries, the greetings industry is collectively investigating ways on improving its eco-credentials on cellowrap – discussing should cards be wrapped, helping the consumer with recycle labeling and lobbying local councils to improve recycling facilities to ensure our product (greeting cards) are actually recycled.

As councils are not in line with what is and isn’t recyclable, it is causing confusion at consumer and trade level.
As councils are not in line with what is and isn’t recyclable, it is causing confusion at consumer and trade level.

PG opens up the floor to members of the trade to air their views on the issue of cellowrap. (See pages 19 to 21).

Last month Gee Tee’s, the Wigan-based family owned retail group installed The Card Room, a new ‘store within a store’ greeting card shop that has been installed in its Westhoughton branch, near Bolton.

The Card Room in Gee Tee’s Westhoughton store.
The Card Room in Gee Tee’s Westhoughton store.

With its Bamber Bridge store next to receive the same treatment and, the possibility of the new look department rolled out into its other three stores in the near future, PG caught up with the card buyer of The Card Room, Yasmin Twist, to discover more about Gee Tee’s card concept. (See pages 42 to 43).

Ling Design group’s recent acquisition of certain assets and goodwill of Saffron Cards & Gifts adds another strand to the publisher’s impressive portfolio.

David Byk, ceo of Ling Design is always on the lookout for new acquisitions.
David Byk, ceo of Ling Design is always on the lookout for new acquisitions.

“Through Ling, Talking Pictures, Rainbow, Velvet Olive, Penny Kennedy and our recent millennial-aimed brand, The Curious Inksmith, we cover a lot of card retailers and card consumers’ needs,” explains David Byk, ceo of Swan Mill Paper Company (which owns Ling). “Saffron further bolsters our offer.

PG caught up with David, who explains the reason behind the acquisition and how each of its card publishing strands covers their respective audiences. (See pages 46 to 47).

The grooming place to hang out – a ‘man salon’ on a card from Mint.
The grooming place to hang out – a ‘man salon’ on a card from Mint.

With the revival of the tattoo parlour and barbershop combo, cosy places of luxurious male pampering with a hint of Victorian side show, these social hubs that fuse male grooming with craft beer, artisan coffee, music and retail.

And taking a ‘cut’ of the new male greeting cards in the market, are a plethora of razor-sharp traditional barbershop trend-inspired designs showcasing gorgeous illustrations of vintage shaving paraphernalia and aftershave balms, reflecting the tools found in the male grooming armoury. (See pages 36 to 37).

Beautiful shaving paraphernalia on a design from Hammond Gower.
Beautiful shaving paraphernalia on a design from Hammond Gower.

And rugged or smooth, classic or contemporary, PG reveals some of the masculine card ranges launching into the market. (See pages 39 to 41).

April PG also showcases publishers’ new range launches, wise words from columnists David Robertson of retailer JP Pozzi and Blue Eyed-Sun’s Jeremy Corner, what’s currently the hottest card product for retailers and not forgetting the industry’s latest news.

All this in the pages of a lovely glossy magazine and online too!

Click here to read the whole PG April 2018 edition online.

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