“This is wonderful – three years in a row!” said a jubilant Ian Wagstaff, who co-owns International Cards and Gifts (IC&G) with his brother Simon as the Dorset-based publisher was presented with the Gold trophy for the Best Service to the Independent Retailer.
UK Greetings was proclaimed the winner of the Silver trophy while Noel Tatt was presented with the Bronze trophy.
It was after all the product award categories of The Henries 2018 were announced at last Thursday’s awards event, that attentions then turned to the hotly contested Best Service to the Independent Retailer award categories, and the tension in the room was palpable.
As Henries’ host Pat Sharp said in his introduction for this prestigious award category: “Product innovation is vital in the greeting card industry today, but you need to provide a service to match it.”
As Pat reminded the audience, the finalists and Bronze, Silver and Gold winners of this significant awards category were arrived at as a result of an exhaustive poll of 1,500 independent greeting card retailers who were not backwards in coming forward stating which of their greeting card suppliers have been the tops on the service front in the last year.
The big screen flagged up the 12 publishers who were the finalists for this award category, namely Cherry Orchard Publishing, Grass Roots, IC&G, Jonny Javelin, Nigel Quiney , Noel Tatt, Paperlink, Pigment, Second Nature, UK Greetings, Woodmansterne and Words ‘n’ Wishes.
The tension mounted as there was a countdown from the ‘top eight’. Paperlink came 8th, Woodmansterne Publications was 7th, Jonny Javelin was 6th, Words ‘n’ Wishes as 5th and Nigel Quiney came in 4th place.
All eyes and ears were on Richard Campbell, managing director of Herbert Walkers’, sponsor of this award category as he made his way to the lecturn to first announce the Bronze winner. There were big cheers for Noel Tatt as the company’s managing director Jarle Tatt went on stage to collect the Bronze trophy (pictured centre with [right] Herbert Walkers’ Richard Campbell and Henries’ host, Pat Sharp).
The Silver award went to UK Greetings, which saw Darren Cave, director of independents and merchandising for the publisher make his way through the crowd of congratulating colleagues and supporters to collect the shiny trophy (pictured below with the trophy)
“And that brings us to the top trophy for service – the Gold,” said Pat. “Richard, let’s hear it officially,” he added as Herbert Walkers’ md opened the Gold winner’s envelope and announced that International Cards and Gifts (IC&G) had done it again, winning the top service award, for the third year in succession.
With smiles as wide as the stage, the company’s co-owners Simon and Ian Wagstaff, sales director Tony Roberts and creative maestro Amanda Miles leapt onto the stage to receive the top Gold trophy to add to their prized collection.