Former WHSmith and National Trust card buyer, Bianca Mastrodomenico has joined GBCC, taking up the role of head of brokerage of its Waterwells side.
Two months after GBCC and Waterwells’ acquisition by Swan Mill, Chris Wilcox, the continuing managing director of GBCC has made contact with all Waterwells’ retail customers to thank them for their “patience and ongoing support” while “we have been finding our feet following a period of business changes” and to update them on recent developments.
Apologising that some Christmas stock took a little longer to dispatch that had been hoped Chris said that this was “due to legacy issues with logistics” but assures that these have now been resolved and that everyday best sellers were now back in stock.
The letter also details how Waterwells has secured the ongoing support from 25 different card publishers wiling to be part of the brokerage operation. In addition to Ling (a sibling to GBCC) the list of participating publishers includes The Art File, Blue Eyed Sun, Danilo, Emotional Rescue, Laura Darrington, Louise Tiler Designs, Paper Rose, Paper Salad, Rachel Ellen and Portfolio. Highlighting how the new portfolio includes several publishers who previously were not included in the Waterwells’ line-up, Chris commented: “We are really excited to be bringing in publishers that are new to Waterwells, such as Emotional Rescue, Danilo and, Henries’ award winner, Louise Tiler Designs.”
The appointment of Bianca, who started with the company at the start of this week, will see her draw on her extensive retailing knowledge, gained during her time as card and stationery buyer for WHSmith as well as latterly with National Trust to select and plan potent displays for Waterwells’ customers.
Bianca is now working on the new plans for Waterwells’ brokered customers with the aim of these being rolled out imminently once the Christmas sales period is over.
“Our new targeted approach, field merchandising solution, ongoing customer support, improved stock availability and the bestselling cards from these sought-after publishers are fantastic developments for GBCC and will hopefully swiftly re-establish our position as card broker of choice to the independent card and gift shop, department store and garden centre,” states Chris.
Reinforcing his gratitude to retail customer, Chris ends the letter with the signoff: “We know that retailing is hard and we thank you once again for your on-going support. We are now confident that we can supply you both the product and the service that you require in this tough market.”
Top: Bianca Mastrodomenico is now head of brokerage at Waterwells.