Experienced industry exec, Chris Houfe, is at the centre of a six-way greeting card publisher collaboration that is to operate as Tailored Planning Solutions (TPS), to provide a viable greeting card planning and supply option for retailers that is not brokerage.
Abacus, IC&G, Paperlink, Pigment, MGML/Mint Publishing/Real & Exciting Designs and Second Nature are all equally involved in backing the new initiative, which officially launches this month.
“TPS will be all about providing retailers with an easy solution of a strong plan of great selling greeting cards, into which they have total input, with the simplicity of being paid by a single invoice if they so wish,” said Chris, whose industry expertise spans over 20 years, with a career that has involved him working for Emotional Rescue, GBCC and CCA, among others. He is now working as a consultant for all of the six publisher partners
The idea for TPS was sparked by a conversation between Chris and Simon Wagstaff, md of IC&G. “We both agreed that as a group of like-minded publishers with complimentary product portfolios working together, we could really help retailers looking for a topnotch greeting card display, planned totally focused on their customer requirements, but without any one publisher having a dominating interest,” said Chris.
Highlighting the strong card publishing attributes of each of the six parties, Chris summed up: “Pigment and Paperlink are incredibly strong in humour and contemporary design; Abacus and MGML/Mint/Real & Exciting offer great art, photographic and licensed ranges; Second Nature is an expert in hand-finished and 3D lines while IC&G’s core is in traditional captions. Of course if a retailer wants to include other publishers’ designs in their plan we will be only too willing to accommodate their wishes and can liaise with those publishers.”
TPS’ planning will be undertaken from IC&G’s Dorset premises, but publishers will be dispatching from their individual warehouses unless a retailer requests otherwise.
“The last thing we want to be is prescriptive. TPS is about providing a helpful solution to retailers, while bringing them a potent mix of greeting cards. We are all very excited,” added Chris.
Top: Chris Houfe will be at the centre of TPS.