Retail experts cast votes on industry hopes and reveal love for awards
It’s not long now until the greetings industry’s big night when all The Henries Awards winners will be revealed – and the brilliant retail judges show just how their collective expertise will make publishers’ wishes come true for the finalists who get to take home a trophy.
The recent Henries Awards live judging event brought together 35 retail buyers – from the largest multiples to leading indies – and their knowledge and keen eyes for winning greeting card concepts came to the fore in their voting decisions.
PG also asked them to cast their votes on what their three wishes would be for the industry as a whole, as well as sharing their views on the importance of the Henries Awards themselves.
And the final comments are from Sincerely Yours, WHSmith, Card Factory, Presentation Cards & Gifts, No14 Ampthill, The Card Collection, and Card Centre…
Kaye Thurgood, owner of Sincerely Yours, Hornchurch and Shenfield
“That the industry stays true to itself – and harnesses and expands the core values of card sending.
“That we go back to the good old days of Christmas card sending volumes.
“To encourage people to buy and send cards to stave off loneliness and improve wellbeing.”
“The Henries are extremely important as we all need to be motivated and inspired to achieve and excel. The awards provide the framework to enable publishers and designers to improve and exceed expectations.”
Louise Chambers, buyer at WHSmith
“To continue year-on-year growth with more innovation.
“To continue to encourage young designers.
“For cards to be more at the forefront of retail.”
“It’s really important to recognise the collections, designers and the stories behind the ranges.
“Being a judge has been such a great way for me to see ranges that I would have missed, plus speak to other people in the industry.”
Charlotte Green, buyer at Card Factory
“For greater innovation on interactive cards, and to create true keepsakes.
“For the industry’s sustainability journey to continue.
“For more activity on the diversity and inclusion front.”
“The Henries are really great for the industry, in that they appreciate the creative talent and highlight the emerging designers.”
Jo Barber, owner of No.14, Ampthill
“Please let’s ditch all plastic on cards.
“Wouldn’t it be fab if there was a special postage rate for cards sent in December?
“For it to be Christmas every month!”
“The Henries provide a great springboard for new and inspiring designers, while also recognising talent across the board from established brands to newbies.”
Andrea Pinder, md of Presentation Cards & Gifts, Barrowford
“For card sending to increase.
“For publishers to continue to develop new design styles.
“For retailers to continue to buy with confidence.”
“It is extremely important to be recognised for one’s talents. The Henries are good for the soul in that they are appreciated by all in the industry.”
Roy Beswick, partner at The Card Collection, East Molesey
”To stay innovative to keep consumers and retailers engaged.
“To come up with ways of emphasising the joy of receiving and sending greeting cards.
“To ensure that independent retailers are able to survive and flourish.”
“The Henries are important in that they highlight and reward the publishers and artists who keep coming up with innovative and on-trend designs to keep the industry fresh and relevant for the consumer.”
Andrew Reid, manager of Card Centre, Felixstowe
“For greater exposure of smaller companies.
“For more industry social gatherings and events for networking.
“Anything to perpetuate new ideas coming through even stronger.”
“The Henries are great in that they keep the competition healthy, track the trends, and the combination of a two-stage judging process – online followed by physical – means the true quality and feel of the cards can be appreciated to arrive at the right finalists and winners.”
The full list of Henries Awards finalists can be found here, with the Best Service To The Industry finalists here, and all the winners will be revealed at the industry’s Mardi Gras-themed big night on 5 October, at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel. Tickets for the event can be bought here.