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John Lewis, Garsons, RHS And Stationery Supplies Commit To Be Dragons At GCA’s Speed-dating March Event

The news is out, the date has been set for this year’s GCA’s Speed-dating With Dragons as Monday 16 March. However, publishers will have to wait until Tuesday 18 February until they can book their places for the ever-popular retailer-pitching event.

“Following the format that has proved so successful at our three previous Speed-dating events, some 72 publishers will have the opportunity to individually pitch their ranges to prestigious multiples, respected small groups and leading indies,” explains Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA.

Among the first ‘dragons’ to have pledged their involvement and will be among the 18 retailers who will take their  place in ‘the den’ are John Lewis’ buyer Sarah Moughtin; Sarah Crees, buyer for Garsons Garden Centre; RHS’ buyer Hazel Small and Sarah Laker, owner of Stationery Supplies of Marple.

Above: Last year’s Speed-dating with Dragons event in motion.
Above: Last year’s Speed-dating with Dragons event in motion.

There will be six multiple buyers, six from small groups and six leading indies participating. Each publisher attending will have the opportunity to make three pitches, one buyer from each of the three groups over the course of the afternoon.

“There have been so many wonderful stories about how our Speed-dating with Dragons events have resulted in some great business for both the participating publishers and for the retail ‘dragons’. I can’t wait to add to these with this year’s success stories,” Amanda told PG Buzz.

“We still have a few gaps for more dragons so if any other retailers would like the opportunity to give advice and find new publishers, I’d love to hear from them,” she added.

Above: All attendee publishers can include a card sample in each of the retail buyer’s goody bags.
Above: All attendee publishers can include a card sample in each of the retail buyer’s goody bags.

Each of the dragons will be given a ‘goody bag’ with a sample from all the publishers attending.

The event will take place at the Business Design Centre (home of PG Live) in London’s Islington.

In addition to the pitching element, attendees will also be able to benefit from advice as to how to grow their business from industry experts.

The cost of attending the event (1pm-5.15 pm) will be £90 (+VAT).

No places are able to be booked until Tuesday 18 February. Details on how to book will be sent to GCA members nearer the time. Any questions contact Amanda Fergusson, ceo or Sharna Walters, membership co-ordinator on

Top: Among the first retailers to have signed up to be Dragons for the GCA’s Speed-dating event in March are (left-right) Sarah Moughtin (John Lewis), Sarah Laker (Stationery Supplies), Hazel Small (RHS) and Sarah Crees (Garsons).

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