Buying group’s new companies extend greetings, gifts and games selection
Paperlink is the latest big name to become a Cardgains’ official supplier, one of 11 new companies to join the buying group’s supplier portfolio.
While historically the buying group, whose independent retailer members account for around 1,000 rooftops, has only welcomed new suppliers at the start of the year, it has introduced a more flexible strategy which will see relevant companies joining throughout the year – and greeting card publisher Paperlink was revealed to members over the weekend.
Emma Young, managing director of Paperlink, had this to say: “We’re thrilled to join the scheme, Cardgains has long been on our radar. When we discovered we were one of their top requested publishers, we felt we just had to say yes!”
The reinvigorated suppliers’ portfolio comes as the buying group team embarks on its Cardgains Computer Challenge (CCC), when every member will be visited and their stores surveyed by the buying group’s team to gauge suppliers and product categories stocked.
“We have not undertaken a full Cardgains Computer Challenge for many years, the results of which will highlight opportunities for our members as well as ensuring that our supplier portfolio is in line with changing buying patterns,” commented managing director Penny Shaw. The CCC also means members will be presented with this year’s programme of Cardgains supplier trials and promotions.
Alongside Paperlink, the latest suppliers to join the existing strong Cardgains supplier portfolio include Bexy Boo’s design-led greeting cards; boxed socks from Boxt Socks; Despesche UK with stationery, toys and gifts; Fountasia’s giftware and Robotime; cards and stationery from Pad Home; Peers Hardy’s smart watches; S66 Retail Wear with retail wear and uniforms; smart toys and gifts from Smart Toys; Something Different Wholesale offers homeware and gifts; and University Games has games and puzzles.
Buying from the Cardgains’ official suppliers affords its members a discount and for the suppliers it assures payment from all buying group orders on a set day each month.
Paperlink has featured highly on Cardgains members’ wish lists in recent years as the publisher, famous for its humour, now also produces bestselling contemporary designs, giving an extensive 1,500-plus collection of fresh cards.
Bexy Boo founder and designer Bex Hassett told PG Buzz: “I joined Cardgains in the hope of reaching all the wonderful independent customers in the UK. I’ve only been a member for a couple of months and, so far, the trials and orders are going very well. I’m looking forward to what the future will bring – at Spring Fair I met lots of lovely Cardgains customers and took their orders too!”
Pad Home has cards and stationery from Creative Lab Amsterdam, and director Nik Fulton added: “We’re delighted to have joined the esteemed list of suppliers with Cardgains, and had a fabulous response from the members to our products. Our range has given the members something new and innovate as well as being very design-led.”
Fun sock brand Boxtsocks takes its gift packaging as seriously as its quirky novelty socks, and director Natalie Prior explained how Cardgains approached the company at a trade show, adding: “We were impressed with the group’s large portfolio of retailers and multiples – managing director Penny Shaw and the team are lovely too. We also really liked the set-up and the incentives for retailers to buy within the group.
“The marketing package is doing great for us. We get a lot of enquiries driven by their field sales team and orders are ramping up.”
At University Games, national account manager Sally Irwin is “really excited” to be joining Cardgains with the company’s 740-strong product range including licences such at The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Tiger Who Came To Tea.
She said: “We’ve been delighted by the fantastic response we have received from members to our extensive range of fun and entertaining games, gifts and puzzles. This opportunity enables us to showcase our unique range to Cardgains’ retailers, and allows them to offer their customers something a little different.”
Working with the buying group’s sales team has enabled Peers Hardy to develop special countertop CDUs for its watches and jewellery ranges, and sales manager James Barratt said the supplier is now looking at other products to keep selections fresh and varied. He added: “We decided to join Cardgains after meeting with Penny and agreeing our products would be a good fit for its members. They are very proactive and have exactly the sort of retailers we were looking for to stock our products.”
Something Different Wholesale’s national account manager Shaun Davies enthused: “Cardgains represents the heart and soul of the gift retailer in the UK and we were honoured to be allowed to become an approved supplier.
“While we appreciate not every retailer will be accustomed to the modern online platforms we’ve pioneered as a gift wholesaler – we were the first to be able to offer a next-day dropship as well as no minimum order value, and free delivery on orders over £50 – we’re looking forward to making many new friends in the retail marketplace and have had a very exciting uptake from the beginning.”
Having been a founder supplier to Cardgains since its inception 35 years ago, Pete Goodman has a long-term relationship with the buying group and told PG Buzz: “I have introduced Depesche UK to the membership as, in this ever-changing retail environment, one can’t survive unless one increases the basket spend and achieves good margins.
“The Depesche line has licensed brands, based on quality product, with activity at its core, with strong retail price points with a huge following throughout the UK.”
Cardgains’ latest programme of trials, top-ups and promotions for its retail members includes offers from Bexy Boo, Boxer Gifts, Brainbox Candy, Cherry Orchard, Grassroots, IC&G, Kingfisher, Marina B, Pad Home, Paper Rose, Peartree Heybridge, Peers Hardy, Quire, Scentiment Gifts, Smart Toys, Wax Lyrical, Wilberry Toys and Xystos.