Publisher licensing deal and Apples To Pears acquisition among gift company’s host of PG Live announcements
Roll up! Widdop And Co’s very own Greatest Showman aka Stephen Illingworth had plenty on his plate at PG Live this week – making no less than nine major announcements, including a licensing deal with card publisher Raspberry Blossom, and the acquisition of Apples To Pears.
Back at the two-day trade show at London’s Business Design Centre for the first time in four years, Widdop had a new look and new trade show approach and prizes galore up for grabs.
Commenting on the licensing deal with Raspberry Blossom, commercial director Stephen said the business had long been admired by all at Widdop as a “wonderful, award-winning greeting card company” which has “set such a precedent in the industry for its stylish, trend-led, quality cards”.
Raspberry Blossom owners Rebecca and Mark Green told PG Buzz: “Based on Widdop’s enviable reputation within the giftware industry we’re hugely excited about what this partnership will bring and can’t wait for the launch next summer!
“On meeting Stephen and his team at Widdop their excitement towards our brand was palpable – the wealth of ideas and concepts we all had collectively and the enthusiasm for this partnership was inspiring. With this exciting new chapter and the launch of our first-ever giftware range, you can expect to see lots of colour, playfulness and extraordinary design that inspires everyday moments of joy.”
The partnership agreement will see two home accessory-focused gifting collections launching in summer 2023, which will be available to both Widdop and Raspberry Blossom customers worldwide. More details will be released very soon, including a sneak peek of the collection for Christmas 2023.
Another major revelation from the showman, made via Instagram from the stand, was that from 1 July, 2022, the brands and products of Apples To Pears, founded by joint managing directors Mark Wash and Sally Granger in 2002, will be transferring to the Widdop portfolio – including its renowned Gift In A Tin range – after the acquisition is concluded.
Stephen said: “After over six months of discussions, we are thrilled to complete the acquisition and take over their website, stock and exclusive distribution of over 50 continuing SKUs of this unique collection, all of which will be on show in the Widdop showroom for the first time from 5 July, 2022.”
With licensed merchandise a growing area for Widdop, there were also several key announcements involving leading brands to further bolster its stronghold in the licensed baby, Christmas and collectables markets, among other areas.
Already a Disney licensee, Widdop confirmed it is one of the launch partners for Disney Home, which will cover a range of categories from planters to vases. And there is also a licensing partnership with Warner Bros which will see Widdop’s Charms collection bringing Harry Potter to baby and kids’ gifting with stylish nursery accessories and gifts, with product ready for Christmas 2022.
After the past couple of years of adversity and negativity and so many dark superhero movies, in a licensing tie-up with DC Comics Widdop is to launch Little Heroes, a sweet, positive, affirmation-filled superhero collection of stylish, quality nursery décor, gifts and accessories for toddlers and infants that’s set to hit stores from September.
As the Top Gun sequel packs out cinemas, Widdop is partnering with film company Paramount for kids and baby gifting and collectables that will launch in December 2022 with stock available from summer 2023 across some of the best brands in the industry including Paw Patrol, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Baby Shark and, of course, Top Gun.
Monopoly is just one of the world-famous game and toy properties letting Widdop pass go as the company has collected the Hasbro licence for a portfolio of products also launching in December 2022 with stock coming in summer 2023.
In an announcement of a different type Widdop revealed that, with its own massive showroom in Manchester already popular with customers, it has now linked with paper and stationery business Partisan Products to give the company its own dedicated space, giving even more reasons for retailers to visit the next Showroom Event which begins on 5 July.
Last but not least of the nine announcements, Widdop has launched its Greener Choices programme involving a distribution deal with Boutique Garden, an affordable quality collection of grow-your-own garden gifts for both kids and adults.
Aiming to lead by example as the world moves towards being more sustainable, Widdop will be distributing Boutique Garden from the coming autumn, using the finest European and Australian seeds.
Stephen added: “In addition, we gave over £5,000 worth of prizes away, from all-expenses-paid 5star trips to magazine subscriptions, and even 30% off discount vouchers – it really was an amazing show and we are grateful, as always, for the support as we all continue to navigate these crazy times.”
Top: Widdop’s Greatest Showman Stephen Illingworth had a very busy time at PG Live