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Tesco, Paper Tiger and Utility’s PG Live top picks

A trio of great retailers spill the beans on their big greeting card trade show finds

 

This time a fortnight ago, Progressive Greetings Live 2021 had opened for business and the two-day greeting card festival was well underway, bringing together retailers, overseas distributors and publishers of all shapes and sizes.

With orders placed at the show on 6-7 June now arriving in stores, PG Buzz kicks off with the first in a series of retailers’ comments, revealing some of the trends and top product picks from what they saw there.

First up it’s Tesco’s senior buying manager Sam Ody, Paper Tiger owner Michael Apter and Utility’s co-director Kate Cowie.

Above: Tesco’s Sam Ody enjoys some banter with Woodmansterne’s Keith Gillespie at PG Live
Above: Tesco’s Sam Ody enjoys some banter with Woodmansterne’s Keith Gillespie at PG Live

Sam Ody, lead buying manager everyday cards for Tesco

“Congratulations to the PG Live team for once again on a great show. As always, it was really well organised, with amazing new product from established as well as newer publishers.

“It’s really difficult to pinpoint particular stands as all were so well executed and for different reasons. I think that should be highlighted as everyone upped their game now we’re back to normal post-Covid, or brought out their best collections for the event.

“Sustainability was very prominent at the show, something which is very important to Tesco. It was great to see this coming through the greeting card ranges, not just on the recyclability front but also carbon footprint and creating products with an end use.”

Above: Michael Apter outside one of his Paper Tiger shops
Above: Michael Apter outside one of his Paper Tiger shops

Michael Apter, owner of Paper Tiger, two shops in Edinburgh

“It was such a pleasure to spend time at PG Live. It was great to catch up with so many of our card illustrators and publishers at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

“There is no substitute for seeing the products that our customers will see, well presented and in context of the wider industry offer. Meeting with the people who make the product is a critical part of the selection process, and I was delighted to see so many of our card suppliers under one beautiful roof.

“There was a really strong mix of new and established publishers, and a good mix for different sectors of the market. It was also really good to spend time talking to contacts about their plans for the future and hear some gossip!”

Above: Michael Apter with Stormy Knight’s Sarah Jackson
Above: Michael Apter with Stormy Knight’s Sarah Jackson

Top picks: “Stormy Knight, The Art File and Stop The Clock Design had some really strong new ranges, but I could easily name another dozen who had great new designs too.

“We have stocked Stormy Knight cards for many years, and founder Sarah Jackson consistently publishes really strong designs that resonate with our customers.

“As a recent Reta Award Winner, we had a Golden Ticket to spend at the show, and I was delighted to spend our Retas Golden Ticket with Sarah. I placed a number of orders and will be following up with many other card companies in the near future.”

Above: Some of the latest Stop The Clock festive lovelies
Above: Some of the latest Stop The Clock festive lovelies

Kate Cowie of Utility, Liverpool and Manchester

“We had a great time at PG Live and it was great to see so many happy faces after so long. The show was definitely worth the trip down and, apart from our top picks, we’ve made a wish list for adding further ranges from existing suppliers throughout the year and also picked some designers that we would like to buy from as we head towards the last quarter of the year.”

Above: Utility’s Kate Cowie (left) and buyer Steph Lloyd arriving at PG Live
Above: Utility’s Kate Cowie (left) and buyer Steph Lloyd arriving at PG Live

Top picks: “We placed orders with Earlybird – where we used our Silver Ticket – Stormy Knight and Go La La!, those naughty soaps were just too funny to resist.

“We’re also considering the David Shrigley range from Brainbox Candy, the lovely new stationery from Raspberry Blossom and the new designs from Tache, among many others.”

Above: One of Go La La!’s Filthy Soaps products
Above: One of Go La La!’s Filthy Soaps products

To re-live all the fun of the fair, click on to the PG Live 2022 photo gallery where all the images can be downloaded here.

Stand bookings are being made for next year’s show, which will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, 6-7 June, 2023, at London’s Business Design Centre. For more details contact Warren Lomax warren@max-publishing.co.uk or Tracey Arnaud traceya@max-publishing.co.uk.

Top: A proper greeting card welcome at PG Live

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