Hundreds of retailers, publishers and gift suppliers had a ‘wild time’ at The Greats gift retailer awards event last week at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel – and the worthy winners (https://www.giftsandhome.net/the-uks-greatest-gift-retailers-are-recognised-at-a-glittering-awards-ceremony-2/) are quite rightly carrying on the celebrations of their triumphs.
The Greats are organised and owned by Max Publishing (owners of PG Buzz and Progressive Greetings). As the gift shop equivalent to The Retas, PG’s sister publication, Progressive Gifts & Home are aligned to The Greats.
The theme of this year’s Greats, ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ was fully embraced by many of the guests wearing animal prints galore. As Sue Marks, editor of Progressive Gifts & Home and GiftsandHome.net said in her welcome speech: “Our theme is based not only on the current animal print trend, but also the fact that retail is something of a jungle too, no matter if you are the biggest multiple on the high street or the smallest shop tucked away in a tiny village.
“Like any jungle, there are many predators out there, so it really is down to the survival of the fittest, with retailers not only having to stay ahead of the trends, but also to be streetwise and savvy too – in essence, being a shop that’s ahead of the curve.”
If there was a prize for the most enthusiastic reaction on day on finding out they had won an award it would have to go to Jo Webber, owner of Jo Amor in Tiverton (which won Best Independent Gift Retailer – South West). Having whooped and danced her way to the stage to collect the trophy, Jo has carried on partying.
She spread the news of an Awards After Party on social media held at the shop on Saturday. From 10am onwards, the fizz flowed, the cake was consumed, there were lucky dip offers galore.
Also ecstatic by their Greats win was the Joe Davies team, which was presented with the Gold trophy for the Best Service to the Independent Gift Retailer award. “Our success this year is particularly special as we are celebrating our 100th year of serving the independent retailer, and for our customers to vote for us in this way makes everyone at Joe Davies feel incredibly proud.”
Widdop and Co won the Silver award for service while Enesco was awarded the bronze trophy.
The final award of the event was for Honorary Achievement, which went to Henri Davis, who spends several days a week as part of the Scribbler team, and was formerly the card buyer for National Trust and stationery buyer for WHS prior to that.
“With this award, we honour a very special individual who has spent almost four decades in the gift industry and allied trades, someone who has always led by example and is an inspiration to many,” stated Sue Marks, editor of Progressive Gifts & Home and GiftsandHome.net. “As comfortable speaking to the largest of corporate beasts, as to the tiniest village gift shop, not only has this talented person excelled in their field, but they have also selflessly devoted a huge amount of ‘out of hours’ time to working for the greater good of our sector.”
On hearing that she was the winner of this very special award, Henri told guests: “I had no idea that this fantastic honour was going to be bestowed on me today, and I can’t tell you how much this means to me, because this industry is so amazing and I have been lucky enough to work in it for 36 years.”
She continued: “I’ve loved every moment of it, and I think retail has everything to go for. While things may be tough for us at the moment, it just means that we have to get better at what we do and try that little bit harder – even though we thought that we were working hard before.”
Summarising, Henri concluded: “This is so exciting and I can’t thank you enough. I never dreamt, in a million years, that I would get this sort of recognition. I love what I do and I hope to do it for another good few years – although maybe not another 40!”
View, social-share and download high resolution images of The Greats 2019 Awards HERE.