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Gifts Market Overview

A gift is simply a present given by one person to another, so it could be absolutely anything, and given at any time: our ‘Gifts’ category, as you might expect, is therefore pretty wide ranging. Here you can find wholesalers of a wide range of giftware from baskets, hampers, floral and ethnic products to scented gifts, photo albums, gift packaging and stationary and greetings cards.

From Valentine’s Day to Christmas, UK consumers spend a fortune on gifts, trinkets and treats for celebrations and special occasions: the industry is worth £40 billion. Add in Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, Easter, Halloween and birthdays and retailers of giftware have a potential year round revenue stream. With consumers turning more and more to the internet to source giftware, never has it been more crucial for retailers to have a web presence to take advantage of this ever growing trend towards on line expenditure.

A gift wouldn’t be a gift without an accompanying greetings card. The 2014 Greeting Card Association’s market report tells us that in the last year British consumers spent a staggering £1.29 billion on cards and that more cards are bought per person per year - 31 - than in any other country on the planet.

Exciting times lie ahead for this huge giftware industry. Retailers selling giftware therefore need to keep their finger on the pulse and move with the times to keep up with consumer trends.

Recent years have seen the rise of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the UK. Whether or not smaller independent retailers can benefit from the huge discounting seen on these dates is yet to be seen. Below we have included some important dates for the UK in 2015, along with the day of the week on which they fall. This may help you plan marketing and promotions. For example, this year Valentines Day falls on a Saturday which may well affect when you start discounting to ensure you are not left with stock.

The biggest giftware trade shows are the Spring and Autumn fairs at the NEC in Birmingham in February and September and the show in Harrogate in July. The year kicks off with the Giving and Living show in Exeter in January and Scotland also hosts a giftware show early in the year at the SECC. Keep your eye on the Dates For Your Diary page for exact dates and details of other shows throughout the year such as Pure and Pulse.

There is no shortage of trade publications for the huge wholesale giftware sector, Gift Focus and Progressive Gifts being two of the best known.  The Giftware Association is a national trade representative body serving the gift and home industry.


Important UK Dates (2015)

  • Valentines Day - Wednesday 14th Feb
  • Mothers Day - Sunday 11th March
  • Easter - Fri 30th Mar to Mon 2nd April
  • Fathers Day - Sun 17th June
  • Christmas Day - Tue 25th Dec

Trade Shows

  • Spring Fair NEC Birmingham
  • Top Drawer
  • Harrogate Home and Gift
  • Autumn Fair NEC Birmingham

Trade Associations

The Giftware Association (The GA)

Trade Press

  • Gift Focus
  • Progressive Gifts and Home


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