Top industry buyers to judge 2016 Stationery Awards

NSW 2013 with date and website and partners (no website)With the annual Stationery Awards now entering their sixth year, the first top industry buyers from across the retail spectrum have been confirmed for this year’s judging panel.

This year will see Charlotte McCarthy, stationery buyer for John Lewis, Suzanne Hack, procurement and category manager at London Graphic Centre, Louisa Brenton, gift and stationery buyer of Bentalls, Fenwick Kingston and Lucy Edmonds, owner of Quill London, joining Joanne Barber, owner of The Stationery & Gift Boutique, Ampthill and Abel Dos Santos, gifts and stationery buyer of Foyles, who were  judges for the first time last year, as part of the judging panel.

The judging of the Awards will again be chaired by Henri Davis, an independent retail advisor, head of buying and merchandising for Scribbler and guest columnist for Greetings Today magazine.  Henri is also vice-president of The Giftware Association.

The Stationery Awards are open to all exhibitors at the London Stationery Show, which runs at the Business Design Centre, in Islington on Tuesday, 26 and Wednesday, 27 April.

“The Award entries and their central display as visitors enter the London Stationery Show are a vital element of the show and an important reason to visit and exhibit,” explains exhibition director Chris Leonard-Morgan.  “It is a fantastic opportunity for retail buyers to see so many stationery product launches in one NSW 2013 with date and website and partners (no website)place at one time, and a great way to get a speedy overview of what the market has to offer!”

The judges assess all the entries on the first morning of the show, with the results announced at the end of the first day at the after show party.  The show’s entrance display is then updated overnight to highlight the winning products.

“Every year our judges go away with a list of things to follow up on that they’ve never seen before, or might not have considered previously,” Chris reveals.

This year two new categories has been added to the options open to suppliers – Desk Accessories and Gift Wrap & Packaging.  The existing categories are:  Diaries, Organisers & Calendars, Everyday Writing Instruments, Writing Instruments (over £25 RRP), Novelty Stationery, Social Stationery (writing paper, envelopes, notecards, invitations), Notebooks & Journals, Licensed Stationery and Filing & Storage.  All entries must have been launched to the trade since 1 May 2015.

The judging panel will be assessing the entries based on design, packaging, functionality, value for money and saleability.

“The Stationery Awards identify the year’s newest standout writing and paper products.  They are chosen by a team of experienced and enthusiastic retailers, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for exhibitors to ensure their products are seen at close quarters by some very influential buyers,” says Chris.

The Awards will be presented this year by Helen Esmonde, not only a successful publisher in her own right, most lately at GMC, but also the first lady Master of the Stationers’ Company in 612 years.

Posted on 24th February 2016 by Vanessa Fortnam