Neil Hanna Photography
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A specialist supplier of books, toys and gifts in the UK has more than doubled its operational capacity by investing significantly in additional warehouse facilities. Bookspeed’s expansion comes after the company exceeded growth expectations by bolstering sales from around £6million in 2015 to just under £9million in 2017.

Bookspeed’s new facility on Edinburgh’s Albert Road, which is located close to the firm’s headquarters at Salamander Yards in Leith, increases operational space from around 13,500sq ft to more than 25,000sq ft.

Family-owned Bookspeed, which marked its 30th anniversary last year, has carved out a niche for itself by creating bespoke ranges of books, gifts and toys to meet different retailer needs.

Its portfolio of clients range from independent businesses and multi-site national companies to heritage attractions and other specialist retail sectors while the company is also the exclusive UK distributor for a number of overseas brands behind some of the most sought-after design led gifts and toys.

Lewis Dawson, commercial director at Bookspeed, said: “This new facility is integral to our plans for ongoing growth. In recent years, we have invested significantly in all parts of our business including our IT infrastructure which now allows us to operate out of the two sites concurrently.”

“In 2015, we set out to double our turnover and have already surpassed growth expectations three years ahead of our plans and increased our team by 20% to more than 40 staff. We have also grown our customer base and geographical reach across the UK, while continuing to work with long-term customers and trading partners. Our focus is to build on this success and continue to expand in the coming years as we add new ranges and exclusive non-book product lines to our portfolio.”

Among the gift and toy designers that Bookspeed is the sole UK distributor for are the inspiring Peleg Design home and gift range, the funky array of Donkey Products gifts, the irresistible character lamps from renowned German manufacturer, Heico, and Egmont Toy’s adorable children’s range spanning plush toys and traditional wooden toys.

Bookspeed’s expansion reinforces its commitment to investing in Edinburgh and local employment. The company, which is an accredited Living Wage Employer, has evolved considerably over the past three decades since it was started in Edinburgh in 1986 by Lewis’ parents, Annie Rhodes and Kingsley Dawson, who both continue in the business as Board members. The company’s senior management team also includes managing director, Matthew Perren, and sales director, Fiona Stout.

Originally set up as a traditional wholesale business with sales agents out on the road, the first 15 years saw Bookspeed build its footprint across Scotland before eventually dominating the supply to the heritage and visitor market North of the border.

The company experienced rapid growth after capitalising on its track record and entering the English and Welsh visitor and heritage markets. Through developing the firm’s unique business model, Bookspeed also recognised the potential for applying it’s offering to the gift market across the UK – a move that proved pivotal to the company’s future success.

Over the last 15 years, the company has undergone a major evolution by transforming from a field-based to fully-digital sales operation where its sales account managers work remotely with its now 2,000-strong customer base all over the UK. This led to increased productivity and business efficiencies as well as reducing the firm’s carbon footprint.

Lewis said: “We believe the strength and longevity of Bookspeed’s business model has always been our highly-personalised and responsive service combined with the team’s industry insights and track record for being ahead of the game for up-coming trends and developing specially-tailored ranges.

“We have always maintained that the physical book has a bright future, particularly for our markets where books are purchased not just for their content, but for their design, format, colours and textures. Through adding gifts and toys to our more than 50,000-strong book range, we are substantially extending our offering.”

Despite the company’s diversification into other non-book products, the majority of its growth is still coming from sales of physical books. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in demand for the printed book which has largely been led in the gift market by many of Bookspeed’s customers who have championed curated book ranges as a key part of their retail mix.

For more information about Bookspeed, visit:

Picture caption: L-R Bookspeed’s management team: managing director, Matthew Perren, sales director, Fiona Stout and commercial director, Lewis Dawson.


For more information, please contact Karen Grant, Katy Stollery or Katie Lyle on 0131 557 5252 or / or




WIDDOP and Co. is delighted to welcome Rosanna Bowles, President of Rosanna inc, as guest of honour at their Autumn Fair stand. Rosanna is a well known, innovative leader in the homewares industry and has won many awards during the 3 decades since the company was established.

She will be on the Widdop stand on the Sunday and Monday of the show, answering questions about her collection which is distributed exclusively in the UK and Ireland by WIDDOP and Co. as well as signing copies of her latest book “Coming Home”. All visitors to the Widdop stand on Monday and Tuesday will be entered into a prize draw drawn by Rosanna at 4pm on Monday on the Widdop stand to win a pack of Rosanna products worth £500 at retail.

The Rosanna collection encompasses beautiful jewellery trays, stylish decanters and stunning mugs.  Creating contemporary revisions of timeless aesthetics the collection in store produces striking product displays and offers an easy gifting solution.


Going Global Live

The Giftware Association are delighted to announce that it has joined forces with Going Global Live as an official partner.

Going Global is Europe’s leading show for businesses and entrepreneurs that are looking to expand internationally, export products or set up overseas operations. Whether you want to reach new markets or just expand your expertise within your industry, Going Global is the only event you need to attend this year.

Going Global is hosted at London Olympia, on 16th and 17th of November 2017, and the entry is completely free, just register for a ticket here. Both Going Global and The Giftware Association teams look forward to welcoming you in London this November.

Sponsorship & Exhibiting enquiries:

Simon Chicken – Event Director

+44 (0)117 929 6091


Marketing & Press enquiries:

Bogdan Mihalache – Marketing Assistant

(+44) 0117 929 6088



Don’t miss the opportunity to exhibit within the UK pavilion in Hall 11.1 at the hugely popular Ambiente fair in Frankfurt, Germany, 9-13 February 2018.

A DIT grant of £1500 may be available for eligible companies.

British Jewellery & Giftware International in conjunction with the Giftware Association and the British Travelgoods and Accessories Association will once again be organising a group pavilion at Ambiente with support from the Department for International Trade.  Ambiente is one of the world’s largest consumer goods trade fairs featuring product groups from table art to kitchen and houseware to paperware and party articles. It offers a major opportunity to meet new buyers in the German giftware market and is regarded as one of the most international events of its kind. With almost 4,500 exhibitors from 96 countries and with trade visitor numbers in excess of 142,000 every year from 154 different countries, Ambiente is one of the world’s major meeting points for buyers from all over the world.  Be part of the UK pavilion and take advantage of the following benefits:

·         Exhibit within a branded British pavilion in the  extremely desirable Young & Trendy hall, 11.1, with pre-show management and on-site support

·         Multilingual Interpreter

·         Extensive marketing and promotional activities to promote the British Pavilion

·         Full stand package

·         Full use of shared facilities

·         BJGI experience and expertise

·         Eligible UK exhibitors may be able to receive a DIT grant of £1500.

Deadline: 7 September 2017


Date: 9-13 February 2018
Where: Messe Frankfurt,


DIT 2  DIT 3

T 0121 237 1119
Once we receive your registration of interest the full event details will be sent to you.



Jeremy Corner 1

Jeremy Corner, owner of Blue Eyed Sun and Vice-Chairman of the Giftware Association, will be speaking to retailers on social media and the digital marketing on the high street at Autumn Fair.

Jeremy is a Sage Business Expert, Treasurer of the Greeting Card Association, a blogger, vlogger, columnist and an experienced speaker on social media, marketing and business.

Be sure to check out this seminar:

Session title: The digital high street is approaching; how to future-proof your business

Description: • What is changing on the high street and how will this affect independent retailers?

  • What digital opportunities are there to differentiate and grow your high street brand?
  • What are the obstacles with using digital solutions and how can you overcome them?

Location: Master the High Street in the Inside Retail Theatre

Type of session: Seminar

Date: 9/3/2017


G&L_rgb_Loc+urlThere’s nothing like a few days of sunshine to make us want to spend some time by the beach, and maybe even in the sea.  Who doesn’t like a trip to the seaside?  And whilst they say “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints“, most of us actually like to take a little something home as a souvenir.  The Giving & Living trade show covers more Coast than anyone else, so for buyers from retail outlets and attractions on or near the Coast, and for those that are keen to order coastal merchandise to target the holidaymaker, it’s THE show to visit.  Looking at the exhibitors that have recently booked in to next year’s show, we’ve come across lots of lovely things that we’d quite like to take home with us this summer:

The Great British Seaside cards range from Artichoke Cards would be perfect for so many places.  We don’t think we could bring ourselves to send them to someone else though, we’d have to pick one and have it take pride of place on the wall.  With piers, lighthouses, beach huts and more, there’s bound to be one that appeals to your customers too.

G+L Artichoke Cards

Roelofs and Rubens offer a charming collection of handmade and hand painted blue and white tableware, along with hanging decorations and other gifts, including a cute little blue fish that would look lovely hanging in a bathroom somewhere.  We’re quite tempted by their Sail Milk Jug too.  Decisions, decisions!

G+L Roelofs and Rubens

We’d love to splash out on a piece of seaside themed kilnformed handmade glassware from Glass Relief.  Standing in pride of place on a window sill, catching the light, it would be like having a wave of our very own at home, for those days when the summer and the beach seem a long way away…



Finally the handmade silver jewellery from Designed by Brett and Leni would be like having a piece of Cornwall with us all the time, which sounds like a great excuse to treat yourself to something a little bit special, doesn’t it?  Their Dainty Daisy Bracelet is delightful.

G+L Designed by Brett and Leni

Giving & Living takes place from 14th – 17th January, at the Westpoint Exhibition Centre in Exeter, and over 140 exhibitors have already booked their spot at the show.   There’s just so many products to choose from that, like us, you’ll be spoilt for choice.  What do you think your customers would like to be buying next summer?

For more information about the show, to book a stand, or pre-register to attend, please call 01934 733433, follow @giving_living, or visit



Giving & Living is the largest Gift & Home trade show in the South West, and covers more Coast than anyone else.  It is the biggest regional show of its kind. The 2018 show, which takes place at the Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter, and runs from Sunday 14th January to Wednesday 17th January, will bring together up to 300 exhibitors and 4000+ retail buyers.  With two halls to explore, and four days in which to do so, Giving & Living makes buying an enjoyable experience. 

For more information about the show, please contact Mike Anderson on 01934 733433

Hallmarking by UK Assay Offices overseas

The Government is seeking views on whether hallmarks applied by UK Assay Offices overseas should be different from hallmarks applied in the UK. And we would like to remind our members how they can be a voice in the industry.

This consultation seeks to understand whether stakeholders would wish articles of precious metals which are hallmarked by UK Assay Offices in their overseas sub-offices should carry a hallmark which is different from the hallmark applied in the UK.

Responses to this consultation will inform the decisions we will take in respect of hallmarks to be used off-shore and the guidance we will produce for the trade and consumers.

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 22 September 2017 find_out_more_button

Ways to respond:
Email to:
bhcconsultation17@gmail.comWrite to:
FAO Katrina Ritters
British Hallmarking Council
Shakespeare Martineau
60 Gracechurch St