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Trade Associations for Card & Gift Businesses


Trade associations can be incredibly helpful to businesses big and small.

Uniting people across a country or even the world with a common aim or purpose.

In the greetings & giftware industry here in the UK we have 2 incredibly supportive trade associations, The Greeting Card Association and the Giftware Association; but they are not alone.

On this page, I wanted to share not just these 2 organisations, but other trade associations from around the world. As well as organisations from the worlds of business, retail and design that can help your business succeed.

Greeting Card & Giftware Associations – UK

The GCA is the trade association representing the UK greeting card industry. An independent not for profit organisation owned by our members, its mission is to represent, protect and promote the greetings card sector. The GCA was established in 1919 and today comprises over 480 member companies.

The Giftware Association (the GA) is a national trade body representing the UK’s gift and home industry. Since 1947, the association’s commitment is to help and support its members; helping them make money, save money and save time by via a wide array of services and support.



The Greeting Card Association is the U.S. trade association serving the greeting card and social expressions industry. Promoting the tradition of sending greeting cards, helps members grow their business through leadership & advocacy on industry issues. Founded in 1941, the GCA represents nearly 200 American and international publishers from start-ups to established companies of all sizes as well as suppliers that provide production services and product distribution to the industry.

The Gift and Home Trade Association (GHTA) was formed in 2000, as the gift and home industry’s non-profit professional trade association. The Association was designed to help and encourage vendors, sales agencies, industry affiliates and retailers to work together, improving relationships and making business better by providing members with the opportunity to exchange ideas and network with industry leaders. Essentially, the GHTA is a place for members to connect, to learn, and to contribute.

The Association of Gift and Boutique Retailers (AGBRA) is a national association of gift stores, boutique retailers and stationery shops. Representing the small business owners that are the backbone of the American economy, AGBRA aims to connect industry leaders, innovations and best practices to help aid its members’ growth.


The Canadian Gift Association (CanGift) is the voice and entrepreneurial spirit of Canada’s $10 billion giftware industry. Since 1976, the not-for-profit association has worked to make its members more competitive and successful. In today’s evolving market, CanGift remains committed to being a force for positive change, acting as the industry’s best-known and most trusted “partner in growth” for gift businesses big and small.


The Australian Gift & Homewares Association (AGHA) is the only gift and homewares industry body in Australia representing thousands of businesses and individuals in the sector. A not-for-profit industry association, AGHA delivers trade exhibitions (including the Sydney Gift Fair and Melbourne Gift Fair), dedicated business services and resources to its members. Since 1977 AGHA has worked to create opportunities for its retailer, wholesaler and associate members to develop new industry connections and further their own business growth.

The Australian Greeting Card Association (AGCA) is a representative group of the Greeting Card Industry. Formed in 1991, its members are drawn from publishers, printers, suppliers, designers, photographers; and other associated industries. They all have a common interest in the growth and development of the greeting card industry within Australia.


AVG. is a voluntary working association of the most important manufacturers and publishers of greeting cards in Germany. Founded in Munich in 1972, as an unincorporated association, the AVG. works as an advocate of the German greeting card market and contact for other groups engaged in this field. AVG. does not sell products, but provides market research, advertising, and industry’s representation for its members.

Retail Associations – UK

BIRA represents thousands of independent retailers across the UK, from single retail outlets to small chains, large department stores and agricultural dealerships.

Since 1899 the association has been fighting for a level playing field, drawing on the strength of its members to strengthen support for indie retailers. The organisation works to influence the media, change Government legislation and provide support on areas of strain like business rates, parking and staffing.

The Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) is a well-established organisation, bringing together like-minded trade associations with interests in the small and independent retail sector. The IRC represents c.100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK, creating a growing retail network, committed to the development and sharing of best practice among associations and their members engaged in the independent retail sector.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is the voice of over 33,500 local shops, supporting its members through effective lobbying, comprehensive advice and innovative networking opportunities. ACS’ core purpose is to lobby Government on the issues that make a difference to local shops; representing the interests of retailers on a range of issues, including business rates, energy, regulation, planning, alcohol and many more.

The BRC is an association representing a range of retailers, including the major supermarkets and department stores as well as independents. They offer information, representation, discounted services and consultancy to its members. The BRC’s purpose is to make a positive difference to the retail industry and the customers it serves, today and in the future.

IMRG is the UK’s online retail association  is a membership community offering neutral and unique resources for online retailers. They aim to help their members understand and improve their online retail performance through a busy programme of performance benchmarking, data analysis, insight, best practice-sharing and events. Since 2000 IMRG has been tracking online commerce and now measure over 120 individual metrics in a series of indexes, providing in-depth intelligence on online and mobile sales, delivery trends, marketing ROI and channel performance.

Business Associations – UK

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a business network that spans the length and breadth of the UK, with links to markets across the world.

The 53 accredited Chambers in the UK are trusted champions of businesses, places, and global trade. Each Chamber of Commerce provides a voice to the business communities they represent, amplifying their priorities and concerns. In every region and nation of the UK, Chambers and their members work to improve the local business environment.

The FSB are experts in business who aim to offer their members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise and support. A powerful voice in government, the FSB’s mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.


The Chartered Society of Designers is an internationally recognised body for the design profession, providing support and guidance for designers at every stage of their career ‘from learning to earning’™.

The Design Business Association (DBA) champions the transformative power of design; promoting its strategic and economic value to business and government. As the industry’s trade association the DBA represents a vibrant community of design agencies and design-centric businesses.

The Design Council’s purpose is to make life better by design. An independent charity and the government’s advisor on design, the Design Council’s vision is a world where the role and value of design is recognised as a fundamental creator of value, enabling happier, healthier and safer lives for all. Through the power of design, the Design Council believes we make better processes, better products and better places, all of which lead to better performance.

Made by Industrial Designers for Industrial Designers, the British Industrial Design Association aims to provide a unified voice for the design industry. Using the power of our membership, the association showcases the inherent strategic and commercial benefits of design to businesses and government; driving for change that will benefit both its members and the economy.

The Society of British and International Design (SBID) is one of the leading British professional accrediting bodies and representative for global interior design. Supporting professional and trading standards of Interior Designers, Architects and manufacturers

SBID works with business experts, government bodies, trade associations and academics to guide and measure the profession through best practice; setting the standard for the industry at large to develop future growth.

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