In Conversation With . . . Stephen Illingworth, Widdop and Co

Among the pro-active giftware suppliers that are doing everything they can to support retailers, especially independents, is Widdop and Co., who are currently raising awareness of three new initiatives.

Above: Stephen Illingworth, Widdop and Co’s head of product development and national account sales.
Above: Stephen Illingworth, Widdop and Co’s head of product development and national account sales.

“Although we are down to a very skeleton team we are still running – especially on drop shipping – and getting focused on the future and helping our customers, especially independents, get through this crisis and back up and running at the end with a whole new toolkit of new skills and support,” Stephen Illingworth, head of product development and national account sales, told

On Wednesday (April 22), Stephen will be hosting a free online webinar on#LookingToTheOtherSide – retail and gifting on the other side of Covid-19. Following the webinar, there will be a Q&A with Julie Driscoll, regional director from Hyve, organisers of Spring Fair and Autumn Fair; Sarah Ward, ceo of The Giftware Association and Michael Weedon, former chair of FSB and ceo of EXP2.

Special guests will be talking about social media, social responsibility, eCommerce, bricks and mortar service, experience and theatre, hygiene and personal development in quieter times, as well as product trends and events. “The objective is that when all this is over, retailers can be prepared now,” explains Stephen.

“We will be posting about this from Thursday (April 23), and will record it and put it on our Youtube channel afterwards so people can re-watch.”


The link for registration is: The link can also be used to submit questions for the Q&A.

Other ways in which the company is supporting the industry is through its#LookOnTheBrightSide campaign.We have launched a campaign on our website to highlight the positive things that retailers, the government and individuals are doing to be innovative and positive for the world, and their business, during this incredibly tough time,” Stephen explains. Visit

He continues: “We will be updating this regularly over the next few weeks on all of our channels, and are encouraging people to submit stories. This will run through until July at which point we will be launching some permanent new product to help drive a positive message in the autumn.”

In addition, the company is also holding free social media training seminars. “Our marketing team are running free social media training for retailers looking to get startedon social media during this time, and not knowing where to start,” Stephen highlights. “It will be personalised, or in small groups, depending on how many registrations we get.” The registration page is HERE


Top: Widdop and Co’s  #LookOnTheBrightSide campaign is helping to share positivity.

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