MenKind Store 01MenKind Store 2RED5 Store 01

Gift Universe Group, (formerly Menkind Group) is one of the UK’s leading and fastest growing operators in the gifts and gadgets industry.

The company began trading as Menkind opening our first store in 2002 in The Chimes Shopping Centre in Uxbridge; over the next few years we established our position in the niche gadget and gifting retail sector, organically growing the business through store openings and Ecommerce. In August 2015 Gift Universe Group acquired the retail business RED5 and the wholesaler, The Source and now have unrivalled reach into our market through our own retail stores nationwide, multiple Ecommerce channels and through wholesale distribution to some of the UK’s top retail brands. Over the last five years the business has grown from £23m turnover to £64m for year end March 2017.

Brands

Menkind was founded in 2001, by Paul Kraftman and from the outset we wanted to ensure that we would only sell the types of gifts we would love to receive ourselves. Our mission is to provide a wide and interesting choice of men’s gifts for the man who has everything. Fourteen years on, we find we are not alone in our love for gadgets and boys toys.

We operate from around 60 stores during our peak trading period and our ecommerce business is growing significantly. We are continuing to invest in our multi-channel proposition, offering Click and Collect, cross channel promotions and gift vouchers, with a number of new developments in the pipeline to offer our customers a seamless experience across all channels.

Menkind has a broad demographic appeal attracting a wide spectrum of age and income groups. The company was featured in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 League Table for 2011 for the second year running. The Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest growing sales over the latest three years.

www.menkind.co.uk

RED5 was created in 2005 by Jonathan Elvidge, the founder of The Gadget Shop,from a desire to take high street shopping to a new dimension, providing the very best in unique gifts and gadgets, and putting the fun back into giving.

Putting the customer at the centre of everything we do, we find unique products that you really want but maybe never knew existed!

RED5’s retail business specialises in various niche routes to markets; we have stores in a number of quality outlet centres alongside top brands, concessions within Hamleys and Selfridges, and have recently opened our first airport boutique at Stansted. We also operate from a number of small footprint retail outlets which are suited to our focussed gadget proposition, and have recently re-launched our website which is continuing to grow and gain market share.

We have also developed an innovative range of eponymous products which now forms a key part of the gadget selection in top retailers such as John Lewis, Argos and Boots.

RED5 was also featured in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 League Table for 2011.

If you’d like to visit one of their stores, please use our Store Finder to find the one nearest to you.

www.menkind.co.uk/red5

The Source is a rapidly growing, forward thinking supplier which focuses on the gift market in the UK and is now expanding into international markets. Our product range, encompasses many categories, such as Gadgets, Educational Gifts, Home & Lighting, Toys and Novelty products.

We aim to deliver the latest innovative products, excellent prices and a fantastic customer service – striving to be the first to market and secure exclusive arrangements on our product ranges. We offer a flexible approach, understanding the needs of the various different types of retailers we work with, whether it be an independent or a multiple.

We currently work with some of the biggest names on the UK high street, working on FOB or domestic terms and also on own brand programmes. We are proud of our successful working relationship with hundreds of independents who benefit from low minimum order quantities and the option for next day service.

Since the acquisition by Gift Universe, we have access to an even wider product range and although many items are sold within the Group retail stores, the full range extends to additional products which appeal to our wider customer base.

www.thesourcewholesale.co.uk

Gadget Grotto is the brand we use exclusively on 3rd party marketplaces, such as Amazon and Ebay, which provide complementary outlets for our product range.

www.gadgetgrotto.com

Product Brands

RED5

An established and trusted brand for remote control gadgets and tech products, now ranged by many UK multiple retailers as well as our own stores.

Ingenious

An innovative and beautifully presented selection of practical gadgets which make the perfect men’s gift

Well Being

This is our brand for massage and related products and includes our best selling Mini Massage Cushion.

Solid

Our longest established own brand range of fun games targeted at the student market.

OUR HISTORY

  • 2001

    MenKind Founded

    Paul Kraftman

  • 2005

    RED5 Founded

    Jonathan Elvidge & Joth Baron

  • 2011

    Gadget Grotto Founded

  • 2015

    MenKind acquire RED5

  • 2016

    Gift Universe Group is born

PEOPLE

  • Paul Kraftman Paul Kraftman
    Chairman & Chief Executive

    Paul is an experienced retailer, having played a key role as Operations Director and then Managing Director in the development of the electrical retail chain, Tempo.

    In 2002 Paul founded Menkind with a single store in Uxbridge and has lead the business throughout its growth.

  • Gary Wakeman Gary Wakeman
    Commercial Director

    Gary has over 20 years of retail experience & held several managerial positions at Allders Department stores before joining Menkind in 2005 as Merchandiser. In 2009 he was appointed director & is directly responsible for merchandise planning & promotional activity and plays a key role in buying, strategic development & forecasting.

  • James Bridson James Bridson
    Operations Director

    James Bridson has an extensive supply chain background, having worked with Superdrug, Arcadia/DHL, Arla Foods and Symington’s Foods over the past 18 years and has joined the business to improve the supply chain and fulfilment operations to ensure that Gift Universe is well placed to deliver our exciting expansion plans.

  • Lee Shawyer MA Lee Shawyer MA
    Business Development Director

    Lee has twenty-two years experience in the distribution of consumer goods in the B2B environment; having previously held positions as Managing Director of Treat Factory, Commercial Director of 50 Fifty Gifts and Head of Sales at Paladone Products. Lee joined as Business Development Director in January 2017 to help deliver the growth plan.

  • Stacy Guest Stacy Guest
    Wholesale Director

    Stacy has over 15 years’ experience in the wholesale/distribution sector and having worked for a number of key suppliers to the trade, in 2012 became a founding member of The Source Wholesale Ltd. Since The Source’s acquisition by Gift Universe Group in 2015 Stacy has been appointed Director for all the wholesale across the Group’s business.

  • Sheila Loughney Sheila Loughney
    Retail Director

    Sheila has over 30 years of retail management experience having started her career with fashion and home retailer Next where she managed stores from Area to Regional roles. Involved in all aspects of retail, Sheila has a wealth of knowledge and experience and joined the business in May 2017 as Head of Retail.

  • Katie Baker ACA Katie Baker ACA
    Head of Finance

    Katie qualified as a chartered accountant in 2008 whilst working for Menzies. After 8 years in practice specialising in audit she joined Safetykleen, a leading international parts-washing and waste management company, as Group Management Accountant at their European Head Office before joining Menkind in 2015 as Head of Finance.

  • Mark Talbot MRICS Mark Talbot MRICS
    Property Director

    Mark is a Chartered Surveyor and Director at AGL Property Consultants with 27 years experience specialising in the retail property sector.

    He has advised Menkind on all property matters since inception and acquired their first store in 2002 . He was made a director of the management Company in 2012.

  • David Jones BA FCA David Jones BA FCA
    Finance Consultant

    David qualified as a Chartered Accountant with BDO in 1987 and has many years’ experience with companies such as Allied Distillers, Monsoon Accessorize and HJ Heinz Frozen before joining the FD Centre as a Consultant. David has over 40 Acquisition, Disposal and Merger deals behind him and has worked in North America, Eastern and Western Europe.

PRESS

Gift Universe secures £14million funding deal

Dorking-based Gift Universe Group is focused on growth after agreeing a £14million funding package with the Royal Bank of Scotland consisting of working capital facilities and a term loan.

The funding is being used to support the company’s continued growth and expansion through its retail stores, Ecommerce channels and through its wholesale distribution to some of the UK’s top retail brands.

Read More

MENKIND ACQUIRES COMPETITOR GADGETS RETAILER

Menkind, the UK’s leading multi-channel niche gifts and gadgets retailer, has acquired RED5, the Hull-based consumer gadgets brand.

As part of the acquisition, Menkind intends to retain RED5’s existing stores, warehouse and offices, plus its 220 staff. The original founders Jonathan Elvidge and Joth Baron will remain actively involved in the business during the transition period, as consultants to the management team.

At the end of the 2015 financial year, RED5 reported an 18% sales growth, a turnover of £18 million and pre-tax net profits of £1.3 million.

Read More

Financials

Gift Universe Group, formerly Menkind Group is one of the UK’s leading and fastest growing operators in the gifts and gadgets industry.

The company began trading as Menkind opening, our first store in 2002 in The Chimes Shopping Centre in Uxbridge, and over the next few years established our position in the niche gadget and gifting retail market, organically growing the business through store openings and Ecommerce.

Over the past few years, Menkind has experienced substantial growth organically by extending our store portfolio along with significant like for like sales increases. During this period we also increased our direct sourcing, introducing our own brand products which now number over 400 items which has led to significant margin improvement, and has been a key driver in improving the company’s profitability.

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APPRENTICESHIPS

This year Gift Universe made the decision to work with the local community and engage in an apprentice scheme at our Stoneferry site. We have utilised the Hull Chamber of Commerce training department and their framework for a warehouse apprentice. As a result we have been able to employ full time two colleagues.

Over the course of the apprenticeship we will provide specialist knowledge of the roles within our business, and the opportunity for school leavers and adults to develop a new career path and skill set within one of Hull’s leading retailers.

Charities

Before the 5p plastic bag charge came into effect, the UK used over 7 billion shopping bags a year. What a lot of people don’t realise is that the 5p spent on your shopping bag is earmarked for charity – we don’t include it in our revenue stream – so not only are you helping save the environment when you remember to bring your own bags to one of our shops, you’re also giving to a good cause every time you have to buy a new bag.

In 2017 we donated £26,600 to a selection of our favourite charities – to put that into perspective, it took over half a million 5p shopping bags to generate that donation. We’ve still got a long way to go to become as green as we would like to be, but with your help we can get there.

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CONTACT US

Gift Universe
The Atrium Business Centre,
Curtis Road,
Dorking,
Surrey,
United Kingdom,
RH4 1XA

enquiries@giftuniverse.com

01482 638916

OR

Drop us a line via the form below and we will get back to you.