The Walking Stick Specialists
Supplying the retail trade since 1982
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Latest News

New handbag folding canes

9 Aug 2017
New handbag folding canes We are delighted to launch a new series of three handbag size folding canes.  These fold to five sections instead of the usual four,making them more compact to fit easily into a handbag.  Height adjustable, they are available in three colourways: black tropical floral, blue tropical floral and white sprigged floral.  They are available in stock for our retailers to order now.  We will launch them officially at the Autumn Fair in September.

Our bluebells

27 Apr 2017
Our bluebells The Classic Canes bluebells are in full flower.  One of the most beautiful sights of the British countryside, bluebells thrive in deciduous woodlands where dappled light can reach the forest floor.  Our bluebells can be distinguished from the Spanish imposters by their scented flowers, which droop and which are all arranged on one side of the stem. 

NEW: illuminated umbrella

28 Mar 2017
NEW: illuminated umbrella New from Classic Canes today is this exceptional illuminated umbrella, which is both fashionable and safe.  While an LED light at the tip (Pluvis® toplight) makes the user visible to other pedestrians and motorists, the umbrella's ferrule end also has an integrated LED torch which simultaneously lights up the pavement.  This provides safety in the dark and rain and warns approaching drivers from all directions.  The umbrella illuminates at the touch of a button.  A second touch makes the illumination flash on and off repeatedly.  Supplied with an umbrella cover and in elegant packaging, the illuminated umbrella makes an excellent gift.  It has an automatic opening mechanism and soft-touch handle with fabric wrist strap.  It is supplied with three AAA batteries, which are easily fitted into a compartment within the handle.  Its overall length is 85cm and the canopy diameter 108cm.  Stock reference code 2300A.

Contact us for further details.

Charlotte Gillan
Managing Director
28th March 2017


Classic Canes celebrates 35th anniversary

27 Mar 2017
Classic Canes celebrates 35th anniversary 2017 is a special year for us as we are celebrating our 35th anniversary!  It seems a long time since we sat around the proverbial kitchen table labelling sticks and counting ferrules into bags of ten.  In the early days, the sticks were stored in the kitchen and quite often in our bedrooms too!

The business has developed a lot in the meantime, gradually extending its reach across the west country, then the UK and now to stockists in 40 countries worldwide.  We now have 700+ models of walking sticks, seat sticks and umbrellas, the latest addition to which being our collection produced in association with the National Gallery in London.

We have many stockists who have bought from us for over 25 years and a good number who go back 30 years or more.  How interesting it will be to see who we are supplying in another 35 years!  What will it be like to do business then we wonder: will we just email orders to our customers for them to print out on their 3D printers at the other end...?

Photograph: Publicity shot of Ben and Diana taken in 1989.

Charlotte Gillan
Managing Director
27th March 2017

Spring Fair 2017 Report

15 Feb 2017
Spring Fair 2017 Report The 2017 Spring Fair International (5th-9th February 2017) marked both the 35th anniversary of Classic Canes and our 28th consecutive Spring Fair so we were in celebratory mood.  Some years the fair is more international than others, but this year we were delighted to welcome visitors from many countries, including Ireland, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Iceland, Italy, Uganda, Australia and China.

Our big event was the launch of our new National Gallery collection of walking sticks, based on paintings by Stubbs, van Gogh and Bosschaert the Elder.  These were very well received and found their way onto many orders; we look forward to seeing how they sell on in the shops.  The new Dropmenot cane holder and LED cane lamps were also popular, especially as they make great "add-on" sales for retailers.

We had been concerned about the reception to our 2017 price increases, made necessary by the weakness of the Pound relative to the US Dollar and also by increases in raw material costs which meant our suppliers also had to increase their prices by greater amounts than usual.  There were a couple of raised eyebrows on the first morning, but buyers soon discovered that price increases of up to 30% - depending on the type of product and its country of origin - were widespread throughout the show, also confirmed to us by the other exhibitors in our hall.  On wholesalers' margins, there is regrettably little option but to increase prices, or many of us would have no margin at all.  It will be very interesting to see what happens to the value of the US Dollar under President Trump's administration and its knock-on effect on prices in the UK.  Perhaps we will all be printing new price lists in a few months time; with extraordinary news and tweets emanating from the US every day it seems, the situation is potentially very volatile this year.

Price increases nothwithstanding, we were delighted to find that our sales by the end of the week were well up on the year before, with the 2017 fair in fact our best ever in terms of orders taken.  We were also pleased to have some very interesting new enquiries from all sorts of diverse businesses and look forward to opening further new accounts over the coming weeks.

Another interesting theme was the number of retailers on our stand telling us that they had tried selling cheaper sticks, but had experienced quality problems, returns and complaints, and now felt that it was better to concentrate on quality walking sticks.  This has always been our guiding principle too, on the basis that one gets what one pays for and also because it is depressing dealing with disgruntled customers.  One visitor to our stand did however have a different point of view, informing us that he sells "thousands" of very cheap folding canes each year.  What about the quality issues we asked?  "Oh the quality's terrible but I don't care about that," he said, "We're in a tourist area; they're miles away by the time they discover how rubbish they are."  How do such people live with themselves I wonder?

Pleasingly, most of our customers feel differently, with many commenting on how much they enjoy selling Classic Canes products and how much difference a simple thing such as a pretty walking stick can make to a person's life.  All in all it was a very positive fair and we thank all those customers, suppliers, potential new stockists and member of the press for taking the time to visit our stand.  In an age where so much business communication is electronic, it is always a great pleasure to meet everyone "in real life".

Our next trade fair is the Autumn Fair at the NEC, Birmingham from 3rd to 6th September 2017.  We hope to see many of our customers and other retailers there.

Charlotte Gillan
Managing Director
15th February 2017



Classic Canes in BBC Countryfile Magazine

15 Feb 2017
Classic Canes in BBC Countryfile Magazine We are delighted to have been featured in the BBC Countryfile magazine's March 2017 issue.  Our Labrador chestnut hiking staff (ref 1780) looks lovely in their photographs we think.  Please visit our stockists page to locate a retailer of this very popular walking stick.
 

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Classic Canes Limited
Warren House
Hinton St George
Crewkerne
Somerset TA17 8TQ
England
Tel: +44 (0)1460 75686
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