Wholesaler HT & Co Drinks has acquired a 50% stake in Gift Creation & Design (GC&D) for an undisclosed sum in a move it hopes will open up the gifting market to wholesalers and independent retailers.

GC&D creates alcohol and food gift packs for multiples, department stores and garden centres.

HT & Co’s directors Sanjay and Sagar Thakrar will joint-own GC&D with its current chairman, Mike Brennand, and his brother David.

GC&D now plans to expand its alcohol offer through HT & Co’s membership of Today’s Group.

“Previously, we’ve only worked with the multiple retailers and department stores, but our partnership with HT & Co will give us access to new markets which have not previously had this channel available to them,” Mike Brennand said. “Only 20% of our business has been in alcohol gifting. There’s a great opportunity to do more.”

The company has predicted it will double in size over the next three years by making gifting an everyday occasion rather than just focusing on seasonal events.

“We are looking into the introduction of free-standing display units with changeable headers to help retailers respond to occasions like Christmas, Easter and even Chinese New Year,” Brennand added. “We may trial the PoS exclusively with Today’s retailers in early 2015.”

Sanjay Thakrar added: “We hope that the partnership will help us grow our suppliers’ brands by opening up new channels. In five years’ time, we hope to be the largest gifting company in the UK.”