The financial section of The Times newspaper wrote a very positive piece about Card Factory’s latest results (released 10 April – read the PG Buzz story here) yesterday (Wednesday 11 April) concluding that buying shares in the retail group would be a wise investment.
The article in The Times on April 11 started by banging the drum for the industry as a whole. Dispelling ‘popular myths’ it started with rhetorical question: ‘No one buys cards any more, they text, surely? Not true. Physical greeting card sales are growing by value albeit slightly declining in volume.’ It also fanfraed Card Factory’s research from OC&C that card buying by 18 to 34-year-olds is up and Valentine’s Day and Thank You Teacher cards are growing. It also included results from the same research that 50% of Card Factory customers’ store visits are planned and are the main reason for a shopping trip.
Another reason given by the newspaper as to investing in the company was the fact that Card Factory continues to expand, when so many chains are contracting. Card Factory opened a net 50 new shops this year, taking its UK total to 915.
But the real reason investors should looks closely at adding Card Factory stock to portfolios is “the income that they produce. Card Factory generates oodles of cash. There’s the ordinary dividend, up 2.2% to 9.3p, but also the expectation of a special dividend on top. This has been 15p for the past three years.”
- Paperchase also made the news last week when an eagle-eyed shopper spotted a charming card for a 2-year-old with a tongue that moves as you wiggle the hat. Jill Cooper picked up the card then as she turned it over discovered a warning on the back that the card is ‘unsuitable for children under the age of 3 years.’ Jill told The Sun newspaper: “As I was putting it in the envelope I spotted the warning and was shocked at the oversight. My guess would be that the parts might come loose and could be a choking risk.”
- Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA was sticking up for greeting cards in an interview on BBC Radio Scotland with Kaye Adams, after a story in The Express called for a ban on cards depicting excessive drinking. Lucy Rocca, founder of Soberistas.com who believes that there are an increasing number of cards that promote excessive levels of drinking and that retailers should take a responsible stance about their stocking decisions. Comedian and actress Rachel Jackson also contributed to the radio programme, coming down very much on the side of greeting cards, sharing her view that while she would not buy a card featuring drinking for an alcoholic friend, “A greeting card is meant for a celebration and drinking is part of celebrating”. Taking on board the different arguments put forward by Lucy, Sharon said that greeting cards “reflect society” but are not responsible for encouraging excessive drinking and that most of the designs are humorous and are seen as a joke.