Greeting cards claimed the top spot as the best performing product area for independent gift retailers, with 68% increasing their sales of cards over the last year, compared to the year previously.
Looking at all the positive factors on an independent gift retailer’s trade ‘expansion of their greeting card offer’ made it into the top three drivers, along with diversification and social media.
This positive card-centric news is just one element of the enlightening findings of the Progressive Gifts & Home Gift Retail Barometer, an annual research project (undertaken by Max Publishing, owner of Progressive Greetings) which drills down into the trading patterns and concerns of independent gift retailers.
Bugbears for gift indies highlighted by the survey results, included the continuing expansion of supermarkets and garden centres into gifts and homewares, and the rise and rise of Amazon, with over 90% of respondents citing the internet giant as their biggest competitor. Charity shops too, as well as the expansion of discount/deep value retailers, climbed up the list of competitors having had a detrimental effect on their business in the last year.
Some 37% of respondents said that their business had improved in the last year compared to the year previously, while 21% remained on a par while sadly 42% experienced a decline in sales.
As for this coming year, things are looking more positive with almost half of respondents (49% gearing up for growth this year while another 35% are expecting to hold the line on last year’s level.
What main factors had a detrimental effect on your business in the last year?
- The UK retail economy 67%
- Competitive websites 41%
- Competition from multiples 40%
- Expansion of discount/deep value retailers 36%
- Charity shops selling gifts 36%
- The National Living Wage/Living Wage 34%
- Expansion of gift and home products in supermarkets 30%
- Parking issues 26%
- Rent reviews 21%