It’s ‘C Day’ as Card Factory and Clintons both issue updates

This morning (Thursday August 10) Card Factory issued a trading update which revealed that its like for like sales were up 3.1% for the six month period to 31 July.

The value retailer reports “good sales performances across all parts of the Group”, namely its store network as well as its online businesses of cardfactory.co.uk and gettingpersonal.co.uk. Sales from its Getting Personal site increased by 5% over the most recent period, with plans to double this to 10% by the year end.

Some of new personalised gifts and cards that Card Factory is offering online.
Some of new personalised gifts and cards that Card Factory is offering online.

It has opened an additional 30 stores in the six month period and is on course to open its targeted 50 additional stores by its year end, with its expansion into retail parks faring well.

Last month saw the opening of Card Factory’s first store in the Republic of Ireland with additional sites having now been secured to enable the trial in Eire to continue, with their performance being monitored through to its next financial year.

Karen Hubbard, Card Factory’s chief executive officer, said: “It is pleasing to report that the strong sales performance highlighted in our Q1 announcement has continued into the second quarter, delivering a very good first half both in terms of overall and like-for-like store sales.

Our store expansion programme remains on track and we are pleased with the performance of this year’s openings, including strong sales from the increased proportion of openings in retail parks”.

Some of the key messages from value retailer Card Factory.
Some of the key messages from value retailer Card Factory.

It is results of a very different nature that Clintons is highlighting in its latest press release, hoping to gain column inches with a tongue in cheek approach which highlights the effectiveness of sending greeting cards in today’s modern technology filled world.

Flagged up as a ‘Groundbreaking new mail format’ that promises a ‘near 100% same day open rate’, Clintons introduces ‘CARD’!

The PR stunt to promote greeting cards re-presents them in a novel way: ‘the package offers young early adopters the opportunity to inject unrivalled authenticity into their social interactions. CARD messages, which offer a resolution far beyond the best screens on smartphones, have an interactive internal page that can be tailored in an infinite number of ways using a remarkably low cost stylus, available everywhere.’

However the humorous approach is based on hard facts which underline the effectiveness of sending someone a message in a card.

Clintons latest PR stunt highlights the effectiveness of sending cards.
Clintons latest PR stunt highlights the effectiveness of sending cards.

Findings of Omnibus research of UK adults have shown that 97% will open a greeting card the same day it is received.

Some 83% of the population will open physical post within a couple of minutes of seeing it, whereas by contrast, the average UK adult has around 3,000 unread email messages in his or her inbox.

Embracing the fun tack, Tim Fairs, VP of marketing at Clintons is quoted in the press release: “It has taken us ages to bring this new concept to market, but we wanted to make sure that our centuries of beta-testing were sufficiently thorough. What we’ve found is that opening rates for CARD far exceed those for other mail programmes, including Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook and others.  Basically, people want something unique, personalised and something to hold onto. There is a shift back to authenticity in the expression of emotions and we think our ‘new’ CARD programme enables this.”

The tongue in cheek table that Clintons shared with the media connected to the launch of CARD!
The tongue in cheek table that Clintons shared with the media connected to the launch of CARD!
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