This ad will be closed automatically in X seconds.

A cracking time!

Eggs-cellent Easter sales delight greeting card retailers

 

Greeting card retailers have declared they had a cracking time over the Easter sales period, with neither the early date nor the rainy weather getting in the way of egg-citing sales.

And crackers was the operative word at Mantons Cards in Port Erin, Isle Of Man, where card sales were up on last year, along with a run on Easter crackers!

Owner Chris Beards explained: “The last couple of years we’ve sold Easter crackers as crackers seem to be getting more and more popular outside of Christmas.

“Our sales were a mix of packs and singles and also a mix of captions with very few returns. While Easter card sales have been generally down the last few years, Easter gifts have grown slightly.”

Above: Mantons Cards had a cracking Easter
Above: Mantons Cards had a cracking Easter

Emergency orders were needed in Lampeter as Creative Cove owner Sandra Jervis had to call in extra supplies of multipacks from Museums & Galleries and The Art File, finding Easter card sales are getting stronger each year for both religious and contemporary designs.

“I also sell lots and lots of Welsh language Easter cards (Pasg Hapus),” Sandra told PG Buzz, “with lots of customers sending their cards abroad to loved ones – New Zealand and Australia being the furthest! I rely on Max Rocks, Paintbox Designs and Draenog for these.

“The early date obviously shortens the selling period for all Easter-related products but, this year, I got ahead of the game and put it all out in January, rather than waiting until after Valentine’s Day. I think it really helped push sales and I sold out of things I wouldn’t normally – which we all know means I shall be spending big next year to top it up!”

Sandra found so many people had swapped chocolate for an alternative gift “it really paid off this year putting so many spring time items” and her Easter crafts, bonnets and baskets were very popular, along with rabbits and gonks in the giftware section, where the bestseller was the Toasted Crumpet soaps.

Above: Extra supplies were needed at Creative Cove
Above: Extra Easter card supplies were needed at Creative Cove

“The curious thing is we’ve stopped selling Easter cards altogether but had a great Easter,” was the contrasting viewpoint from Stuart Delahoy, owner of Set in Leicester.

“Most of our smaller publishers don’t do them, we did do The Art File but it’s just not a thing for our customers any more. Must be a sign of the times and changing habits.

“Gift sales, on the other hand, were amazing. Those Jellycat products just keep selling and selling. We were 51% up on Easter week compared to last year which, in itself, was a really good year. Footfall for us is up and the average spend is much higher – happy days!”

Above & top: Wishes Of Cockermouth co-owners Victoria and Fiona Robinson really got into the Easter spirit
Above & top: Wishes Of Cockermouth co-owners Victoria and Fiona Robinson really got into the Easter spirit

Over at MiMi, owner Julianne Moore had completely sold out of Easter cards at her stores in Hartley Wintney and Wokingham by Good Friday lunchtime, with all seasonal gifting being purchased and 99% of items sold.

“We continued to sell rabbit and chicken and egg-themed generic cards on Saturday,” Julianne told PG Buzz., “It was a really noticeable increase from last year and just shy of Mother’s Day numbers which was surprising.”

Above: Seasonal gifting was 98% sold out at MiMi
Above: Seasonal gifting was 98% sold out at MiMi

It was a great spring season for Red Card in Petworth too where owner Sally Matson found the rain didn’t deter customers as Easter card sales were up thanks to “beautiful ranges” from Wendy Jones-Blackett, Roger La Borde and Belly Button Designs.

Sally added: “Religious cards are always popular in our neck of the woods, so they were good sellers too. Our gift ranges were again popular – people love putting together Easter trees with gorgeous decorations from Gisela Graham, and crafting kits from Talking Tables proved popular for the school break. Our window display brought big sales of Jellycat too.”

Above: A Jellycat window brought customers to Red Card
Above: A Jellycat window brought customers to Red Card

As Caroline Gardner provided the bestselling pack at John Lewis, card buyer Jason Billings-Cray went with the joke from Tache’s design that was the top single card: “I’m pleased to share, we had a cracking result on Easter cards!

“It was bolstered by a really strong week before Easter which was up 36% versus the like-for-like week last year, and follows on from a great start to 2024 across our occasions and everyday cards.”

Above: Tache (right) and Caroline Gardner were top sellers at John Lewis
Above: Tache (right) and Caroline Gardner were top sellers at John Lewis

The “much better value” of packs saw them sell through more than singles for Caroline Ranwell at Hugs & Kisses in Tettenhall, where Woodmansterne, Ling Design and Abacus were the tops on the pack front, while Wendy Jones-Blackett, Five Dollar Shake and Paperlink boosted single sales.

“Wow! we had a really busy one this year,” Caroline cheered, “we were just over 15% up on last year so I was really pleased! The early date really didn’t seem to affect us at all.

“We did really well with both singles and packs but we also sold a lot of relation cards too. I really struggled to get certain relations and could have sold a lot more had I been able to give more choice. In particular I struggled to find enough Mum and Mum & Dad.

“We have a really wide range of open Easter cards, lots of religious as people seem to want those at Easter but also we have a lot of traditional and contemporary designs too.”

Above: Luxury chocs were a great gift with the wide range of cards at Hugs & Kisses
Above: Luxury chocs were a great gift with the wide range of cards at Hugs & Kisses

On the gift front the choice of pick-your-own luxury Belgian chocolates in a ballotin tied with a pretty satin ribbon or the pre-packed clear boxes were the clear favourites, while Caroline admitted customers “can’t get enough” of Jellycat as sales “never cease to amaze”!

Decorations went down well with Donna Stocks’ customers at the Beverley Card Company, with a run on hanging eggs, sheep, bunnies, bunting and gift bags.

Donna said: “Overall I was really pleased with sales and enjoyed updating my colourful window display and Easter tree. I found Easter extremely popular once again this year.

“We sold a variety of Carte Blanche, Janie Wilson, and wholesale cards. Our Noel Tatt packs of four cards at just £2.25 were the bestsellers, as were our Wishing Well religious cards at just 89p each.”

Above The Noel Tatt packs of four were great sellers for Beverley Card Co
Above The Noel Tatt packs of four were great sellers for Beverley Card Co

With a full range of Easter designs, Cards ’N’ Things co-owner Helen Southgate finds many customers visit especially for the religious cards at the Hellesdon shop: “They appreciate that we sell them.

Ling’s Nicely Said cards sold well and titles are always strong for us such as Grandson, Granddaughter, and friends. Packs of Easter cards were slower selling this year but single card sales were good – is that a sign that postage prices are affecting people’s choice whether to send less?

“It was tricky this year having the spring seasons so close together and displaying everything, our sales were similar overall to last year.

Above: Cards ’N’ Things found activity books were very popular
Above: Cards ’N’ Things found activity books were very popular

“Easter gift sales were up on last year and our range of books, especially Easter activity books for children, were very popular. This is our first Easter stocking Wrendale and their gifts were popular, especially products with a garden theme.”

Putting Easter out at the same time as Mother’s Day worked for Rachel Bates, at Celtic Company in Welshpool, as she commented: “Easter sales were great, cards and gifts both selling really well after we put them out early.

Above: Smaller wooden toys won out over chocolate at Celtic Company
Above: Smaller wooden toys won out over chocolate at Celtic Company

“Lots of contemporary cards selling with ranges from IC&G and Paperlink being bestsellers in individual cards, and Abacus’ and Tracks’ packs flying out as the designs were fresh but the price point was really reasonable.

“In Welsh the new ranges from Tracks and Alff-A-Bet were our bestsellers with bright, fun animal designs or floral designs going more than anything else.

“For gifts we did really well with Coco Pzazz Welsh chocolate especially the new hot cross bun chocolate! And for children’s gifts Jellycat and Orange Tree Toys were fantastic. Lots of customers commented they were getting a little gift rather than a chocolate egg this year so the smaller wooden toys were the most popular.”

And over in Wiltshire, getting together with local businesses saw Highworth Emporium organise an Easter chocolate hunt where co-owner Aga Marsden said: “Every chocolate found was a winner and that brought a lot of customers and attention to our shops.

Above: A chocolate hunt brought customers to Highworth Emporium
Above: A chocolate hunt brought customers to Highworth Emporium

“Generally speaking, Easter trade was steady, though lots of rainy days and early season made it a little bit challenging. Our Easter cards were 4% up but gifts and decorations 5% down, although Gisela Graham sold really well as usual and, of course, chocolates from Sarunds were extremely popular.

“Card wise, all the specific designs were the most popular, Grandson, Granddaughter, Friend and To Both Of You as always sold out. Packs did well, especially from Ling Designs, and singles from UK Greetings. The cheaper the better, that’s always the case with Easter cards in our shop.

“Historically, Mother’s Day and Easter in the same month are never a good combination, so we did expect it and, overall, we’re chuffed with the numbers.”

Above: It was a hoppy Easter for Bewilderbeest’s chief nitwit Iain Hamilton as he added even more to his 6’8” height with bunny ears in a daft Facebook post, while Just Cards’ co-owner Amanda Buttriss was the boss of all Easter bunnies collecting her eggs haul in St Ives
Above: It was a hoppy Easter for Bewilderbeest’s chief nitwit Iain Hamilton as he added even more to his 6’8” height with bunny ears in a daft Facebook post, while Just Cards’ co-owner Amanda Buttriss was the boss of all Easter bunnies collecting her eggs haul in St Ives
MORE NEWS
GCA RM Sale Feature Image
 
GCA reacts to protect industry interests as RM board ‘minded’ to accept new offer...
Gift Awards Feature Image
 
Outstanding Achievement for Hannah Dale and Rosie Made A Thing scores hat trick...
GCA agm rm Feature Image
 
Early bird tickets still available as Royal Mail boss announced for conference slot...
Bubblegum stuff Feature Image
 
The Apprentice finalist debuts fresh card collaboration at greeting card trade show...
Retas finalists 2 Feature Image
 
Retas’ awards finalists are springing about at news of being finalists...
 
International publisher takes on Linnapaperi, and hands over £60k charity donation...
Get the latest news sent to your inbox
Subscribe to our daily newsletter

The list doesn't exist! Make sure you have imported the list on the 'Manage List Forms' page.