Hello lovely friends
Never has it felt more important to feel connected and part of a community. The UK greeting card industry is already doing itself proud by everyone pulling together. There are loads of great examples of card publishers, reps and agents helping retailers, be it through extending credit terms, lowering minimum order values, offering discounts and free stock. Likewise, retailers are paying it forward to their customers by bending over backwards on the service front, including hand-delivering cards and gifts free of charge and hand-writing/mailing cards on behalf of those in self-isolation.
Trade suppliers too are going above and beyond in working with publishers, being as understanding as possible about the financial squeeze the Coronavirus is causing for all of us while the GCA is certainly doing its bit, be it as an anchor point for advice as well as grabbing any opportunity to promote the importance of sending cards. On the latter, keep your eyes peeled for what looks like being a great PR fillip on ITV’s 6 o’clock news tomorrow evening (March 20).
It is in times like this (not that there has ever been a time like this, thankfully) that we, the Progressive Greetings and PGBuzz.net gang feel really privileged to be at the heart of our wonderful industry. As we see it we have a job to do – to keep the news flowing, to be an important interface between publishers and retailers, to comfort and also inspire through the editorial we write as well as the adverts we carry. While we do not want to put a sugar-coating on what is a very testing situation we really do want to be there to share the good ideas and encouraging experiences, promote the wonderful new products and provide some real comfort that we are all in this together.
If you are a publisher offering ways of helping retailers, let me know. Share with us your new product ranges.
If you are a retailer who wants to ‘blast off’ about the unfairness of it all, share ways of mitigating the effects of the mayhem, please let us know.
There will be no interruption to Progressive Greetings magazine’s production or PG Buzz’s digital newsfeed – everyone will still receive our magazines and see our digital news. In fact, in the last two weeks we have seen a palpable spike in both subscriptions and PG Buzz’s opening rate. (If your PG magazine is being sent to your office and you would rather receive it at home for the next few months let me know and we can sort that).
The good news is that we have some great stuff lined up for both the April and May editions of Progressive Greetings – the Focus on Humour Cards (which is due out with the May edition) should be made available on the NHS! Funny cards are not a cure for this horrible virus, but they don’t half make you feel better.
Without wishing to belittle the hardship you may be facing during this very unsettled time, please accept this virtual non-contaminated hug from us at Progressive Greetings/PG Buzz that we can get through this together and come out into the sunshine before too long.
With genuine best wishes for you and your team
Jakki Brown and Warren Lomax, Gale Astley and Tracey Arnaud