Over three quarters of the UK adult population (76%) have purchased a greeting card in the last 12 months, head and shoulders above engagement in any other country in the world.
Card Factory revealed how Brits’ card sending is the most ingrained in the globe at its recent Capital Markets Day presentation, attended by analysts and investors at which it unveiled its five-year strategy for the business. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/card-factorys-future-growth-will-largely-be-through-partnerships-with-other-retailers/)
Having put into context the UK’s centuries old greeting card history, Pierre Hyde, strategy and insight director of Card Factory shared a slide which showed ‘greeting card penetration’ in the UK compared to other English-speaking countries with established card markets. The US comes in second on the card penetration front, with 53% of American adults having purchased at least one card in the last 12 months, according to Card Factory’s stats. While 50% of adults in Canada have spent their dollars on a card in the last year, Australia has a 46% penetration followed by New Zealand, which has at 41% penetration rate.
Looking specifically at the UK, Pierre said: “Penetration is higher among females than males, but only marginally.” Revealing the types of people less likely to buy cards in the UK, he cited “those on lower incomes, those living in London and younger age groups.” However, he assured that card “penetration in those groups does still remain above 60%.”
While explaining that the number of cards each person gives differs significantly, overall he purports that overall the average is 22 cards per person per annum.
Addressing what he described as a “common misconception” from those outside the sector that card giving is “in terminal decline, akin to letter writing or traditional media. This is not true,” stressed Pierre, highlighting how there has only been a “mild rate of year on year volume decline of between -1% and 2%.”
Sharing other high level reflections on the card market, Pierre went into detail of how, while there is a dip in some of the more traditional card sending events (notably Christmas), there is an increase in other occasions or non-occasions, particularly among younger consumers.
He also confronted the increasing important of the online channel for greeting cards (an area Card Factory is investing in), which was very evident during lockdown.
“Our analysis is that the share of online [for cards] peaked at 40%-50% during the lockdown, that’s from less than 10% beforehand. We believe this will settle at around 15%-20%. This growth will be at the expense of store sales,” he believes.
Card Factory is putting these insights into practice to enable it to grow its market share, not just in the UK, but overseas as well (through retail partnerships), as part of its mission to become ‘the world’s best greeting card retailer.’
Top: Card Factory’s growth will be through its own stores, retail partnerships with other retailers and online.