Card shoppers are loving being back out there

Valentine’s research shows numbers almost back to pre-pandemic levels


Love is definitely in the air according the latest research from Kantar UK & Ireland, which shows shopper numbers for cards are almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

The major research firm’s findings reveal 44% of households in the UK bought their Valentine’s cards instore in the four weeks up to and including February 14 this year, with empty nesters and social class AB – which is upper and middle middle class, those in higher and intermediate managerial, administrative, professional occupations – being the “most important” card buyers, according to Kantar.

Kantar’s consumer insights director Moneeba Baloch told PG Buzz: “In cards, shopper numbers are almost recovered now restrictions have lifted, but people are still making fewer trips on average – trip spend of £3.56 is up 4.2%, but frequency is down 3.3%. Supermarkets were the biggest channel for cards in Valentine’s season, followed by celebration and gift shops.”

Above: Latest info shows supermarkets top sales for Valentine’s cards
Above: Latest info shows supermarkets top sales for Valentine’s cards

Kantar’s research showed shopper routines were disrupted by extreme weather in the middle of February with storms Dudley and Eunice having a noticeable impact on shopper footfall, but consumers braved the conditions to treat their loved ones.

Sales of chilled desserts and still and sparkling wine jumped up by 15% in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day – but nothing says love like a box of chocolates, it seems, as sales leapt by 53%.

Above: Kantar’s Moneeba Baloch looks after greetings research
Above: Kantar’s Moneeba Baloch looks after greetings research

Kantar recently began tracking purchasing habits around greeting cards as part of its Worldpanel Plus programme, and its Understanding The UK Greeting Card Industry consumer survey covering the 12 weeks to 22 August, 2021, showed High Street multiples, notably Card Factory, Clintons, M&S, and Paperchase, had clawed back market share on the card-buying front compared to a year earlier, while some leading supermarkets had dropped back a bit from their 2020 high point.

Jo Parman, strategic insights director of Kantar’s Worldpanel Plus Team, said they decided to start tracking greeting card sales as “it’s a dynamic time for the greetings sector and that flux creates demand for high-quality data and insight, that’s what we can offer to retailers and publishers, helping them to understand, respond to and anticipate trends”.

Top: Research firm Kantar now monitor greeting card sales

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