Father’s Day sales on the ball

Last-minute rush nets decent increases for many retailers as footie makes its mark

 

With big footie games on the telly, Father’s Day this year was a perfect storm of love, family and sport for many dads and grandads, though the usual last-minute rush was definitely in evidence.

And greeting card retailers all booked steady sales with many recording decent increases as at Set in Leicester where owner Stuart Delahoy saw a trend of “a lot of nicer cards” being bought as the shop’s very strong results exceeded expectations.

Above: Set’s trend was for nicer humour from Studio Boketto and Rosie Made A Thing
Above: Set’s trend was for nicer humour from Studio Boketto and Rosie Made A Thing

“Typically our strong sellers would be Dean Morris or Brainbox Candy ones and quite insulting,” Stuart told PG Buzz, “but cheeky not downright insulting was the order of the day – perhaps people have finally woken up to the fact that us dads are big softies too!

“As for the best companies, The Art File and Studio Boketto were really fast sellers, as well as Eleanor Bowmer, Lucy Maggie and, of course, Rosie Made A Thing.”

On the Isle Of Man, Port Erin’s Mantons Cards had one of its “best Father’s Days ever” according to owner Chris Beards, who said they’d sold out of nearly all FD cards and gifts for dads and grandads.

Chris added: “No doubt the Euros helped – personally I’m putting it down to the mighty Netherlands playing on Father’s Day rather than England! We sold a lot of football-themed items that we only stock for the Euros and World Cup.”

Above: Mantons sold out of Father’s Day cards and gifts
Above: Mantons sold out of Father’s Day cards and gifts

And John Lewis buyer Jason Billings-Cray was very pleased to report: “We had a great last week of Father’s Day, lifting 177.8% week-on-week to give last big push to the event. Last week’s sales were up 8.46% on last year. An amazing final week means we finished the event at 5.4% up on last year!

“Highlights include a classic with a twist from Caroline Gardner and their scalloped-edged card. A menagerie of animals from Louise Mulgrew including pheasants, beavers and bears all proving very popular with subtle puns to make dads smile. From Quentin Blake, grandads were part of the mix highlighting the importance of all generations on Father’s Day. And from Woodmansterne a well-pitched dad joke stole the show!”

Above: Classic Caroline Gardner, Quentin Blake, Louise Mulgrew and Woodmansterne helped boost John Lewis sales
Above: Classic Caroline Gardner, Quentin Blake, Louise Mulgrew and Woodmansterne helped boost John Lewis sales

Dads with a sweet tooth were key at Cards & Gifts in Dronfield where owner Carl Dunne completely sold out of Father’s Day chocolates: “With the chocolate sets and chocolate gardening sets we tripled sales on those compared to last year, they were a complete sell-out.

“Our Father’s Day trade was at least a minimum 50% up on sales compared to last year, and we saw a huge increase in grandad captions, like a dad, and dad’s first Father’s Day.

“There was another huge increase in sales due to staff pushing at the till point with the Cadbury Dairy Milk, Galaxy and Toblerone caption of number one dad, grandad and someone special.

“Saturday was great but not huge, as we found this year the Friday and Thursday had very high sales. I feel people were more prepared this year, maybe due to the football starting on Father’s Day weekend.”

Above: Chocolate was Cards & Gifts sell-out item
Above: Chocolate was Cards & Gifts sell-out item

At Serendipity House in Kirkham, Heidi Hopkinson saw a little rush of seasonal sales on Saturday as the European Championships also had a presence on the gifting side, and doing well with Pigment’s varied range Father’s Day cards suitable for all dads.

“I think sales were on a par with last year,” Heidi added, “I’ll be checking the figures as it was slightly down during the week preceding Father’s Day.

“We did really well with Jellycat, the football charm was particularly popular, plus the shark was of interest, along with Bamboo Socks from Eco Chic with their different designs, and the Eco Chic Boxer Shorts did really well.

“We were kept steady all day on Saturday and our free gift-wrapping service was appreciated.”

Above: Funny cards were a staple for &Quirky
Above: Funny cards were a staple for &Quirky

Very strong Father’s Day sales saw a 25% increase for Paul Cheshire at Berkhamsted’s &Quirky, where he saw “sales start in May and, as new lines were introduced up until the beginning of June, we saw a major increase”.

He had ranges including dad, daddy, papa, pop, grandfather and grandad cards but noticed the father cards were the most popular with customers, and top-selling brands included Ohh Deer, Lucy Maggie Designs, and Running With Scissors.

Paul commented: “As like Mother’s Day we focused more with generic dad cards and limited the ranges which said Happy Father’s Day, this enables us to then continue to sell throughout the year as general birthday cards. We also included a few more ranges of the funny and cheekier cards for dads as it seemed as if men buying cards go for these ranges.

“Small local designers and makers produced some individually designed cards which proved popular. The town also has same-couple parents and so the super dad and daddies cards worked extremely well.”

Above: In-house gift boxes sold well for Andrea Pinder
Above: In-house gift boxes sold well for Andrea Pinder

Andrea Pinder saw the last Saturday sales on a par with 2023 at Presentation Cards & Gifts in Barrowford although she said: “The footy didn’t make any reflection on the occasion for us.

“Bestselling cards are always a tricky one, we have so many great publishers it just wouldn’t be fair to say who’s sold the best as each publisher has their own followers.

“Gift-wise we sold our own made-up gift boxes based on a good night in, a bottle of wine with homemade fruit loaf, cheese and biscuits accompanied by Sarunds chocolates, and the box finished off with our own ribbon, at price points £27-£32.”

The contrast between mums’ and dads’ celebrations makes Father’s Day a huge disappointment for Hugs & Kisses’ owner Caroline Ranwell in Tettenhall: “It’s always so very last minute – poor dad never seems to get spoiled like mum does! I blame the boys! I think many of them don’t bother getting dad a card or gift and maybe just take him to the pub for a drink? They wouldn’t dare forget mum on Mother’s Day would they!

Above: Despite increased sales, Hugs & Kisses’ Caroline Ranwell is always disappointed by Father’s Day
Above: Despite increased sales, Hugs & Kisses’ Caroline Ranwell is always disappointed by Father’s Day

“This year didn’t feel great but, having done my figures, we actually finished 2.5% up on last year, not a huge increase but I’m really happy that we were up. We’re now running at 5% up on the year too so that’s great.

“We had quite a big display of Father’s Day cards, starting with 4ft and increasing it to 8ft a couple of weeks before. We did really well with Belly Button and their Elle Bleu range in particular, Woodmansterne, Rosie Made A Thing, White Cotton Cards and Paperlink.

“We always sell so many grandad and grandpa cards, in fact I have trouble finding enough designs of these to buy! This year we even did well with great-grandad. Like a dad to me, we sold a few but mainly I find people tend to buy just a general Happy Father’s Day card instead.

“We did sell a lot of football cards and gifts too but I’m not sure if the Euros had anything to do with that as, generally, football cards for us do sell really well.”

Above & top: Dog dads and Emotional Rescue had a busy weekend at Cards ’N’ Things
Above & top: Dog dads and Emotional Rescue had a busy weekend at Cards ’N’ Things

There was a busy weekend at Cards ’N’ Things in Hellesdon where co-owner Paul Southgate saw “the usual Saturday stream of customers buying cards and gifts” as the most popular ranges included Emotional Rescue’s Jam And Toast, and Paper Rose’s Florentine and Mosaic, along with UKG’s Carlton Cards, Carte Blanche Me To You and Ling’s Nicely Said.

Paul added: “It really is in the last few days that sales significantly increase for Father’s Day. We’re always surprised by the amount of ‘from the dog’ cards we sell but, who am I to judge, I got one too!”

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