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Gift retailers’ love of cards confirmed

PG&H Retail Barometer shows greetings sales rise in 71% of stores

 

Greeting cards are top of the pops in gift stores where they’ve come in the top three star performing products over the past year.

The 18th PG&H Retail Barometer, by PG’s sister publication Progressive Gifts & Home, revealed that for respondents to the only unique annual survey which tracks the health and wealth of independent gift retailers, greeting cards were a star performer, with 71% saying their sales had risen in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Above & top: Good news on the average spend front in 2023
Above & top: Good news on the average spend front in 2023

Only plush at 82% and 81% for home fragrancing products did better, while 40% of retailers saw a rise in giftwrap sales.

Despite the financial challenges that consumers faced in 2023, 42% of independent gift retailers surveyed confirmed the average spend had increased slightly on the previous year, with 12% reporting that it had increased significantly and another 29% saying it was on a par.

Across the year, 59% of those surveyed had invested in their website, with half sprucing up their shops with new units.

And there was plenty of Christmas cheer as 59% of respondents said the last festive season had brought better trade than the previous year, with over a third reporting it was about the same – just 6% felt their sales were worse, while 12% said the spend had increased significantly.

Above: Greeting cards are big news for gift retailers
Above: Greeting cards are big news for gift retailers

On the upside, online website activity and product diversification were joint top in having a positive effect on 60% of businesses, while the impact of staff and an upsurge of new customers tied in second place at 57%.

Eco-friendly initiatives are also taking effect with 53% of respondents reducing plastic bags and being more vigilant with recycling, while changing energy suppliers helped 45%, and 40% had cut back on the offer of gifts and cards with non-biodegradable glitter.

Looking to this year, encouragingly, 25% of gift retailers want to expand their greeting card offer, while 19% intend growing stock on the giftwrap front, and overall there’s plenty of optimism, with a whopping 89% hoping to see marginal growth, significant growth or remaining on a par with last year.

To read the full article in the March/April issue of Progressive Gifts & Home, on pages 19-27, click here.

Above: Last Christmas saw plenty of cheer
Above: Last Christmas saw plenty of cheer
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