The long held view that humour tends to flourish in the face of adversity is reflected in the findings of the Independent Greeting Card Retail Barometer, the annual survey undertaken by Progressive Greetings and buying group Cardgains.
Humorous cards topped the greeting card charts for indies as being the card category that showed the largest growth over the last year compared to the year previous.
Jumping up four slots over the previous year, putting it into second position as the card category that saw the greatest growth, was Christmas singles.
‘Keep it real’ seems to be the message from indies as far as product sourcing is concerned, according to the findings of the Retail Barometer. Underlining the importance of relationships with the agents and reps, indies put these industry sales people as the number one way of sourcing products with exhibitions coming in second place.
This year do you expect to increase, decrease or continue as is with with number of suppliers with whom you order?
Aware of the need to offer an ever-fresh product selection to customers, some 26% of indies are looking to increase their number of suppliers this year.
Meanwhile, publishers looking to save money by not producing catalogues or marketing material do so at their peril, as 95% of respondents see these marketing tools as ‘very important’ or ‘important’.
There is a notable upturn in interest from indies considering moving to be supplied via brokerage, with 13% giving it the thumbs up as an option and other 28% saying they would consider it. In last year’s Barometer, only 4% said they would consider it and another 13% were undecided.