John Lewis’ stationery buyer, Lisa Rutherford gained great exposure for Easter cards, decorations, stationery and gifting in an interview which appeared in the Telegraph newspaper over the weekend. Lisa revealed that “Our Easter sales have increased dramatically and it is easy to see why. Families are making a point of spending more time together and at Easter we have more holiday than we do at Christmas. Why not make your house feel spring-like and lovely?”
In the article, entitled ‘Your complete guide to Easter decorations’, Lisa said that sales of Easter wreaths grew by 11% last year and that John Lewis has expanded its range this year to include two new varieties, both featuring eggs and butterflies. She went on to say that Easter gifting is a growing trend, with Jellycat rabbits and chickens being among the most popular presents purchased from John Lewis at this time of year. “People aren’t spending huge amounts of money like they do at Christmas but they are definitely giving each other gifts as well as chocolate,” she told the Telegraph.
But the big new trend is Easter trees. The Telegraph article says these have been popular in Germany and Austria for decades, with decorative eggs hung on branches to symbolise new life, and they are now catching on in Britain. John Lewis even sells readymade trees if you want the stress-free option.
After the article in the Telegraph, assistant buyer giftwrap, cards and seasonal events, Lizzie Batchelar told PG Buzz: “As Lisa mentioned, decorating your home for Easter is a category where we are seeing fantastic growth. As people are becoming more excited about celebrating Easter, we hope this will have a positive impact on the giving of Easter cards. So far we are very confident that we will have a good season. Like all recent calendar events, we are expecting trade to be very back ended.”
Independent retailers are also noticing a growth in sales of Easter cards and related products, as Rachael Barnes, co-owner of Dragonfly Cards and Gifts in Knaresborough told PG Buzz: “Easter has always been a good season for us because we attract a lot of older customers, and Knaresborough has a large church community too. We have definitely seen an increase in recent years from the younger generations however – both in Easter cards, and more so in Easter decorations.
It tends to be families with young children that are the main ones buying decorations, as it is just another fun thing to get the children involved in. They bring the children in each year to add new decorations, so the collection grows a bit like Christmas decorations. This means we have to look for something different each time – wooden chicks and bunnies are proving popular this year, rather than the eggs, as a lot of our regulars bought those last year.”
Easter is a spring season that is in growth, which bucks the overall spring season trend, according to Pete Whiteman, co-owner of DzoDzo, Woodbridge. “Ten years ago, Easter cards were normally a low value item, compared to other seasons, but now the average ticket price has risen with the quality of the cards available. There are many companies now that deliver great product and design – Wendy Jones-Blackett, Nigel Quiney, Noel Tatt to name a few. Easter decorations are also on the rise, and many households are decorating with Easter trees, these all need suitable adornments. The sales of soft toys are still big at Easter, but it is not just the Easter bunny, but lambs, chicks etc. Jellycat is particularly strong in this area.”