It’s official. More men are buying greeting cards than ever before. UK Greetings shared this revelation with a group of independent greeting card retailers yesterday, at a Customer Retail Forum, held at the publisher’s Dewsbury HQ.
“We have seen a definite shift upwards in men’s card buying habits over the last year,” Lois Holcroft, UKG’s director of product management and insight told PG Buzz. “This is a trend we have been tracking for the last couple of years.”
As Lois pointed out: “While women still account for more card purchases, men are definitely more engaged. Not only are men purchasing more cards, but they are willing to spend more than women on a card if they see it as ‘the perfect one’.”
Putting these findings into context, Ceri Stirland, director of marketing of UKG, and soon to be president of the GCA, said: “This shift in consumer buying habits highlights an opportunity and is something we are working on to take advantage of through our products as well support for our retail customers.”
The shift in the genders’ card buying habits was just one of the insights that the UK Greetings team shared with indies at the two day Customer Retailer Forum this week that, based on the publisher’s ongoing extensive consumer insights research, which tracks the card buying habits of over 50,000 people in the UK.
Among the independents invited to the Forum were Louise Parker, buyer for Daniels in Windsor; Trevor and Jayne Griffiths, owners of Sentiments in Whitchurch; Rachael Barnes, owner of Dragonfly Cards and Gifts, Knaresborough and Rawda Jehanli, buyer for Boswells of Oxford.
Enthralled by the presentation given by Lois and her colleague consumer and channel insight manager, Alex Kennedy, the retailers then were taken on a tour to witness how these social demographic findings are translated by UKG into card designs and the whole journey onto the card racks.
Commenting on the Forum and the ‘behind the scenes’ tour, Boswell’s Rawda Jehanli said “It’s has been a great experience. I’m surprised at just how many people are part of the development in creating each card. There’s certainly a lot of work involved!”
Echoing this, Daniels’ Louise Parker agreed, saying, “The process from card design to delivery has been so interesting and insightful,” while Sentiments’ Jayne and Trevor Griffiths summed it up as “mind-boggling what goes into the creation of each card.”
Adding her salient point, Dragonfly’s Rachael Barnes said: “When a customer gasps and says, “£2.50 for a card!” I just wish I could show them a condensed version of what happens for that card to reach the shop!”
This week’s UKG Forum is one in a series that the publisher is organising. Explaining the rationale, Darren Cave, UKG’s director of field sales said: “The event allowed us to demonstrate our on-going commitment to our customers and reinforce how much UKG invests in research to ensure the right product is brought to market.”
Darren also highlighted that the event provided a great opportunity to liaise with its customers “and obtain their feedback and thoughts in respect to the service we offer, and how we might look to develop in the future to ensure UKG is continuously improving. We greatly appreciate the time the independents took out of their busy schedules and hope they found their visit to UKG beneficial.”