Let’s hear it for the boys. The UK greeting card market has a lot to thank single men for at the moment – as they have upped their card sending habits in the last year, according to findings from an in-depth research project undertaken by OC&C, commissioned by Card Factory.
“The UK card market is robust and stable, both in value and volume. Encouragingly, continuing a trend of the last few years, single men with no children are buying more cards than they have ever done,” Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory told PG Buzz. “More good news is that 18-24 year olds of both sexes are buying more cards than the previous generation.”
Among the other positive insights to come to light from the research is that there has been a drop in the percentage of the population sending ecards as has the number who send digital cards as well as real cards.
While greeting cards continue as a champion of the bricks and mortar scene, with over 95% of cards bought in store, the market share for cards bought online has increased to its highest ever level – now accounting for 4.6%, according to the OC&C research.
The findings show that 59% of people only ever buy their cards in store (up from 58% in 2018) while 39% buy both instore and online (the year previous this was 41%). In 2019 the research showed that 2% of card shoppers now only ever buy their cards online – up from 1% last year.
While Card Factory sees itself very much as a bricks and mortar retailer it is also investing in its online presence, and is also looking to increase awareness of its cardfactory.com.
“So many of our customers do not even know that we have a website,” admits Karen. “A high majority of are online card sales are for designs that are not available in store, not just the photo uploads, but new brands that we are testing,” she added.
Wednesday (June 5) saw Card Factory issue a trading statement for the first quarter of this year. A record Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day put extra spring in the step of the team and shareholders, contributing to the UK’s largest greeting card retailer reporting a 6.4% surge in sales for the first quarter of 2019, compared to 2018. The trading update also saw shares in the value card specialist rise by 3%.
Top: Card Factory now accounts for 32.4% of all single cards bought in the UK (by volume) and 19.3% by value.