PG’s October Issue Is Out Now 

Want to know how the industry is faring; what the ‘big boys and girls’ are up to as well as feedback galore from retailers, publishers and suppliers on important industry matters? Then delve between the covers of the October edition of Progressive Greetings that has been out in the flesh for a few days and also available to read online. 

The UK public spent an astonishing £1.7 billion on greeting cards in the last year, confirms the findings of the recently published UK Greeting Card Market Report, commissioned by the GCA.

In the preface of the Report, Ceri Stirland, GCA president (and UKG’s customer and channel director) points out: “The British appetite for buying and sending greeting cards continues unabated. Despite growth in digital forms of communication, such as texts, social media and emails, we know that cards remain the preferred choice when it comes to expressing a heartfelt personal message and making someone feel extra special.”

Face the facts in the recently published UK Greeting Card Market Report. (click to pages 40-41).

Above: The shape of the industry!
Above: The shape of the industry!

When the news broke that IG Display Group is trialling a bespoke range of everyday cards in select Aldi stores, very distinct from collections it creates for Poundland, B&M and Wilko, PG hot-footed it to the company’s HQ in the depths of Wales to investigate.

Back in 2010, International Greetings (as the company was then called) was given the opportunity to create some everyday cards for Tesco under its Finest brand, giving it a taste of the everyday single card market. Now look –

Aldi aside, IG Display Group supplies everyday cards into 1,773 rooftops – a cool 100 million cards a year! If the Aldi trial is a success and is rolled out to more stores, IG Design Group would have a £10 million everyday card business in the UK alone.

Find out more about IG Design in October PG. (click to pages 52-53).

Above: (Right-left) IG Design Group’s Adrian Coates, Laura Norgrove and David Jackson with a mock-up of the Aldi designs in the company’s UK HQ.
Above: (Right-left) IG Display Group’s Adrian Coates, Laura Norgrove and David Jackson with a mock-up of the Aldi designs in the company’s UK HQ.

With bira, the British Independent Retailers Association, last month making a plea to the government for a reform of the UK’s Business Rates, and with next month seeing the launch of the first ever Just A Card Indie Week, a parade of independent stores reveal their thoughts on current retailing issues.

Julie Donabie, owner of My Favourite Things in Raynes Park highlights, “The ugly topic of Business Rates increasing next April has been in the news again and I am looking to maybe do a documentary with the help of a reporter I met from BBC Radio 5 Live. Both the government and local councils need to re-asses the calculation structure as is should NOT be based on where your business is situated, but on the annual turnover of the business.”

Discover more indies’ Viewpoints within the October issue of Progressive Greetings. (click to pages 25-27).

Above: Members of the bira team in the Houses of Parliament delivering their Business Rates Reform manifesto to MPs in an effort to help independent retailers.
Above: Members of the bira team in the Houses of Parliament delivering their Business Rates Reform manifesto to MPs in an effort to help independent retailers.

“There are definitely changes afoot in the words & sentiment card market,” says Hilda Richardson, co-founder of Cardigan Cards, adding, “Although I believe there will always be a place and a need for traditional deep and meaningful sentiment within a certain age group and at particular times in life, I think that many of today’s younger purchasers are also passionate about life, love, family and friends and want to express themselves in a meaningful way, but with cards that they feel reflect their lifestyle and who they are as individuals. Some people would prefer to express themselves with a 16-line verse written over or around a pretty scene. Some would prefer to convey that same sentiment with one sentence, letting the images tell the rest of the story.”

PG talks to some wordy card publishing connoisseurs (click to pages 43-47) and listens to the heart of some recently launched words & sentiments card ranges. (click to pages 49-51).

Above: Supportive words on a design from Icon’s new Beautiful Days range.
Above: Supportive words on a design from Icon’s new Beautiful Days range.

And, October PG also includes a heady mix of new range launches in Innovations (click to pages 33-39); wise words from regular columnists David Robertson of Scottish retailer JP Pozzi, who this month discusses reinvention and how indies need to offer a consumer experience (click to pages 20-21); while publisher Blue Eyed-Sun’s Jeremy Corner looks at the war on plastic (click to pages 54-55) and Cardsharp tackles the UK’s anachronistic business rates system (click to pages 22-23).

Plus, what’s currently the hottest card product for retailers (click to pages 60-61) and the industry’s latest news.

Click here to read the whole PG October 2018 edition online.

 

 

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