With the buying season for retailers in full flow, Progressive Greetings’ February issue reflects, chronicles and delivers the all important views and news and is overflowing with industry stories and developments.
Last year was ‘challenging’ according to card indie respondents to the PG/Cardgains’ Retail Barometer, but 40% are positive about 2018 and are gearing up for growth, with almost the same percentage confident they will hold the line on 2017 levels. (Click to pages 43 to 51).
This significant annual research survey highlights how independent card retailers were hit by the drop in high street footfall, online shopping and continued economic uncertainty, but fought back and are embracing the challenging conditions by thinking outside the box on ways to boost business, with three quarters (77%) of respondents engaging promotional opportunities. PG the results into the health and wealth of the independent card retailer.
Continuing on the issues front, the impact of Brexit, an increasing apathy towards the Spring Seasons, the migration from bricks and mortar to online and engaging with the younger generations, are some of the challenges and opportunities members of the GCA Council highlight as impacting on UK greeting card industry in 2017. Read more views in PG’s State Of The Nation. (Click to pages 53 to 57).
And for an even bigger picture, looking at the international greeting card market, PG reports on how greeting cards are faring in various parts of the world. (Click to pages 63 to 67).
With ‘Ultra Violet’ the Pantone Colour of 2018 and mermaids joining the unicorn stable, mysticism and mythology, and other celestial, ethereal and other-worldly inspired artwork and design will reach cosmic proportions this year as we delve deeper into the ‘spiritual big bang’, searching for ways to escape modern life and political instability.
From exploring and examining the ‘galaxy’ of social and cultural happenings in 2018, a image library ‘astronomers’ reveal their informed theories on what will influence the visual trends and design sphere this year. (Click to pages 121 to 125).
“CoCo allows me to go wild and explore; to push design with current trends for flamboyance and escapism,” summed up
Rachel Hare, founder of Belly Button Designs, on her new upmarket sub-brand, the logo for which includes her name, based on hand-written script by Rachel as a personal sign off. Read more about Rachel’s artistic new venture in PG February. (Click to pages 73 to 75).
Against the odds of snow, a time shift in retail multiples’ sales, an increase in online shopping, Brexit-related economic uncertainty and consumers watching their (chocolate) pennies, indies came out fighting to battle for the all-important Christmas trading season. Discover more about how independent retailers’ tills jingled, what was the star festive products and how did Christmas cards fair in Viewpoints’ Christmas focus. (Click to pages 37 to 41).
With green issues currently centre stage, PG February shares some of the issues that are being confronted by the industry, and debunks some of the myths by talking to suppliers from the UK greeting card industry who share the ways and means they are evolving to minimise greeting cards’ environmental damage. (Click to pages 77 to 79).
Greeting card retailers and retail buyers share which department store, multiple or specialist independent they love and admire, why it is their favourite and what makes its shopping environment such a special experience. (Click to pages 69 to 71)
Online operator, Thortful’s Andy Pearce reveals how he held his own in the recent episode of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den as well as sharing his bold aspirations for his 18 month old online greeting card business. Find out more about Thortful and entrepreneur Andy. (Click to pages 85 to 87).
Turning the pages of February PG, you’ll also uncover the bonuses for non-specialist retailers diversifying into greeting cards, family members working side by side within the industry, Noel Tatt’s rewarding charity relationship with Helpcards and Innovations New Product at Spring Fair… and put a note in your diary for the Calendars Focus supplement that comes out with this fine issue.
All this, loads of news, columnists’ comment and inspiring imagery in the pages of a lovely glossy magazine that’s available ‘in the flesh’ and online too!