It was Boris Johnson rather than the Easter Bunny who delivered the ‘golden egg’ – with his confirmation yesterday that all non-essential shops in England can indeed reopen their doors next Monday. Yippee!
Ideally timed to coincide with the grand retail reopening, the latest edition of Progressive Greetings is full of industry news (click to pages 10-11), views, retailer revelations, insightful columns and fresh product launches.
As Cardsharp highlights in his column, the ‘greeting card race’ is most definitely primed and ready to go, with everyone now waiting for the chequered flag to come down. He ponders as to who will be the greeting card winners as we return to a level of normal retailing conditions.
While it is likely to take a bit time for things to settle down into a new pattern, one area of common interest for retailers and publishers alike is what share of card sales will continue to be made online, be they from the print on demand operators, retailers’ sites or indeed direct from publishers. A selection of leading indies log on to share their opinions in Viewpoints.
In his column, David Robertson of JP Pozzi shares how he is in no doubt that reinforcing relationships will be key to getting us through the next months, both in our working and personal lives. Drawn to an ancient African proverb ‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ David purports that having had no trade shows, face to face meetings or real interaction with customers and staff, that we all need to go into a relationship rebuild anchored by honest conversations, clear expectations and an understanding that everyone has had their own battles.
Playing an important role in the industry’s relationship business are independent sales agents. A selection share how they have been ‘digging deep’ over the last year, how they have been tending their respective patches, rejoicing in the green shoots and seeing to the weeds and thorns.
Certainly, publishers have been busy, with plenty of ‘green shoots’ in the form of fresh new ranges to pep up those card racks, as showcased in the Innovations pages.
And this creativity extends into giftwrappings as PG’s annual delve into the wonders of wrap, bags and accessories celebrates in abundance, including the latest design trends, new launches as well as the strides being made on the sustainability front.
Meanwhile a handful of retailers share what ranges of cards, wrap and gifts have been hitting the mark for their customers of late, in PG’s popular What’s Hot section.
Not only has IC&G given its Barley Bear brand a fluffy revamp during lockdown, but it has also been able to work closely with many retailers looking to make the most of the forced closure and install a new planned display. Read all about the plucky publisher’s ‘grand plan’ to install 50 planned displays into retailers by the end of the year.
With this being a time for reflection as well as looking to the future, PG tracks two key developments that have played a crucial role in the industry’s evolution – that of digital printing as well as the environmental concerns. While Adam Short of The Imaging Centre has his finger on the pulse of digital printing, Sue Morrish of The Eco-friendly Card Company has long been the ‘green goddess’ in the card trade.
And, providing a feast for the eyes, in Art Source, artist Tracey English and collage queen extraordinaire reveals some of the projects she has been working on as well as a flavour of her creative life.
All this and more in the pages of a lovely glossy magazine. Wouldn’t you like to hold it in your hands so you can flick through and read it wherever it takes your fancy?
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