The latest Progressive Greetings edition has arrived – a colour filled with masses of new product launches, news galore, lots of retailer input and publisher insights and trend predictions.
In addition to updates from Card Factory, the build-up to Paperchase’s latest development (see the separate story on this edition of PG Buzz), that Really Wild Cards was quick off the mark with its Joe Biden Politically Incorrect sound card is the news that Flame Tree Publishing has sealed the deal to distribute Andrews McMeel meaning that anyone after that Bob Ross calendar will not be disappointed!
(There is a lot more other news too!)
Being the first issue of the year, retailers were only too willing to share their festive trading experiences as well as their hunches for 2021. And while not as sparkling as many had hoped, as the comments in the Viewpoints reflect Christmas was not a washout. (click to pages 28-29)
“Phew! What a weird end to a weird trading year!” summed up Jo Sorrell of Cardies in Stevenage. “Amazingly, against all the odds we managed to keep Christmas on track and our December sales were on par with the previous year.”
Meanwhile, up in Edinburgh, Michael Apter of Paper Tiger shared positive insights from trading shops in his two shops. “People spent more across all categories of Christmas products. We more than doubled our Advent calendar sales on the back of a strong year in 2019. Family cards also sold well, some 50% up overall despite lower footfall in our city centre stores.”
While acknowledges that Covid has “accelerated existing patterns of consumer behaviour” he is excited about the plans for this year. “Our visitors will return. I also anticipate that many office workers will be back at their desks by late April – I think the novelty of working from home five days a week is wearing thin for many people,” Michael believes.
Drawing on the talents and trend insights knowledge of Hannah Matthews, a senior designer in the Pigment Productions team, the publisher has drilled down into how our experiences of living through this pandemic will not just have affected us, but our card design expectations. (click to pages 36-37)
Being the first issue of the new year, publishers have been quick off the block to showcase their new launches. Boy, it’s a bumper one, with seven pages of Innovations, that are crammed full with creative wonder. Just feast your eyes… (click to pages 38-39)
And with this being the first issue since the UK is no longer part of the EU, while the new ways of working are still unfolding, publishers and distributors share their views on the matter in Channel Crossing. (click to pages 54-55)
PG columnists David Robertson and Cardsharp are as engaging to read as ever. While David opens his heart and holds out a steady hand of friendship and camaraderie to those feeling rather tentative about the start of this year, (click to pages 24-25), Cardsharp, in his ‘Sisters are doin’ it for themselves’ article rejoices in the female of the species, fanfaring how women shape so much of the UK greeting card industry today. (Click to pages 26-27)
From Aretha Franklin and the Eurthymics to Tate That! Everyone agreed that Cath Tate was a worthy recipient of the Honorary Achievement award in The Henries 2020. Here she shares her wonderful philosophy that has stood the company in good stead for the last 40 years, that continues now with her daughter Rosie in the driving seat who is adding her own twist to the card publishing business. (click to pages 52-53)
Keeping on the citrus theme, the alluring titled ‘Zest for the Planet’ article shares how the Zebra Group (which includes Carousel Calendars, Otter House and Calendar Club UK) have made great strides on improving its environmental credentials – from product design to indirect emissions – and it has not finished yet. Inspiring stuff! (click to pages 56-57)
While a couple of leading retailers share what products are selling on their card racks in What’s New (click to pages 62-63), a handful of artists agents and picture library execs reveal what they feel will be driving are aesthetic tastes in the coming year that are likely to be reflected on greeting card ranges. (click to pages 58-59)
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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However, if you can’t wait, to read the whole PG January 2021 edition, you can click here.