Progressive Greetings March 2018 Issue Out Now



The Spring Season is in full swing. This year Valentine’s had an erratic heartbeat – see how it pulsed for indies (Click to page 11), Mother’s Day was waylaid by snow and ‘the Beast from the East’ but concluded with strong sales, and now retailers are ‘hopping’ Easter will be a sweet success.

With a spring in its step, Progressive Greetings’ March issue chronicles and delivers the all important views and news, overflowing with industry stories and new greeting card launches.

With its current 111 stores, the Cardzone group is already a sizeable retail player in the market, but Paul Taylor, md of the specialist multiple has a goal of doubling the number of stores by the end of 2020, taking the Midlands-based business into a different league. And to help achieve his aim, Paul is “Bringing high calibre people into the team will help us to achieve that”, evidenced by the recent appointments of Scottish indie retailer, David Robertson as business development director and former Card Factory chairman Kevin Pacey as non-executive director.

Find out more about Cardzone’s ambitious plans in March Progressive Greetings (Click to page 36 to 37).

One of the current 111 Cardzone group stores, a number which md Paul Taylor is aiming to double.
One of the current 111 Cardzone group stores, a number which md Paul Taylor is aiming to double.

Visual coping mechanisms in an uncertain world, ‘escapism’ is a key trend this season on cards.

After unicorns, more mythology calls as ‘purr-maids’ (cats), mermen, ‘mermares’ (ponies), and mermaids shimmer in a sea of marine creatures and shell icons, ensuring that holographic, pearlescent and gold embossed foiling shines on a vast ocean of card designs for 2018.

Other trends diving on to designs include nostalgic, zany, rebellious and strangely uplifting 80s Memphis Group graphics; flat, colour saturated and eye-popping icons; a spiritual clouds of stars and constellations set in inky deep blue and purple skies; and getting creative and retro with ‘flair’- old-school style enamel pins (and iron-on patches).

PG delves into some design trends and inspirations bubbling up on greeting cards in 2018. (Click to pages 33 to 35).

A siren’s call on cards - a merman on a design from Alexandra Snowdon.
A siren’s call on cards – a merman on a design from Alexandra Snowdon.

As a backlash to constant negative stories in the media, Emily Coxhead began to write and publish The Happy News, a free newspaper crammed full of positive news stories, all of which true, about world events or outstanding people and positive life philosophies.

Pigment’s Martin Powderly immediately spotted how this uplifting philosophy, combined with Emily’s quirky illustrations and engaging messages, would work well on greeting cards; its Happy News new look card range launching at PG Live in June.

And with Pigment leading the way, a licensing programme – crafted by Alicia Davenport, director of licensing agency DRi – has followed, evidenced in the signings with Moonpig, Portico, Blueprint and Widdop and Co, with more to follow.

PG caught up with Emily, the infectiously joyful thinker. (Click to page 57 to 59).

Emily Coxhead, the creator of The Happy News.
Emily Coxhead, the creator of The Happy News.

Modern day giftwrap has come a long way since 1918, when Joyce and Rollie Hall in their store in Kansas City ran out of tissue paper and offered fancy lining paper as giftwrap instead. A century on, and the Hall Brothers’ idea – the predecessor to Hallmark – has sparked a sizeable and creative giftwrap industry full of beautiful trend-led giftwrap designs.

Within March Progressive Greetings ‘unwrap’ Focus On Giftwrappings, sharing the market’s current news, views and fresh launches of 2018. (Click too pages 47 to 55).

Lovely new giftwrap from Kali Stileman.
Lovely new giftwrap from Kali Stileman.

There is no doubt as to the continued relevance of card publishers’ product catalogues and brochures for indie buyers, according to the findings of the recent PG/Cardgains Retail Barometer (involving 1,000 independent rooftops), with not one of the respondents saying they are unimportant, and 58% going as far as gauging these marketing tools as ‘very important’ and the remaining 42% describing them as ‘important’.

There is no disputing that online ordering has increased for greeting card retailers, but trade catalogues remain an integral tangible tools of the trade for card buyers and reps and agents. (Click to pages 29 to 31).

Trade brochures remain an important tool to card buyers. 
Trade brochures remain an important tool to card buyers.

With environmental issue front of media and mind, PG takes a ‘straw poll’ of the latest eco developments within the industry, and how with sparkly biodegradable flitter, consumer education on the recyclability of cellobags and inventing new ways of attaching cards to envelopes, how it is turning a few shades greener. (Click to pages 61 to 63).

March PG also showcases publishers’ new range launches, wise words from columnists David Robertson of retailer JP Pozzi and Blue Eyed-Sun’s Jeremy Corner, what’s currently the hottest card product for retailers and not forgetting the industry’s latest news.

All this in the pages of a lovely glossy magazine and online too!

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

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