Progressive Greetings’ March 2022 issue is out now

While our hearts and minds are very much with the good people of Ukraine, if you needed a distraction, then dipping into Progressive Greetings’ March edition could fit the bill. The physical issues of the magazine landed at the start of the week, but now the digital version is also available to read online. So what are you waiting for?…get stuck in!

Challenges aside, the first quarter is shaping up well for the greeting card sector, with Spring Fair and Top Drawer both having been great opportunities for the greeting card community to be back out in force.

PG’s News pages are crammed full of industry happenings from the retailing, publishing and trade supplier fronts. As the first Spring Season event of the year, a lot was hanging on Valentine’s, and it seems that for indies at least, love was in the air. (Click to pages 6-7)

Above: The Valentine’s window in Austin & Co which is based on a Dandelion Stationery card design.
Above: The Valentine’s window in Austin & Co which is based on a Dandelion Stationery card design.

And confirming the move back to physical shopping is continuing, the news section also includes Kantar’s research findings that show that £371 million was spent on greeting cards in the last quarter of 2021.

Good news then for all card retailers, and just the right time for Card Factory to unveil its first new store concept for 20 years.

Above: The new look Card Factory store in Coventry.
Above: The new look Card Factory store in Coventry.

PG’s columnist Cardsharp is on top form this month, with his article, entitled The Price is Not Right adding a historical perspective to price rises in the industry, recalling back to the days when a 10% increase every January was the norm. (Click to pages 20-21)

Above: Oldies will remember Leslie Crowther hosting The Price is Right gameshow.
Above: Oldies will remember Leslie Crowther hosting The Price is Right gameshow.

With soaring costs and shortages hitting the sector from all angles, the Viewpoints’ Weighing Up The Costs piece shares the opinions from agents, publishers, printers, an envelope company and a retailer on how they are approaching this tricky period. (Click to pages 22-23)

Above: Seth Woodmansterne, md of Woodmansterne Publications is among those to share their views on cost rises.
Above: Seth Woodmansterne, md of Woodmansterne Publications is among those to share their views on cost rises.

On an upbeat note, with the Shop Local rally call getting ever louder, indies are making the most of their sense of place with localised cards and gift products, and area of the market which is gaining traction for publishers too. See Keeping It Local (Click to pages 48-49) and PublishersSense of Place (Click to pages 50-51)

Above: Some bespoke Jessica Hogarth products on sale in Mooch in Ealing.
Above: Some bespoke Jessica Hogarth products on sale in Mooch in Ealing.

Someone who ventured out of his Highlands home territory recently is independent retailer David Robertson, whose Ranting and Raving column (Click to pages 18-19) covers both his current concerns as well as the joys of meeting some inspirational publishers during his jaunt to Spring Fair.

Above: David Robertson at the recent Spring Fair.
Above: David Robertson at the recent Spring Fair.

There’s more indie input in PG’s popular What’s Hot? section which sees a quad of retailers reveal their top performers. (Click to pages 54-55)

Talking of ‘top performers’, it would take more than a pandemic to deter the Mint Group from fulfilling its dream of relocating to a state of the art headquarters and central warehouse. Now fully ensconced in its 43,000 sq ft new home, PG hotfooted it to Corby to catch up with the family-run business which comprises Museums & Galleries, Mint Publishing and Real & Exciting Designs. (Click to pages 32-33)

Above: The Snapshot range from Mint features the innovative photographic art of Helga Stentzel.
Above: The Snapshot range from Mint features the innovative photographic art of Helga Stentzel.

PG also visited Paperchase’s newish headquarters in London’s Clerkenwell to meet with the buying team and discover their hopes and dreams. (Click to pages 26-27)

Above: Paperchase’s (left-right) Carlo Marinelli, Tori Heath-Smith (and her dog Elton…on ‘bring your dog to work day’) and Laura Clarke, holding the retailer’s best-selling everyday card, a Dachshund design, in the new HQ offices in Clerkenwell, London.
Above: Paperchase’s (left-right) Carlo Marinelli, Tori Heath-Smith (and her dog Elton…on ‘bring your dog to work day’) and Laura Clarke, holding the retailer’s best-selling everyday card, a Dachshund design, in the new HQ offices in Clerkenwell, London.

With new products very much the name of the game for retailers, while the Innovations section (Click to pages 44-45) shares the latest clutch of new greeting card designs, this edition also includes an extended section on giftwrappings.

Above: One of the many new card designs from Jolly Awesome.
Above: One of the many new card designs from Jolly Awesome.

From exotic animals to the beauty of British nature, fruity flavours to bold geometrics, giftwrappings companies are most definitely abundant with newness. As well as sharing some of the latest design treats we also cover the huge strides that giftwrapping companies are making on the sustainable front. (Click to pages 34-35)

Above: Exotic fauna flora feature in this Louise Mulgrew collection from Glick.
Above: Exotic fauna flora feature in this Louise Mulgrew collection from Glick.

Adding a broader perspective, following on from last month’s edition, PG continues its globetrotting mission, by checking in some of the leading greeting card distributors and publishers in various countries find out how trade has been in their corners of the world. (Click to pages 28-29)

Above: Tory Wright, president of Paper E.Clips shares her take on the card market in Canada.
Above: Tory Wright, president of Paper E.Clips shares her take on the card market in Canada.

And ending on a high note, you can immerse yourself in the delights of Georgia Breeze, our featured artist in Art Source this month. (Click to pages 52-53)

Above: An inspiring view from Georgia Breeze’s studio.
Above: An inspiring view from Georgia Breeze’s studio.

All this and more in the pages of a lovely magazine. Wouldn’t you like to hold it in your hands so you can flick through and read it wherever it takes your fancy?

To SUBSCRIBE NOW go to www.max-subscriptions.net

However, if you can’t wait, to read the whole PG March 2022 edition, you can click here.

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