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)
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.
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)
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)
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 Publishers’ Sense of Place (Click to pages 50-51)
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.
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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?
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