Tying in with this being the GCA’s centenary, the theme of The Henries 2019 greeting card awards event is ‘100 Years of Greeting Cards’.
The members of this year’s Henries judging panel, which was made up of around 50 top retail buyers, were each set a series of historical challenges, including asking them to pick famous people of the last century they would like to walk into their shop, as well as highlight a significant happening in the greeting card industry’s past as well what they feel will help to safeguard the sector’s future.
Paul Taylor, md of Cardzone, which trades from 125+ stores:
Who do most wish was a Cardzone customer? “Winston Churchill.”
What do you feel has been pivotal to the card industry’s continued heritage? “The improvement of greeting card designs which has seen them become incredible value.”
How can we future proof the card industry? “It would be good to create/develop new mini seasons. On a more practical level it would also be good to somehow standardise the number of envelope sizes to make it easier for both consumers and retailers.”
Sara Gibson, buying manager of cards and giftwrap at Tesco’s 2,500+ stores:
Who do most wish were Tesco greeting card customers? “Coco Chanel, a true legend who illustrated what women could achieve during the era, and Quentin Tarantino as I love his films’ humour and think he would challenge my thinking.”
What do you feel the industry can be future proofed? “Sustainability and environmental concerns are crucial – and thinking about how this will impact on design and finishes as well as value for money.
Inclusivity and diversity are also really important for the evolution of our category. We live in a diverse society and we need to ensure that greeting cards keep up with relevant captions as well as offering cards for all ethnicities and gender diversities.”
Sarah Barrington, md of Blue Dog Trading, Clare:
Who do most wish would walk into Blue Dog to buy a card? “Barbara Hepworth – I love her work and she was famously a bit tetchy but I’m sure she was a great character.
I would also like to have The Queen as a customer as she has to be the most iconic person of our generation!”
What do you feel has been pivotal to the card industry’s continued heritage? “Digital printing, which has enabled small designers and illustrators to produce cards economically in small runs, thereby saving the market from being dominated by the big companies.”
What do you feel the industry can be future proofed? “We need to find a solution to waste that suits both card publishers and retailers. I am not sure however how practical naked cards are going to prove.”
The Henries 2019 awards event will take place on Thursday 3 October at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, overlooking Hyde Park. To add to the fun of the event and to celebrate the heritage of the GCA, guests of the industry’s ‘big night’ will be encouraged to dress in keeping with one of the last ten decades, adopting say an elegant 30s look, a swinging 60s mode or glitz it up 80s-style.
If you have not booked your tickets for the ‘industry’s big night’ you can do so online via www.max-tickets.net or contact awards manager Clare Hollick via email: email@example.com or by phone on 01733 294524 or 07769 905959.