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The British Public Spent £1.7 Billion On Greeting Cards, Confirms GCA Market Report

The British public spent a massive £1.7 billion on greeting cards last year, confirming the industry’s ongoing strength in these times of great uncertainty.  This reassuringly large sum is the topline figure from the UK Greeting Card Industry Market Report, commissioned by the GCA to track the health and wealth of the trade. The findings of the full report will be unveiled at the GCA Conference and AGM which is to be held, virtually on Wednesday 4 November.

“Our industry remains resilient at a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty in the UK, despite falling retail footfall and little inflation in our category,” says Rachel Hare, president of the GCA (and managing director of Belly Button Designs) in the foreword of the Report.

As she points out, “over 90% of greeting cards are still bought in physical bricks and mortar shops with a broad selection of retailers adding greeting cards into their stores. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, and the subsequent lockdown of 2020, saw huge growth of online card sales, providing new insights into how our category is developing via online purchasing habits.”

Above: (left) GCA president Rachel Hare (md of Belly Button) with Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the trade association.
Above: (left) GCA president Rachel Hare (md of Belly Button) with Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the trade association.

The presentation of the GCA UK Greeting Card Market Report will form only one aspect of a jam packed agenda (see below for full details).

The cost of attending the Conference (whether a member or a would-be member) is £15 (including VAT) per person with bookings made via the secure booking site, accessed by clicking here.

The Agenda for the GCA Conference and AGM

10.30am: Welcome, News and Updates from the GCA – Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA and Rachel Hare, GCA president (and md of Belly Button Designs)

10.45am: AGM Business of elected new Council Members and the annual accounts – Amanda Fergusson, Lisa Shoesmith (formerly of Really Good), Daniel Prince (md of Danilo)

11.05am: The GCA Greeting Card Market Report: The facts and figures of the UK greeting card market – Darren Cave, commercial director of UK Greetings

11.20am: The Question Of Diversity in the Greeting Card Industry. A panel discussion hosted by Mark Callaby, md of Ohh Deer. Panellists will include retailers Card Factory, Paperchase, Waterstones and publishers Huetribe, Mrs Lovesy and Belly Button Designs 

Above: Adriana Lovesy, founder of Mrs Lovesy is participating in the panel discussion on the issue of diversity in the greeting card sector.
Above: Adriana Lovesy, founder of Mrs Lovesy is participating in the panel discussion on the issue of diversity in the greeting card sector.

12.05pm: How to promote your business on the new GCA Website – Raj Arora, md of Davora

12.15pm: Break and chance to sign up to the website and visit sponsors’ ‘booths.

12.30pm: The President’s Address from GCA president Rachel Hare (founder of Belly Button Designs) including an update on the environmental front.

12.45pm: Retail Overview – Michael Weedon, md of exp2, chair of FSB Retail and High Street Policy and head of the High St Advisory Board for Save the High St will share his take on trade.

12.55pm: The Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs of ‘Bricks and Mortar’ Greeting Card Retailing.  A panel discussion hosted by Jakki Brown, editor of Progressive Greetings. The retail panellists will include Mark Janson-Smith, managing director of Postmark; Sally Matson, owner of Red Card, Petworth; Jon May, co-owner of Mooch, Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn; Carly Pearson, senior buyer of Sainsbury’s; David Robertson, managing director of JP Pozzi; Paul Taylor, managing director of Cardzone and Hazel Walker, senior buyer of Waterstones.

1.25pm: Lunchbreak

1.40pm: The Evolution of Online Card Retailing. A panel discussion hosted by Chris Bryan, general manager of Second Nature. Panellists include a mix of retailers and publishers, including The Bottom Drawer, Cards for Good Causes, Lark London, No. 14 Ampthill and Zaquarella.

2.15pm: The Q&A Wrap Up. GCA Council members respond to questions that have come up during the day.

2.30pm: Closing speech and uplifting surprise from Amanda Fergusson, GCA CEO.

Anyone wishing to submit questions for the final session should email Amanda on

Top: The GCA Conference and AGM will be staged digitally this year.

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