“The British public spent over £1.7 billion in the last year on greeting cards,” confirms Ceri Stirland, president of the GCA delivering the good news in the preface of the soon to be published UK Greeting Card Market Report, undertaken by Echo Research, commissioned by the GCA.
The Report details how sales of greeting cards have held up well, in both value (ie the amount the public spent on cards) as well as volume (the numbers of cards bought) – an astonishing 911 million single greeting cards were bought in the UK in the last year.
“At a time of huge societal, political and retail change in the UK – it is so encouraging how the value and volume of our greeting card market has only shown a tiny drop of 1.6%. There are so many other sectors out there who would envy our position,” stated Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA.
While everyday cards dominate, accounting for 77% of sales, Spring Seasons (which account for 11% of total sales) remain substantial, with Mother’s Day, Easter and Father’s Day showing an increase in value over the previous year. Of the Spring Seasons, Mother’s Day continues to lead, accounting for £72.5 million of sales (up 1% on the previous year) with an average retail price of £2.07.
Christmas singles are now worth 12% of the total market (equating to £184.4 million in sales). In keeping with previous reports, due to the fragmented nature of the Christmas box and pack sector, a considered estimate of £200 million is included in the overall market figure.
As Ceri highlights in the preface, greeting cards remain a champion product for the high street, quantifying how some “94% of greeting cards are still bought in physical bricks and mortar shops rather than online, with cards remaining an important, highly profitable product category across all retail channels.”
Ending on the most salient point, Ceri underlines how the “British population continues to be highly engaged with this category and our appetite for buying and sending greeting cards continues unabated.”
“Despite growth in digital forms of communication such as texts, social media or emails, she states that cards remain the preferred choice when it comes to expressing a heartfelt personal message and making someone feel extra special,” Ceri writes in the preface.
Undertaken annually, the UK Greeting Card Market Report provides an invaluable benchmark for the GCA’s publisher, retailer and trade supplier members and associate members. Its findings also provides independently verified facts and figures that we can use when speaking to the press, government and other bodies,” adds Amanda.
The full report will be presented at the GCA 100th Anniversary Celebration Conference & AGM, which will take place on Thursday 17 October, being held at the Central Hall in Westminster. Among the speakers is Oliver Tress, co-founder of Oliver Bonas, while the event will also include a panel discussion on the environmental developments affecting the greeting card sector.
All GCA members and Associate Members are now able to reserve a place. The cost (including lunch) is £84 (Including VAT) per person. To book your place click here: or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 020 7619 9266.
The event will also see greeting card industry-leading lady, Ceri Stirland, UKG’s customer and channel director hand over as GCA President to fellow doyenne, Rachel Hare, founder of Belly Button Designs.
The Market Report will be uploaded to the GCA Members-only area following the Conference and AGM.
Top: Millennials remain highly engaged with buying and sending greeting cards.