Waitrose’s overhauled selection of greeting cards which has just been installed in around 340 stores, is performing very well, with the retailer already reporting a “double digit” sales increase.
“It has been a journey, but we are delighted to have launched the Waitrose replan with a great reaction from customers,” exclaimed Sarah Moughtin, who is responsible for buying greeting cards, giftwrap, stationery and partyware for Waitrose as well as John Lewis department stores.
The new replan coincides with Woodmansterne taking over as broker/category manager for the grocery retailer from Hallmark (https://www.pgbuzz.net/woodmansterne-to-take-over-as-waitroses-greeting-card-broker/).
The new selection includes greeting cards from around 33 different card publishers. As to what Sarah feels differentiates the new cornucopia from Waitrose’s previous card displays, she cites “Some fun contemporary designs and a nice chunk of humour” as being the most likely to “stand out as the biggest change and are already proving popular with customers!”.
Things are also looking encouraging on the greeting card front in John Lewis. “I’m pleased to say that card sales in JL are recovering well in branches with an amazing week’s trade last week,” revealed Sarah. “We will also be looking at our online selection through a new lens to ensure our customers can complete their gifting journey,” she added.
Although Christmas card packs and boxes are outside of Sarah’s buying remit, John Lewis hit the headlines recently as a result of the department store has launched its online Christmas shop, its earliest ever date – some ten days earlier than last year.
With still four months to go until Christmas Eve, John Lewis & Partners launched its online Christmas Shop on www.johnlewis.com. The retailer says it has brought forward the launch in response to the high level of customer searches on its website for Christmas products, which so far this month are already up 370% on last year. Christmas cards were right up there near the top of the most searched for products, alongside Christmas trees, baubles, wrapping paper and lights.
Predicting a festive bonanza, Jason Billings-Cray, John Lewis’ buyer responsible for packaged Christmas cards and other Christmas products, said: “Christmas always provides a reason for celebration and a welcome break. Understandably it looks as if people are looking forward to and planning for it earlier than ever this year.”
Top: New greeting card displays have gone into 340 Waitrose stores.