Henderson Greetings is a long-established Australian-based greeting card publisher that is part owned by Simon Elvin. In 2016 is acquired Waterlyn, a sizable distributor of many UK greeting card publishers.
Eulinid Stevenson, ceo of Henderson Greetings and Waterlyn shares her views on the market and her expectations of 2018.
The wider picture: “Overall, the Australian economy is relatively stable, however many predict a slowing down in employment growth and export. Disposable income is forecast to remain in line with recent growth trends. We are anticipating our dollar may become slightly weaker against the UK and the US.
Consumer trends are quite similar to those in the UK; people are pressed for time and seeking as much convenience as possible. At the same time, the need to stand still and practice mindfulness is also growing in popularity. The need for businesses to consider sustainability and have an online presence both continue to grow in importance.”
The Australian greeting card market: “We continue to see a lot of change in the retail landscape in Australia. The lines are blurring between what used to be a traditional newsagent, giftstore, bookstore or retail outlet. Many of these retailers are diversifying their offer in order to capture more sales from their existing customers and it’s paying off well for those who do so.
In regards to greeting cards, we’re seeing wonderful growth in the boutique products on the market, which is helping to offset the growth of budget cards in the market. The net effect being flat growth in value.
Gay marriage has recently been legalised in Australia and we’re already seeing growth in demand for Mr & Mr and Mrs & Mrs captioned cards.
Henderson Greetings is a member of the marketing sub-committee for the Australian Greeting Card Association and we’ve most recently been focusing on articulating common industry goals and how we can promote new events as a total industry as per what we see in the UK. In 2018, we’ll be doing this for Thinking of You Week, Grandparents Day in October and maybe even Teacher’s Appreciation Day.”
What are your expectations of 2018? “We’re actually incredibly excited about 2018. We’ll have a full year of experience under our belt with Waterlyn, having acquired that business in December 2016, so we anticipate strong growth among this distribution network.
We’re launching a range of exquisite designs to the higher-end market – published locally, printed on board made from recycled coffee cups (from the UK’s James Cropper) and packaged in recyclable wrap.
We have also just announced a new partnership between Henderson Greetings and a local artist, Lisa Pollock. Lisa Pollock is a very well-known identity within the local giftware industry and does incredibly well with beautiful affirmations and her unique boho chic style. Our range of Lisa Pollock greeting cards and gift bags will be launching in April.
With the help from Glick, our gift packaging offer just keeps getting stronger and stronger and our customers can’t get enough of it. The Paper Salad and Stephanie Dyment designs are particularly popular. So, all in all, 2018 is looking good.”