Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

Greeting card market remains strong

A report that the UK Greetings Card industry has grown over the past 12 months both in both value and volume, came as a welcome news to members of the Greeting Card Association (GCA) at their annual general meeting.

Over 140 members of the turned out for the meeting held at the Design Museum, overlooking the Thames in London.

The meeting was hosted by Sharon Little, the GCA Chief Executive who welcomed guests before highlighting some of the organisations key achievements over the past 12 months.  One of which was the development of an educational resource pack for teachers aimed at primary school children, funded entirely by Royal Mail.

A new president for the group was also announced. Bill Greeno of card publishing group Quitting Hollywood succeeds Hallmark’s Lisa Palillo, who completed her two year term as president and remains on the council.  

Simon Banks of UK Greetings became vice president and two new members, Chris Griffiths of Little Acorn Designs and Ray Mulry of Trumpers World were nominated to serve on the council.

Vice president Simon Banks led the presentation on the state of the UK Greeting Card market, which is now worth close to £1.39 billion in 2010 - the figure spent by Britons on single cards in the last year, with 948 million cards being sold.  This is a small increase on 2009 with value up 3.0 percent and volume up 2.7 percent.

Christmas boxed cards were excluded from the report due to the fragmented nature of publishing and retailing of this category. Online sales of print on demand cards were also excluded form the data. The sector while fast growing, is thought to be around 4 per cent of the overall card market.

Also speaking at the event, was Timothy Melgund, chief executive of Paperchase who gave a fascinating insight into the workings of this high street chain store, describing it as a “fashion retailer that doesn’t sell clothes”.  He said that the last 12 months had been ‘difficult but not disastrous’ in the retail market, but warned of some businesses struggling to survive in the fourth quarter.

Rosie Teesdale, the Deputy Director of the Forest Stewardship Council explained how they are working with greeting card publishers to increase awareness and take up of FSC certification.  The work is also being supported by a national consumer advertising campaign on public transport and in magazines.

The final talk was given by Andrew Brownsword, creator of the Forever Friends character who spoke of his work and life experiences over 30 years in the greeting card industry.

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