If you’re on Facebook, chances are you will never miss a friend’s birthday or anniversary. But how many of you go beyond posting on their wall and put something in the mail? Well, statistics show that lots of you do. In fact, America is the world’s second largest market for greetings cards. Preeti Singh reports.
You may not get a card in your mailbox all that often anymore, but the greeting card market accounts for seven and a half billion dollars in revenue in the US. Christmas and New Years account for the largest sales. Traditionally, baby boomers bought the most cards but this year, Peter Doherty, the Executive Director of the Greeting Cards Association is pleasantly surprised. (20.0)
Now in terms of overall units, the baby boomer consumer is still the largest, single group of consumers when it comes to greeting cards, but in terms of overall revenues, millennials just this year have passed baby boomers in that area.and we see that area of the business continue to grow in the coming years.(42.8)
Greeting cards have changed. You can find something your grandmother would enjoy, cards with emojis, and even small, significant life stuff like a “I had bad coffee this morning” moment.
And millennials seem to be adopting them.(0.56)
Some of them are looking at other ways in some cases more traditional, but for them its new ways to reach out to family and friends in ways more lasting, more personalised.(1.10)
While Doherty is optimistic about the industry, Kuljot Singh who owns a Hallmark Store in midtown Manhattan is ambivalent. His revenue from greeting cards has remained the same but the number of cards he sells has dropped. (1.23)
It hasn’t changed. our volume still represents at 40%.But the units have shrunk considerably. where it was like i said 250 275, average card today it is 4.50 closer to 5 dollars in terms of average price of the card esp during the season(1.44)
Kuljot has also lost another revenue stream. Some days ago he would help customers make their personalised new year cards. Now customers are doing it all by themselves. Deborah Skolnik, a mother of two says.(1.56)
My husband makes a very big project of it. he sifts through all of our photos that we have taken during the year, and selects the very best one that are representative of the we’ve places been, the highlights of our year, and combines them all into some sort of a collage that he then makes into a christmas card (2.16)
People print their cards at local stores like Walgreens or online services like Shutterfly or even their home printers. For Doherty, this is all good news, because these are all part of the greeting cards market. He estimates that more than 1.6 billion cards will be produced and distributed to loved ones this season. Says Doherty (2.35)
I think we are expecting a solid sales year but they have got to continuously innovate because some of the more traditional customers, you know the baby boomers, some of them are not buying as much as they used to. so we need to keep looking for new customers out there. but they are being successful.(2.52)
So whether you want a regular family picture card, or one that says ‘ I can’t handle this season’ , there is still a card for everyone!!
Preeti Singh for Columbia Radio(3.03)
Preeti Singh is a reporter from Columbia University with an interest in business and healthcare reporting.