Friday, November 23, 2007

Holiday Greetings!

If you're not the least bit inspired to send holiday greeting cards this year, you may be shopping at the wrong stores for your greeting cards!

According to a new study from Unity Marketing; "Greeting Card Market is on the Up Swing as Card Shoppers turn to Specialty Retailers for More Distinct Product Offerings". According to the report "This revival of specialty retail for greeting cards comes after years of steady drop in the number of specialty retailers in the card and gift segments. The number of gift shops dropped from 75,010 stores in 2002 to 59,032 shops today. Specialty card shops declined even more 33 percent from 8,135 in 2002 to 5,391 currently. The study attributes this decline to mass retailing.

Professionals in the gift industry witnessed the suffering first hand with aggressive growth plans of big box stores tens of thousands of small American business owners have lost their businesses. The shift in market share has taken the market from thousands of small to medium sized businesses, artists and designers and a huge variety of choices, to less than a few dozen people mass producing and working under strict merchandising and streamlined cost structures. The result is a bland and boring mass offering. Consumers in the past years have been choosing convenience over style and quality. That is all starting to change. The report states "In 2006 specialty card and gift stores regained 6 market share points. As a result, the mass merchants are holding on to the market share leader position by a thread."

Specialty retailers on the other hand buy from the thousands of vendors, many artist and designer owned companies that have emerged in the last five years. They sell a huge variety of lines as well as medium sized companies products and offer better quality, design, environmentally friendly options and competitive pricing. Take a look one of my favorite greeting card companies on . There are literally thousands of options to choose from in the specialty market.

Another trend we are seeing in the specialty market is individually packaged holiday cards. Now you may send a religious specific card to each of your friends vs. the all encompassing "Happy Holidays" card making it more personal. A growth in variety of religious cards is also happening and during the holidays this includes Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and so on.

So instead of buying your holiday cards off of a hook this year or stressing out to make your own, try shopping at a specialty store for your holiday greeting cards!

About Me

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Fenton, Missouri, United States
I shop. I Share. Design is about ingenuity, being resourceful, quality, scale and beauty. Aside from being a consumer, I am part of the professional design community. This blog Actual Design is about increasing awareness of professionally designed merchandise in the marketplace. My mission as a consumer is to find timeless pieces in the here and now. Not the next best thing or not the biggest bargain. Written 9-16-2007