The UK greeting card industry is worth nearly 1.47 billion annually, according to the GCA 2010 Greeting Card Market Report – more than tea and coffee put together. It is the most successful greeting card industry in the world with 800 publishers producing over 1.5 billion greeting cards in 2010 for the greeting card hungry British public. The report puts the average number of greeting cards sent at 31 per person per year.
Latest Figures from the GCA 2010 Report
The average retail price of an everyday card last year in the UK was £1.41.
Everyday cards accounted for 71% of the market’s value – accounting for £1.036 billion worth of retail sales in 2009.
Christmas cards accounted for 45% of the volume with 678.9 million cards sold, and 18% of the value at £267.2m (2008 festive period).
Spring Season sales were worth £150.2 million with a total of 86.4 million cards being sent for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and Father’s Day.
Some £57.1 million was spent on Mother’s Day cards last year, on 21.5 million cards.
Valentines Day came next at £42.3m on 21.5 million cards and Father’s Day at £36m also on 21.5 million cards.
Interesting Facts About the Greeting Card Industry
The greeting card industry is directly and indirectly responsible for the jobs of 100,000 people in the UK including: publishers; artists, photographers and image suppliers; verse and prose writers; printers; paper and board companies; envelope and cello wrap suppliers; specialist finishers; warehousing and distribution companies; trade fair organisers and retailers.
No other country has such a tradition of card sending or card display in the home – the sending and receiving of cards is an important part of our culture. 85% of all cards are bought by women!
The UK card industry is acknowledged to be ten years ahead of the rest of the world in terms of design.
There are approximately 800 publishers in the UK, most of which are small businesses with fewer than five employees. Out of the 420 members of the GCA over 300 are small/micro businesses.
It’s a creative industry with strong bases in London, Nottinghamshire and the North, especially Yorkshire and Lancashire, where it has replaced many of the heavy manufacturing industries as a major employers.
Charities estimate that £50m is raised for good causes through the sales of charity Christmas cards each year.
Greeting cards are stocked in more types of outlet than any other product – with one in six retailers stocking greeting cards.
The commercial Christmas card was invented in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, the chief organiser of the Great Exhibition, pioneer of the penny post and founder of the V&A Museum.
One of Sir Henry’s first Christmas cards, sent to his Grandmother was recently sold at auction for £22,500.
Greeting card making is also the number one craft hobby, according to Crafts Beautiful, the top consumer craft magazine, which receives more enquiries about greeting cards than any other subject.