Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Thursday Thirteen #352

13 facts about the greeting card market. Last November I began working in a card/gift shop. It's located round the corner from my home and while I always enjoyed looking around, I never bought much. It's cheaper to get cards and gift bags at the dollar store.

But the stuff in the store is high quality and there are consumers who are discerning about their wrapping and cards and willing to really spend on them. God bless them, because I enjoy being surrounded by such pretty things. Also, it touches me to watch how much care people put into choosing their cards. I love watching people browse. It's rare that someone just comes in and grabs the first card that catches their eye.

I based this TT on a study of today's greeting market, along with my own personal observations.

1. Every year, Americans buy more than 6.5 million greeting cards.

2. Gen Xers (born 1965-80) aren't that big into buying cards. 

3. Baby Boomers (born 1946-64) buy cards the most (but they don't necessarily spend the most).

4. Millennials (born 1981-96) buy more, and more expensive, cards than Xers.

5. Consumer appreciate eco-friendly cards and wrapping paper and have noticed that our paper shopping bags made of recycled materials.

6. Thank you cards are popular, more popular than I thought.

7. Birthday cards are still most often purchased card.

8. Boxed Christmas cards outsell individual ("Merry Christmas, Grandma!") ones.

9. Weddings are big business. In addition to "Congrats to the Bride and Groom,"  there are engagement cards, bridal shower cards, and "Will you be my Bridesmaid?" cards.

10. Once all the the rage, greeting cards with a pocket to hold a gift card have fallen out of favor. Consumers are very comfortable just slipping a gift card into a "regular" greeting card that more perfectly expresses the sentiment. There's also a surge in popularity of small boxes designed specifically for gifts cards, so you have something to tie a ribbon around when you present the gift card.

11. Mother's Day outsells Father's Day ... by a lot. Theories abound -- men don't enjoy receiving cards as much as women do, there are more fatherless households, etc. -- but I have nothing solid to back any particular reason.

12. While there are approximately 55,000 shops like mine that specialize in cards paper, gifts and stationery, most people buy their cards at the grocery or drug stores. Location is tied to population -- California is the state with most people and it is home to more than 7,000 card shops.

13. Covid did not do serious, lasting harm to the greeting card industry. Examining data, the number of card shops/retail workers has remained steady from before (2017) to after (2023) the pandemic.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.


Three Nice Things about Myself -- Day 13


My blogging buddy, Kwizgiver, wrote a post that really resonated with me. She detailed how self-care helped her helped her prevail during a (ridiculously) tough month. Her tips were very wise and so doable! So she has inspired me to take one and integrate it into my own life.

Since I can be a pretty harsh self-critic, this is the one I chose. I hope I can do this every day during March. By then it should be a habit, right?

Three nice things about myself -- March 13:

1) I make notes in my pocket calendar. That's how I remember that next week is my friend Patrick's birthday. I got him a silly little gift (a milk chocolate man wearing white chocolate boxer shorts) that I know will make him laugh. I like that I make small expenditures that let people know they matter to me.

2) I made him feel better. I ran into the owner of the deli I used to frequent. He had to close his doors and he was heartbroken. I mentioned that I thought of his space often and that he was the man who introduced me to sweet kugel. He remembered that I always ordered chicken in the pot and he promised to email his recipe. He put his whole self into that business, so I'm glad I was able to let him know his efforts were appreciated.

3) I lined up new dental insurance. My current coverage (COBRA) expires June 1. If I want a prospective insurer to waive any exclusions, I have to have that policy in place ON June 1. So I shopped around and spent about an hour on the phone but I have a new carrier/policy. Since I worked for large companies since I was a teenager, I have never had to shop for insurance before. I did not enjoy this exercise but I got it done. If I don't take care of me, no one will.