The Henries

The 2013 henries awards is here. But what are they Henries?

160 years ago Sir Henry Cole had the bright idea of sending a greetings card at Christmas and brought to the world the first commercial Christmas card.

Since 1843 much has moved on. The greetings card industry has evolved into a £1.38Bn* industry. And because the UK leads the way in terms of designs and spend, it was felt by the lovely people at Progressive Greetings that we should recognise the achievements of creative people behind the cards.

Just to illustrate how popular the market is, some 14,000 cards were entered last year. There are various categories for illustrators to consider.

  • Best Art Range
  • Best Children’s Range
  • Best Christmas Box or Pack
  • Best Christmas Counter Cards Range
  • Best Contemporary Trend Range
  • Best Cute Range
  • Best Giftwrappings Collection
  • Best Handmade or Hand-finished Range
  • Best Humorous Range
  • Best Licensed Card Range
  • Best Male Range
  • Best Occasions or Relations Range
  • Best Photographic Range
  • Best Service To The Independent Retailer
  • Best Spring Seasons Range
  • Best Wholesale Range
  • Best Words and Sentiments Range
  • Honorary Achievement Award
  • Most Promising Young Designer Or Artist

So, if you are a small one-man/woman band or a large corporate the awards are open now. How to enter. Entries will be judged by a panel of retail buyers from across the industry.

The winners shall be announced at a Calypso themed evening at The Lancaster Hotel, on the 10 October.

*The Greetings Card Association: Source Link

Greetings cards – online or in-store

Greetings cards – online or in-store

Happy Birthday…Get well soon…Good luck in your new job.  Greetings cards have been a regular feature in sharing our thoughts and feeling since the 1850’s.

For 150 years the process of buying a card and sending it hasn’t much changed. You would pop into a shop, buy your card, think of some kind words, post it and job done.

But with the advent of the internet you can now buy your cards online rather than in-store.

Since 2000, pundits have been prophesising that the Internet would kill off most industries, including the greeting cards. This mantra seemed to carry more weight, when Clinton Cards was put into Administration in 2012.  But what is interesting, is that sales of single cards in shops, garage and supermarkets is still growing.  The growth may not be huge, but it is still there.

In 2011, sales rose by 3% compared with 2009.  Take Christmas Cards.  A Royal Mail survey, highlighted that 80% of people would prefer to receive a traditional card rather than a digital version.  That’s a no-brainer.  There is almost no sentiment in an e-card, to me I can’t help wonder that it sounds lazy.

But, that is only part of the equation.  Whilst the internet has not destroyed the industry, it may be disrupting buying habits.  Back in 2000 Moonpig was launched and it has been offering personalised greetings cards International cards.  Rather than paying for air postage, why not send your card through Moonpig’s Australian branch – clever.

Oh…the price of stamps these days

The price of stamps have steadily risen over the years, since 2000, the price of a first class stamp has more than doubled.  That I’m afraid will be a constant.  Adding 60p for a first class stamp, or 50p for a second class stamp to the cost of sending a card can be expensive, especially around Christmas time.

There is no doubt that the market is presenting challenges.  Pressures from online, the cost of stamps and digital all bear down on independent retailers.  But it doesn’t have to be all bad news.  Clintion Cards may have gone…sales growth continues and that means there is more to share around.