Greetings Card Sales continue to remain strong.

In this digital world, we live in, I have lost count the number of times I’ve heard about the demise of the Greetings Card.

In an electronic world, everything is going digital, Shopping, Taxi’s, dating, heavens even banking has caught up. So surely it makes sense that Greetings Cards should continue.

Absolutely – for many years now you could send an e-birthday to friends and family.

Although – nothing quite says I’ve forgotten your birthday or Christmas by sending an electronic Birthday Card. I couldn’t quite be bothered to go to the shops and think about the type of card I wanted to buy you.

Now, I’m not saying that ‘going digital’ is a bad thing. Shopping online is convenient, hailing an Uber is quick, and transferring money to paying a bill online is fast and easy.

But I think some things are not supposed to be convenient and easy. A little thought and time show that we care about our loved ones.

News out today suggested that the traditional handwritten printed communication is as enduring as ever.

Everyone predicted the end of the greetings card, but it’s the one area of print communication that proved extremely resilient.

Figures released by the Greeting Card Association in the GCA Market Report 2017 (covering sales from January to December 2016), put the total of single cards sales in the UK at more than £1.52bn in 2016, with 881million single cards being sold in this period.

Everyday cards are now worth £1.178m, an increase of £28.7m from 2015, with sales of ages, occasions and relations showing the greatest growth to £680.6m.

Nearly 100m Christmas single cards were sold, bringing the total for the Christmas card market to one billion cards sold in the UK.

In addition, an estimated 900m Christmas cards were sold in boxes and packs worth around £230m, as well as millions of cards bought from online operators, such as Moonpig.

Heartening news for the high street is that the vast majority of greetings cards are still bought in bricks and mortar stores, rather than online.

Sharon Little, chief executive of the GCA, said: “Everyone predicted the end of the greetings card because of the fashion for digital. But it’s the one area of print communication that proved extremely resilient.”

Industry experts put this down to a vogue for more personalised or bespoke Christmas cards, handmade by small-scale artists and frequently sold through high-end stationers and department stores.

How will retailers vote in the General Election

The snap General Election took everyone by surprise, not least High Street retailers.

Whilst a strong recovery was noticed on the Britain’s High Street following, the Brexit vote back in June 2016, the first three months of 2017 have seen sales fall by 1.4%, says the ONS. However, April saw a splurge online and on the High Street with sales increase of 2.3%.

The main worry for retailers seems to be Business rates, the European single market and immigration.

Continued access to the single market is obviously essential for retailers and other businesses alike. Business Rates probably tops that as businesses such as Waterstones, Boux Avenue, Carpet Right and Debenhams all call for rates reform.

The BRC took the step to write to Phillip Hammond and try and persuade him that without ‘fundamental reform’ businesses willl see a doubling of their bills.

The British Chamber of Commerce also waded in with their concerns adding that 1 in small firms rate it as their biggest concerns

Adam Marshall, director-general of the BCC, said:”…hammering firms with sky-high costs before they turn over a single pound. This undermines business investment, which in 2016, fell for the first time in seven years.”

For a variety of different reasons, immigration is also weighing heavily on the minds of retailers.

Having access to a skilled workforce is critical for all business and in some sectors that will include immigrants, without it their businesses will cease to trade.

By contrast other businesses consider this free-movement of people a threat to their trading.

A word about uncertainty

Brexit and the General Election bring with them a fair amount of uncertainty and with the Brexit negotiations taking a least 2 years – I think it’s fair to say we shall have lots of uncertainty still to come.

When the British public are uncertain about their future, the first thing they do is stop spending.