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Facts and Figures

Latest Figures from the GCA Market Report 2015

This latest Market Report shows that the UK greeting card market continues to be a major British success story with a value of over £1.6 billion at retail.

And with an increase in GCA publisher members reporting sales figures based on Epos data, the figures are an even more accurate picture of the market.

The total value of single cards sold in the UK in 2014 stood at £1.39 billion with 878.8 million single cards being sold in this period. When compared with 2013, value is up 7.77%.

The overall value of Everyday card sales stood at £1.057 billion compared to £1.022 billion in 2013, an increase of £34.6m.

The GCA estimates that the Christmas boxed card category is worth £200 million at retail and comprises 900 million cards in volume, arriving at a total market value of £1.6 billion at retail for 2014.

Christmas single cards show a value increase of £44m to £174.6 representing 13% of total value sales, with ARP of £1.55.

Figures from 2012 onwards show the UK market has emerged from recession and is experiencing a sustained growth in sales across all occasions.

This upward trend signals an optimistic future for greeting cards, which of course is great news for retailers, publishers, suppliers and investors in our industry.

The full report is available free of charge to members.

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 over a thousand publishers in the UK, most of which are small businesses with fewer than five employees. Out of the 400 plus members of the GCA over 350 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 1846 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.