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Facts and Figures

The GCA Greeting Card Market Report 2014 reinforces what a huge and successful industry this is with £1.29 billion spent on single cards in the last year - more than tea and coffee put together. More cards are bought per person in the UK than in any other country – 31 per person an astonishing 884 million single greeting cards were bought from retailers of all shapes and sizes in 2013.

Latest Figures from the GCA Market Report 2014

The GCA Market Report is the only fresh research on the greeting card industry, with figures gained from the sales figures of our publisher members.

The 2014 report covers value and volume figures for the sales of single cards across the main sending occasions in 2013 compared with 2012. It shows that value of the market has increased by 5.4%, with everyday cards at £1.02 billion compared to £0.96 billion in 2012, an increase of 6.1%.

  • The average retail price (ARP) of a card is £1.44 compared with £1.34 in 2012.
  • The value of the Christmas singles market is £130m.
  • Mother’s Day remains the largest Spring Seasons card sending event, with a value of £50.4m and an ARP at £1.71.
  • And the UK public continues to show its romantic side with Valentine’s Day value of £40.2m with an ARP of £1.86, the highest of all the card categories.
  • The GCA estimates that the Christmas Boxed market has a volume of 900m cards and a value of around £200m.

The positive picture that this market report paints shows that despite rocky times on the high street, the increase in online print on demand and the rise of social media, the UK greeting card industry is healthy, vibrant and still a world leader. Greeting cards remain an ever important part of the UK social culture – people clearly still want to celebrate everyday and special occasions with their loved ones and to mark many of life’s key ‘connecting’ moments with the sending of a card.

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.