Cards 'can help increase sales'

Franchise director believes garden centres would benefit from being destination purchase stores.

Card Connection sales and franchise director Andrew Cutler has said it is time that garden centres capitalised on the trend to become destination purchase stores.

He added that at any one time 75 per cent of the UK population needed a greetings card and that seasonal occasions such as Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and Christmas increased the potential sales of such stock in the garden centre.

Cutler said: "This 'need' does not diminish in times of economic hardship. In fact, evidence has shown that people frequently upgrade to a larger or more expensive card if they have chosen not to purchase a gift."

According to the Greeting Card Association, the UK card industry is worth nearly £1.47bn annually, with the British public sending an average of 31 greetings cards per person per year. Almost half the volume of cards sold in the UK are Christmas cards. More than 80 per cent of card buyers are female.

Cutler recommended companies that can deliver greetings cards on a consignment basis. He said this was "a little like sale or return, except display equipment and merchandising expertise is also available free to the retailer, allowing him to diversify, at no risk. This means that there is an opportunity for garden centre retailers to expand this area of their stores, at no risk."

Card sales boost

"As a leading garden centre retailer we understand the need to provide quality stock and at the same time respond to our customers' needs. We have recently expanded our greeting card display section with Card Connection's help. Since taking Card Connection's Hand Finished cards and Sante ranges, which are perfect for our market, we've seen a big increase in sales."

Anna Burtenshaw, General Manager, Manor Nurseries, Angmering, West Sussex.

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