October 12, 2012
Greeting Card Association Bullish on the Future

The Greeting Card Association (GCA), the U.S. trade association representing publishers and suppliers to the greeting card and social expression industry, reports that while greeting card unit sales have fluctuated over the past several years, the industry continues to generate annual revenues of $7 to $8 billion.    

A recent Associated Press article about the greeting card industry created some confusion in its reporting. Its forecast about the industry’s future was somewhat bleak, referencing the widespread use of social media and news of industry consolidation. Subsequent news organizations published the report in their print and digital outlets. 

“The widespread use of social media has increased the value of connection, adding a new dimension to how people communicate,” said Patti Stracher, executive vice president of the GCA. “But greeting cards continue to play an invaluable role in our social culture.”

The industry is filled with innovation — sound, light, motion, video, paper craft, pop-up, digital formats, etc., with digital distribution facilitating paper card sending from mobile devices and personal computers, both emerging channels.

“There are also generational and social trends today that impact when one becomes a card consumer, how and where cards are purchased and how they’re sent, but the custom of sending cards is remarkably stable,” she added. 

The greeting card industry anticipates a healthy future. Human beings crave personal communication in an increasingly impersonal world and greeting cards are one of the tools used to satisfy this craving.

“Consumers continue to tell us how much they value sending and receiving greeting cards,” Stracher said. “The ‘mail moment’— the discovery of a brightly colored, hand-addressed envelope in the mail — continues to delight people of all ages.”

In fact, seven out of 10 card buyers surveyed consider greeting cards “absolutely” or “almost” essential to them. Eight out of 10 of these buyers expect their purchases to remain the same going forward.

The GCA is the U.S. trade association serving the greeting card and social expression industry. Founded in 1941, the GCA today represents nearly 200 American and international publishers from diverse businesses, ranging from young start-ups to established companies of all sizes, scopes and years in the industry, as well as suppliers that provide production services and product distribution at the wholesale level.

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