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Greetings Cards & Personal Stationery Retailing - UK - July 2017

“Resistant to the growing threat of digital alternatives, the UK greetings card and personal stationery market has continued to grow. Growth in consumer spending on greetings cards has outpaced stationery. However, a number of trend-driven retailers have proven that demand for both well-made and well-designed stationery remains robust. Looking forward, the major trends that will drive growth in the market will be product personalisation and in-store experience.”
– Samantha Dover, Retail Analyst

This report answers the following:

  • What are the opportunities in the greetings card market?
  • What are the opportunities in the personal stationery market?
  • Who are the winners and losers in the greetings card and personal stationery markets?

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Strong growth forecast in the greetings card sector
              • Figure 1: Retail sales of greetings cards, including VAT, 2012-22
            • Slower growth expected in personal stationery sales
              • Figure 2: Retail sales of personal stationery, including VAT, 2012-22
            • Specialists account for over 40% of the greetings card market
              • Figure 3: Estimated share of UK greetings card market, by retailer type, 2016
            • Competitive stationery market dominated by non-specialists
              • Figure 4: Estimated share of UK personal stationery market, by retailer type, 2016
            • Companies and brands
              • Card Factory continues to grow
                • WH Smith losing share of the market
                  • Figure 5: Estimated market share of greetings card and personal stationery market, by retailer, 2016
                • Rising number of specialist stationery retailers
                  • Non-specialists tap into market
                    • The consumer
                      • Majority still shop in-store for greetings cards
                        • Figure 6: Where they shop for greetings cards, in-store and online, May 2017
                      • Birthdays remain the primary reason for purchasing
                        • Figure 7: Purchases of greetings cards, by occasion, May 2017
                      • People still think handwritten cards are more personal
                        • Figure 8: Attitudes towards shopping for greetings cards, May 2017
                      • Non-specialists dominate the stationery market
                        • Figure 9: Where they shop for personal stationery, in-store and online, May 2017
                      • More than half want quality stationery
                        • Figure 10: Factors influencing personal stationery purchasing, May 2017
                      • A third buy stationery as a treat
                        • Figure 11: Attitudes towards personal stationery, May 2017
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • What are the opportunities in the greetings card market?
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • What are the opportunities in the personal stationery market?
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Who are the winners and losers in the greetings card and personal stationery markets?
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Greetings card market continues to perform despite threat of online
                                            • Personal stationery sales stabilise, but growth remains slow
                                              • Single cards account for 90% of greetings card market
                                                • Online players losing share of greetings card market
                                                  • Grocers dominate the personal stationery market
                                                    • Stationery sector boosted by rise in school leaving age
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Retail sales of greetings cards set to reach £2.1 billion
                                                        • Figure 12: Retail sales of greetings cards, including VAT, 2012-22
                                                      • Personal stationery market forecast to grow 1.2%
                                                        • Figure 13: Retail sales of personal stationery, including VAT, 2012-22
                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                      • Market Segmentation

                                                        • Growth continues in both single and boxed card ranges
                                                          • Figure 14: Estimated retail sales of greetings cards, by segment, 2012-16
                                                        • Seasonal cards account for 24% of the singles market
                                                          • Figure 15: Estimated retail sales of greetings cards, by segment, 2016
                                                      • Channels to Market

                                                        • Grocers increase share of the greetings card market
                                                          • Figure 16: Estimated share of UK greetings card market, by retailer type, 2016
                                                          • Figure 17: Estimated share of UK greetings card market, by retailer type, 2012-16
                                                        • Fragmented stationery market
                                                          • Figure 18: Estimated share of UK personal stationery market, by retailer type, 2016
                                                          • Figure 19: Estimated share of UK personal stationery market, by retailer type, 2012-16
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Rising inflation puts pressure on consumers
                                                          • Figure 20: Real wages growth – Wages growth vs inflation, May 2014-April 2017
                                                        • Plenty of reasons to send greetings cards
                                                          • Figure 21: Total number of births, deaths and marriages in the UK, 2011-15
                                                        • Changes in the UK population
                                                          • Figure 22: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2014-24
                                                          • Figure 23: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2014-24
                                                        • Device ownership in the UK
                                                          • Figure 24: Personal ownership of consumer technology products, December 2016
                                                        • Top five online activities
                                                          • Figure 25: Online activities performed in the last three months, December 2016
                                                        • Back to school drives growth in stationery
                                                          • Figure 26: Products purchased for the start of the school term in autumn 2016, January 2017
                                                          • Figure 27: Amount spent on products purchased for the start of the school term, December 2016 and January 2017
                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Leading retailer Card Factory’s sales continue to rise
                                                          • New players in stationery market establish strong position
                                                            • WH Smith losing share of the market
                                                              • Greetings cards become more inclusive
                                                                • Non-specialists tap into demand for fashionable stationery
                                                                  • In-store events and pop-ups tap into seasonal gifting occasions
                                                                  • Competitive Strategies

                                                                    • Retail offering and brand positioning
                                                                      • Figure 28: Leading greetings cards and stationery retailers, 2016
                                                                    • Financial outlook
                                                                      • WH Smith reports weak high street performance
                                                                        • Leading stationery specialists suffer from increasing competition
                                                                          • Clintons’ position in greetings card market weakening
                                                                            • Figure 29: Leading greetings cards and stationery retailer revenues, 2012-16
                                                                          • Recent acquisitions in the market
                                                                            • Staples stores rebranded to Office Outlet
                                                                              • Rymans acquires iconic art and design retailer
                                                                                • Moonpig bought by private equity firms
                                                                                  • Rumoured sale of The Works
                                                                                    • Growing number of specialist stores
                                                                                      • New entrants in the market
                                                                                        • Card Factory extending its store network
                                                                                          • Clintons’ store closure rumours
                                                                                            • Paperchase looks to new markets for expansion
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Leading greetings cards and stationery retailer store numbers, 2012-16
                                                                                            • Ongoing investment in digital
                                                                                              • Online accounts for estimated 5% of the market
                                                                                                • Pureplays continue to grow
                                                                                                  • Store-based retailers discuss importance of online
                                                                                                    • The rise of virtual greetings cards
                                                                                                      • New developments in the market
                                                                                                        • Non-specialists strengthen offer
                                                                                                          • WH Smith trials new store format
                                                                                                            • Clintons launches Party Delights
                                                                                                              • Investment in travel retail
                                                                                                                • Promotional strategies
                                                                                                                  • In-store events gain momentum
                                                                                                                    • Retailers bolster greetings card offer with inclusive ranges
                                                                                                                      • Tapping into the lucrative wedding market
                                                                                                                        • Collaborations generate brand hype
                                                                                                                        • Market Share

                                                                                                                          • Card Factory holds biggest share of greetings cards and stationery market
                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Estimated market share of greetings card and personal stationery market, by retailer, 2016
                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Estimated market share of greetings card and personal stationery market, by retailer, 2012-16
                                                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                          • Paperchase capitalises on emerging origami trend
                                                                                                                            • New players in the UK stationery market
                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Typo Westfield Stratford, London, 2016
                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: kikki.K London stores, 2017
                                                                                                                            • Tapping into demand for eco-friendly stationery
                                                                                                                              • The world’s favourite colour
                                                                                                                                • The Moleskine Café
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Moleskine Café, Milan, 2016
                                                                                                                                • Debenhams Valentine’s Drive-Thru
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Debenhams’ Valentine’s Day Drive-Thru, 2017
                                                                                                                                • Retailers tap into growth in same-sex partnerships
                                                                                                                                  • Serving the Underserved
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Happy Father’s Day Mum Greetings Cards, 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Motivational stationery
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: The Happiness Planner, 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Designer stationery
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Matthew Williamson Stationery, 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Matthew Williamson x Papier Collaboration, 2017
                                                                                                                                  • The appeal of personalisation
                                                                                                                                    • Personalised wedding stationery
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Feather & Flourish Bespoke Wedding Stationery, 2017
                                                                                                                                    • The Stationery Studio Tastemakers
                                                                                                                                      • Instagram’s love for the handwritten word
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Moleskine Smart Writing Set, 2016
                                                                                                                                      • Handwriting services
                                                                                                                                        • In-store events
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Paperchase Love Week, February 2017
                                                                                                                                        • VR greetings cards
                                                                                                                                          • Post-its appear at London Fashion Week
                                                                                                                                            • Smythson exhibition celebrates 130 years of business
                                                                                                                                              • Chocolate Greetings Cards
                                                                                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                • Aggregate advertising spend down 3.5% year on year in 2016 to £19.7 million
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by selected leading UK greetings cards and stationery retailers, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                • Leading advertisers’ activity
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Selected leading UK greetings cards and stationery retailers: recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                • Majority of advertising spend channelled through TV
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Selected leading UK greetings cards and stationery retailers: recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure, by media type, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                  • In-store purchases still dominate greetings card market
                                                                                                                                                    • Birthdays are the most purchased-for occasion
                                                                                                                                                      • People think greetings cards are overpriced
                                                                                                                                                        • Almost a third shop for stationery at the supermarket
                                                                                                                                                          • More than half want good quality stationery
                                                                                                                                                            • Half of consumers think sending post is pleasurable
                                                                                                                                                            • Where They Buy Greetings Cards

                                                                                                                                                              • Greetings card market resists the online movement
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Where they shop for greetings cards, in-store and online, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Young people most likely to shop online
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Where they shop for greetings cards, by age, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Women head to specialist retailers for greetings cards
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Where they shop for greetings cards, by gender, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • A third only shop at one retailer
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Repertoire of retailers used to buy greetings cards, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • Purchases of Greetings Cards by Occasion

                                                                                                                                                                • More people buy into Mother’s Day than Father’s Day
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Purchases of greetings cards, by occasion, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Older consumers drive the greetings card market
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Purchases of greetings cards, by occasion, by age, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Those in urban locations less likely to buy cards for majority of occasions
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Purchases of greetings cards, by occasion, by location, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Affluent shoppers buy into spring greetings
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Purchases of greetings cards, by occasion, by socio-economic status, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes Towards Shopping for Greetings Cards

                                                                                                                                                                • Greetings cards suffer overpriced perceptions
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Attitudes towards shopping for greetings cards, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Young people more likely to invest in quality
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Attitudes towards shopping for greetings cards, by age, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Men attracted to convenience of online
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Attitudes towards shopping for greetings cards, by gender, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Gender-neutral ranges appeal to young shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Attitudes towards shopping for greetings cards, by age, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Personalisation appeals to online shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Attitudes towards shopping for greetings cards, by where they shop, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                  • Department stores attract those looking for quality
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Attitudes towards shopping for greetings cards, by where they shop, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                  • Greetings Cards vs Online Messages
                                                                                                                                                                    • Gifts replacing greetings cards
                                                                                                                                                                    • Where They Buy Personal Stationery

                                                                                                                                                                      • Most buy stationery from non-specialist retailers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Where they shop for personal stationery, in-store and online, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                        • Men drive online stationery market
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Where they shop for personal stationery, by gender, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                        • Purchasing significantly higher amongst 16-24s
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Where they shop for personal stationery, by age, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Less retailer loyalty in stationery market
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Repertoire of retailers used to buy personal stationery, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                        • Factors Influencing Personal Stationery Purchasing

                                                                                                                                                                          • Value for money driving force in purchasing
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Factors influencing personal stationery purchasing, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Women want attractive stationery
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Factors influencing personal stationery purchasing, by gender, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • 25-34s most swayed by brand name
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Factors influencing personal stationery purchasing, by age, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Functionality important to affluent shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Factors influencing personal stationery purchasing, by socio-economic status, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Paperchase’s trend-driven ranges resonate
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Factors influencing personal stationery purchasing, by where they shop, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes Towards Personal Stationery

                                                                                                                                                                          • Necessity purchases drive stationery market
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Attitudes towards personal stationery, pair one, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand loyalty is low
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Attitudes towards personal stationery, pair two, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Two in five usually shop at the same retailer
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Attitudes towards personal stationery, pair three, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Split opinions on the importance of using high-quality stationery
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Attitudes towards personal stationery, pair four, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • Physical diaries resist the move to digital calendars
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Attitudes towards personal stationery, pair five, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                              • The pleasure of sending physical post
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Attitudes towards personal stationery, pair six, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                                                    Greetings Cards & Personal Stationery Retailing - UK - July 2017

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