The Greeting Card Association- www.greetingcard.org (A good resource, an international organization that has been in existence since 1941)
*U.S. consumers purchase approximately 7 billion greeting cards each year, generating nearly $7.5 billion in retail sales.
*More than 90 percent of all U.S. households buy greeting cards, with the average household purchasing 30 individual cards in a year.
*The average person receives more than 20 cards per year, about one-third of which are birthday cards.
*Greeting cards range in price from 50 cents to $10, although counter cards typically cost between $2 and $4. Cards featuring special techniques, intricate designs and new technologies are at the top of the price scale.
*The exchange of greeting cards is one of the most widely accepted customs in the U.S. There are cards for virtually any occasion or relationship, and they are widely available. Approximately 100,000 retail outlets around the country carry greeting cards.
*Women purchase more than 80 percent of all greeting cards. Although women are more likely than men to buy several cards at once, men generally spend more on a single card than women.
*There are two categories of greeting cards -- Seasonal and Everyday. Total card sales are split approximately 50-50 between the two types.
The most popular Everyday cards are Birthday (60%), Anniversary (8%), Get Well (7%), Friendship (6%), and Sympathy cards (6%).
The most popular Seasonal cards are Christmas (60%), Valentine's Day (25%), Mother's Day (4%), Easter (3%), and Father's Day (3%) cards.
* There are an estimated 3,000 greeting card publishers in the U.S., ranging from small family-run organizations to major corporations. GCA-member publisher companies account for approximately 95 percent of industry sales.
*Nine out of 10 Americans say they look forward to receiving personal letters and greeting cards because cards allow them to keep in touch with friends and family and make them feel they are important to someone else.
*Although e-mail, text messaging and phone calls are valued by Americans for helping them communicate with family and friends, the majority of Americans say they prefer the old-fashioned handwritten card or letter to make someone feel truly special.
After spending several years concentrating on personal fulfillment and "cocooning," Americans are now focusing outward, seeking to connect, enhance and nurture their relationships with others.
Friendship cards, encouragement cards and other everyday non-occasion cards are proving popular in meeting this need, and continue to show the greatest sales growth of all card categories. The desire to reach-out with greeting cards appears to be strongest with Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, who are likely to view family and friends as the most important priorities in their lives.
The Designer Look
Greeting cards featuring high-style looks, inventive designs, unusual paper stocks and eye-catching embellishments are gaining favor with consumers who are seeking "something special" in their card-giving. This has led to the creation of more handcrafted cards, cards that are intricately designed or innovatively engineered, and cards incorporating ribbons, feathers, glitter, beads, etc. Despite their higher cost, the designer-fashion flare and artistic uniqueness of these cards continues to win the favor of many card purchasers.
Generation after generation, people have been saving greeting cards to remind them of the special relationships and events in their lives. Rather than tuck their keepsake cards in a dresser drawer or cedar chest, many consumers are now formally organizing and preserving their greeting card collections to enjoy time and again. "Scrapbooking" with greeting cards has become an especially fashionable way to document and share memories of...