Above are interactive slides from my talk at Spring Fair International on greeting card, stationery and gift market trends. All images include hyperlinks so that you can click straight through to the websites of any companies you may be interested in. Feel free to share this using the links above.
The key take away points from my talk are summarised below:
Handmade, crafting and up cycling all remain strong trends and this is likely to continue this year. Knitting, crafting and stamp booking are all rising in popularity in the UK. Fuelled by of our interest in looking after the planet by reducing, reusing and recycling.
Sentiment is stronger and clever use of language and humour on text based cards, gifts and stationery continues to grow. Staying connected and close to loved ones is still important and it looks like there will be a rise in popularity in stationery and card sending. Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to write and send a considered thank you note each day throughout 2014.
We are also spending more time together looking back. So nostalgia, particularly vintage and retro, ranging from the 1920's through to the 1980's is doing well. It's all being done with a contemporary take to keep it fresh and interesting.
Nature is also a very strong trend. British woodland creatures are doing well. One of the big trends this year has ben owls which have been selling really well in cards and gifts . Foxes are going to be stepping into the limelight in the coming months and are set to be big this year.
British made and ethically sourced gift and stationery items has been one of the continuing current trends. The jubilee and the Olympics last year saw a huge British revival and our confidence on the world stage continued with Andy Murray winning Wimbledon and the US Open last year, Chris Froome winning the Tour de France (after Bradley Wiggin's win last year) and the English cricket team winning the ashes. The Commonwealth Games are being held in Glasgow in 2014, so we should continue to ride this wave of revived British pride.
Big events have been recognised as key drivers for retail sales. The birth of baby George has been key to growing baby product sales and forthcoming events like Shakespeare's 450th Birthday, World War I Centenary, the World Cup Football and the Commonwealth games will all offer opportunities for retailers.
Finally, one of the key observations to make regarding trends and how to improve your retail business is to pay attention to your customers needs and target them well. You can be as on trend as you like with your buying, but it the products are not priced and positioned well in your store you will not reap the benefits. Moreover, if your staff are not well trained and not focussed on making your customer's buying experience as pleasurable as possible your business will suffer as a result.