WINSIGHT GROCERY BUSINESS JUNE ;;;; ;;
gift bags and more—both in-store and online. “As more
retail items are sold online, the opportunity to provide
customers with the convenience of picking up a card to
pair with a gift or express a sentiment is narrowed to a few
markets where the retail customer is still shopping in a
brick-and-mortar establishment, such as the grocery market,” says Judy Magee Dugan, co-founder of greeting card
manufacturer Jumping Cracker Beans, San Jose, Calif.
“We’ve been seeing the grocery market add more gift
and ;oral items, so we have recently started speci;cally
focusing on obtaining more of that market,” she says.
Grocers who maximize greeting cards and gift-related
merchandising and displays, o;er products that resonate
with shoppers and step up the seasonal ;air are best positioned for category success.
Building a Destination
When Kimberton Whole Foods, a family-owned community market with six stores in northeastern Pennsylvania, wanted to refresh its greeting card merchandising, it turned to Darla Markley, a greeting card industry
expert and principal of Darla Markley Sales in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Markley represents Jumping Cracker Beans’ line
of everyday cards—many of which are food- and gar-den-themed, and thus pair well with gourmet or ;oral
gifts purchased at grocery—and other greeting card lines
such as Calypso, Notes & Queries and Artist to Watch.
“Kimberton wanted to cut space in the card department, so I came up with a plan that allowed them to
reduce the space, but in some cases gave them the same
or more pockets in which to merchandise cards,” Markley
While Kimberton Whole Foods previously employed
separate card spinners throughout its whole body/supple-ments department, it now has one mahogany ;xture containing four spinners. Three of the spinners are allocated
to best-selling occasions such as birthdays and sympathy,
while the fourth is reserved for seasonal cards. Each summer, the seasonal spinner will be ;lled with blank cards.
The new format is better organized and easier for customers to shop. “When the cards weren’t organized, the
caption balance was o;,” Markley says. “At least half of
the display should be birthday ;the No. ; selling card;.”
Before the reformatting, if there were an empty spot, it
would be ;lled randomly rather than with an eye toward
maintaining proper product assortment.
“It’s already been successful,” Markley says of the
reformatting. “Sales are most de;nitely up in the four
stores that have converted to the new format, and we’ve
had so many great comments from customers and
Perhaps most important to the success of Kimberton
mericans are generous gift givers and sen-
timent senders. The grocers who make it
convenient for shoppers to be so thoughtful
stand to gain from greeting cards, wrapping
paper and all the trimmings.
“The market for individual cards has remained fairly
stable for over a decade at just under ;; billion,” says
Steve Laserson, SVP and North American sales o;cer
for Cleveland-based American Greetings. “In fact, house-
hold participation for greeting cards is over ;;; across all
But as consumers increasingly go online for their gift
purchases—according to the ;;;; Deloitte holiday retail
survey, online spending continues to grow and was esti-
mated to account for ;;; of all purchases for the ;;;;
holiday season—where does that leave supermarkets with
salutations and seasonal greetings?
Interestingly, grocers may be uniquely positioned as a
top destination for greeting cards, gifts, wrapping paper,
Savvy supermarkets unwrap
fresh sales opportunities
in cards, gift bags, tissue,
seasonal decor and more.
By Jennifer Strailey
Source: American Greetings
Cards and Gift Wrap Nonfoods