Whole Foods’ new greeting card display format is how
the card selection is resonating with shoppers. “You need
to know your audience,” Markley says. “People come to
Kimberton Whole Foods for cards, and they’re looking for
something that isn’t mainstream.”
For example, while Markley points out that the majority
of Americans prefer not to write their own sentiments in
a card, the educated, organic- and supplements-seeking
customers at Kimberton Whole Foods are comfortable
writing their own message, and thus blank cards sell well.
“Additionally, Pennsylvania has a high population of
seniors, so sympathy is the second best-selling card after
birthday,” she says. “And while wellness isn’t as popular
as it once was due to shorter hospital stays, encourage-
ment cards have become more important.”
In addition, the Keystone State also has a high number
of colleges and universities, which means that gradua-
tion cards are a critical seasonal item. Markley’s pro tip:
Keep graduation cards stocked through the Fourth of July,
because many folks acknowledge graduates during this
popular family holiday.
Challenge for Grocery
“As millennials buy a larger and larger share of greeting
cards, their preferences are being reflected in overall
card sales—meaning more alternative, di;erentiated and
expensive cards,” says George White, president and COO
of Up With Paper in Mason, Ohio. “They are usually buy-
ing them in specialty shops, so the challenge for grocery
is to provide the additional looks and formats needed to
keep them buying cards where they are buying their gro-
ceries, rather than losing these pro;table sales to other
Product placement is one way for grocers to promote
shopper engagement with greeting cards. White ;nds the
best way to generate increased seasonal greeting cards
sales is to merchandise seasonal cards in alternative loca-
tions rather than exclusively in the greeting card aisle.
Up With Paper has had the greatest sales success in grocery ;oral departments, such as those of St. Louis-based
Schnuck Markets. But White also sees opportunities with
greeting cards merchandised in the seasonal aisle, near
entryways and checkouts, or even in the pharmacy.
Tech Tidings and More
For shoppers seeking experiential cards and gifts, American Greetings launched its innovative Music ; Motion ;
More line this spring.
“Each card pairs bold audio with the latest motion tech-
nology for a totally new card experience,” Laserson says.
“Grocery shoppers will love these all-new, attention-grab-
bing designs that sing, dance, light up and pop out for kid
recipients of all ages.”
American Greetings also recently relaunched its just-
Wink humor program, which has seen growth in unit
share at grocery since its inception, Laserson says.
This summer, the company will roll out its well-ness-speci;c and youth-oriented All the Feels programs.
“These cards contain a heavy emphasis on ‘Thinking of
you’ and nonoccasion messages that deliver engagement
and generate store productivity for those stock-up shopping trips,” he says.
Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Mo., is also delivering
new ways to wow with the expansion of its Paper Wonder
collection this year. The company is featuring new designs
Cards and Gift Wrap Nonfoods
Meerkats and doughnuts
abound in American
Greetings’ pop-up cards.
in the seasonal aisle,
such as this display
from Up With Paper,
may attract holiday-minded shoppers.
his top card
trends in the
1 Consumers earching for
the opportunity to
2 Papercraft and textured
paper, which bring a
hands-on feeling to
3 Bright, bold colors that
4 Clever wordplay.
5 Wellness- specific
content such as
allows consumers to
reconnect in a way
that feels authentic