With restrictions on gatherings and travel due to COVID concerns, Americans are looking for safe ways to connect with friends and loved ones. Burned out on video chats, many are turning to an analog solution: greeting cards.
“People are eagerly seeking human connections during this pandemic, and understand the value of greeting cards to help them connect and further relationships when in-person contact is not possible,” says Nora Weiser, executive director of the Greeting Card Association in Aurora, Colo. “With fewer in-person holiday gatherings this year, card sales could also see an uptick. Unable to follow our usual traditions, people want to mark these occasions in some other way, and cards can offer that connection.”
Cards that fall into the “care and concern” category have been particularly popular, Weiser notes, along with embellished, higher-end cards, and those that celebrate diversity and inclusion. While baby boomers purchase more units than other generations, millennials now spend more money per year on greeting cards than any other demographic.
“Millennials often purchase more-elaborate cards that highlight good design, and sometimes might take the place of a gift altogether,” says Weiser. “Cards that are timely, reflect current events, and use humor are also popular with younger consumers.”
As the pandemic continues to limit consumers’ shopping trips, grocery stores have taken on outsized role in greeting card sales. To encourage that trend, Weiser suggests several strategies, including placing a selection of cards near the checkout counter—as Whole Foods Market does—driving traffic to the greeting card aisle with endcap displays, and featuring cards in seasonal merchandise aisles.
“While the size of the main greeting card sections have decreased in recent years,” she says, “merchandising cards in multiple locations in the store, such as seasonal, pet and especially floral, has increased significantly.”
Meanwhile, COVID has sparked the greatest cleaning frenzy the home care industry has ever seen. From laundry detergent to disinfectants to brooms and mops, consumers are cleaning up their acts.
Total U.S. multioutlet (grocery, drug, mass market, military and select club and dollar retailers) | Latest 52 weeks ending Oct. 4, 2020
Source: Market Advantage TSV; IRI Liquid data
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