SOURCE: Unity Marketing

December 07, 2007 09:47 ET

Christmas Cards Could Be Solution for Budget-Weary Holiday Shoppers

New Study From Unity Marketing Examines Greeting Card Market and Finds Optimism for Holiday Card Sales

STEVENS, PA--(Marketwire - December 7, 2007) - With gas over $3 per gallon and heating oil prices through the roof, housing values down and consumer confidence falling like a ton of bricks, the Christmas shopping season is looking pretty bleak for many retailers.

"Despite the extra week shoppers get between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, we don't expect spending on gifts to rise much, if at all, this year," Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of "Shopping: Why We Love it and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Consumer Experience." "This year shoppers are looking for ways to economize. One way budget-conscious consumers can deliver holiday best wishes without breaking the bank is by sending Christmas cards instead of gifts."

This year could turn the tables on a recent trend in cutting back on giving Christmas greeting cards, Danziger predicts based upon the findings of a new Unity Marketing study on the greeting card and stationery markets. Unity Marketing's research found that in 2006 the market for greeting cards made a big comeback after four years of steadily declining sales, rising over 11 percent from 2004 to 2006 to reach $10 billion.

"For years the market for Christmas cards have been on the decline. But this year may reverse that trend. Some 14 percent of greeting card and stationery consumers expect to send more Christmas cards this holiday season. Many shoppers feeling a financial pitch may well return to the tradition of sending Christmas cards and forego more elaborate presents for some on their lists." She notes that middle-income consumers, those with incomes $50,000 to $74,000, are the most likely to send more Christmas greetings this year.

"Retailers uncertain about the holiday season may want to move their Christmas card displays front and center. For those consumers nervous about crossing Aunt Esther off their gift list due to budget tightening, a greeting card may be the ideal way to preserve the holiday spirit," Danziger says.

For more information about the new study, visit

About the Greeting Card, Stationery, Gift Wrap & Party Goods, and Paper Crafting Report, 2007: The Ultimate Guide to the Stationery Market

This report examines the $37.4 billion stationery industry. It provides the latest statistics on the growth and sales in the stationery market, including details by channel of distribution and product category, specifically:

-- Greeting cards, both those sold individually and in boxed sets;

-- Paper crafts and crafting, including scrapbooking and make-your-own

-- Social stationery, notably specialty paper for writing, computer

-- Gifting and Party Goods, such as gift wrap and bags and other gifting
   supplies, paper party goods;

-- Other stationery, including calendars, date books, blank books,
   desk accessories, albums; and

-- Custom-printed card and stationery for personal use.

Based upon both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, the study reports findings from the latest in-depth survey of 1,205 recent stationery buyers (65 percent female/35 percent male; average age 41.9 years; average household income $63,600) and compares it with the results of a similar survey conducted in 2005.

With a focus on consumers, their buying behavior, needs, desires and preferences, this research study includes research data and statistics about:

--  Stationery Goods Market Size and Growth:  What is the size of the
    overall stationery goods market, as well as the six key product segments
    (e.g. greeting cards, social stationery, custom-printed cards and
    stationery, gift wrap and party goods, paper crafting products and other
    stationery products) and how rapidly is it growing?   How is the stationery
    goods market segmented by type of product?
--  Demographics of the Stationery Goods Market:  What are the demographic
    characteristics of people who buy stationery goods products? How is
    stationery goods buying behavior influenced by demographic segments (e.g.,
    gender, age, household income (HHI), size, composition, ethnicity/race,
    education, etc.)?
--  Stationery Goods Buying Behavior:  What are the primary
    characteristics of the consumers' buying behavior related to stationery
    goods in general and the four product segments (e.g. greeting cards, social
    stationery, custom printed stationary and cards, gift wrap and party goods,
    paper crafting products and other stationery products) in particular?  Why
    do they buy these goods and how do consumers' motivations different by
    product category segment?  Where do they shop for the different types of
    stationery products; what factors influence their decision making; how much
    do they spend buying each of the stationery goods product segments and
    across the entire stationery goods category; what is the role of brand in
    stationery goods product selections and shopping choices?  How do different
    demographic segments differ in their shopping and buying behavior?
--  Psychographic Profile and Segmentation of the Greeting Card Markets:
    A psychographic profile of the greeting card buyers is developed in this
    report.  The profiles identify four different types or personalities of
    consumers of greeting card.  These profiles identify different drives and
    motivations found among consumers in purchasing greeting cards; what
    factors are more or less important in driving greeting card purchasing
    decisions; and how can greeting card marketers and retailers better
    understand the hearts and minds of their consumers.  In essence, we
    discover 'why people buy greeting cards.'

Special Features in Greeting Card, Stationery, Gift Wrap and Party Goods and Paper Crafting Report, 2007

Included in this report are:

-- Brand preferences in greeting card, stationery products and retailers.

-- Powerful guidance for retailers and marketers in pricing of different
   stationery products, based upon research findings of what the majority
   of consumers are paying today when they make their purchases.

-- 6 Marketing Opportunities that will mean greater success for companies
   and retailers that develop strategies to take advantage of these
   emerging opportunities.

-- 8 research-based Business Building Tactics to help stationery and
   greeting card marketers and retailers grow a more vibrant business.

About Pam Danziger and Unity Marketing

Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights, especially for marketers and retailers that sell luxury goods and experiences to the masses or the 'classes.' She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992.

Advising such clients as PPR, Diageo, Stearns & Foster, Waterford/Wedgwood, Lenox, Swarovski, Prudential Fine Homes, Italian Trade Commission, Orient-Express Hotels, The World Gold Council, and The Conference Board, Danziger taps consumer psychology to help clients navigate and master the changing luxury consumer marketplace.

In recognition of her ground-breaking work in the luxury consumer market, Pam received the Global Luxury Award presented by Harper's Bazaar for top luxury industry achievers in 2007.

Her latest book is "Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience," published by Kaplan Publishing in October 2006. Her other books include "Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses--as well as the Classes," (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $27, hardcover) and "Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior" (Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004).

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Pam Danziger