UK greeting card market report reveals £1.7 billion spent on cards in 2017

The latest annual greeting card market report has been released by the Greeting Card Association, revealing that the British public spent £1.7 billion on cards in 2017. This is a slightly reduced figure compared with 2016, down by 1.3% on value and 2% on volume.


Everyday cards accounted for 77% of the total retail value for the greetings industry, with an average retail price of £1.69 in 2017 compared to £1.68 in 2016. Christmas single cards account for 12% of the total with an ARP of £1.96, up from £1.90 in 2016. Precise information for Christmas boxes/packs was not obtained but this part of market was estimated to be worth £230 million a year from sales of 900 million cards.

Spring Seasons are worth 11% of total sales according to the report, with a value of £166 million and an ARP down from £1.97 in 2016 to £1.93 last year. This includes:

Valentines Day worth £45 million and an ARP of £2.19
Mother’s Day worth £67.7 millino and an ARP of £2.10
Easter (single and boxes/packs) is worth £14 millin and an ARP of £1.32
Father’s Day is worth £38.7 millino and an ARP of £1.73
Online physical or print on demand cards are estimated to be worth 4-6& of the total market.

GCA President, Ceri Stirland, Customer and Channel Director for UK Greetings, said in her analysis: “The UK greeting card industry continues to lead the world in terms of creativity, freshness and innovation. The card trade is directly and indirectly responsible for the livelihoods of over 100,000 people in the UK, supporting artists, designers, writers, paper manufacturers, printers, envelope suppliers and many other associated trades and retail”.

The reports covers the period from January – December 2017 and assumes that data submitted by GCA members accounts for 73% of the market by value and 64% by volume, which takes into account Card Factory, estimated online sales and non-member card publishers.

The research was carried out by independent research body, Echo Research, which received 42 responses for this year’s survey.

Elsewhere in the industry, The Art File owner and former GCA President, Ged Mace, was recognised with an Honorary Achievement at this year’s greeting card awards, The Henries. The Lyn Tait Most Promising Young Designer or Artist Award was given to Hotchpotch senior designer, Emma Pearce.

Images top to bottom: Bassett hound design by Josie Shenoy for The Art File, Woodmansterne, The Pop Out Card Company

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