Slim pickings for greeting cards at big box stores; industry still in tact

According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans are still buying more than six billion cards per year. However, greeting card industry sales are declining at an annualized rate of three percent through 2023, according to IBISWorld.

But, sometimes a card is just needed for certain occasions.

JC Woods with Anvil Cards in Houston said people want to send their well wishes in a way that's totally unique.

"Folks are looking for premium things. And they are getting away from big box card stores because they're not adapting. They haven't done anything to really change the rack or spice up the rack or be more artisan or be more local," said Woods.

Anvil Cards does a lot of custom work and inside jokes for the Houston area and themed cards. Woods designs, prints on premium paper that he says you “can feel the difference with the linen stock” and even creases his cards. That’s something the big box stores and greeting card corporations don’t do.

"They're buying cheaply printed cards from overseas. The quality's not there. The art's derivative. The message is about as bland as it can be and they haven't adapted. They haven't made new products," said Woods.

He said he thinks it’s a demand for good art. He sees Millennials appreciate cards more; and those age 30-50 tend to be his biggest customers.

E-cards tend to pale in comparison to getting a card via snail mail.

Woods added that people have fickle tastes and it’s hard to fit everyone, so he stocks heavy, especially during holidays, like the biggest card selling holidays—which is Mother’s Day.

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