And its GOOD news!! 

Brick and Mortar retail is NOT dying…its changing!

The consumer is driving this change.  The string of well-publicized store closings reflects a very real shift in consumer preferences and buying habits.   Stores that failed to understand and respond to these changes have suffered.   But among those retailers that do understand there is a frenzy of activity to respond to those changes. 

As a 2019 RIS study proclaims:

 “Growth and optimism characterize a dynamic era when retailers are busily engaged in bold transformation.” 

As retail transforms itself, how do Greeting Card publishers take advantage of this opportunity?  

Remember that your customer is NOT like today’s apparel shopper (57% online), or electronics shopper (40% online).   Your customers buy less than 10% of their cards online, and they still want to touch, and feel, and get personal with your cards as they shop.   That’s good news.

But they are changing WHERE they shop.   The continuing retail transformation creates a challenge for you to follow your consumer to their preferred outlets and be in a position to engage them there.  

That engagement must change.   Successful brands recognize that it is harder than ever to capture consumers’ attention amidst the crowded stream of info and stimuli.   This requires louder and bolder and quicker messaging and displays.  It requires agility and flexibility in your physical form to take advantage of new locations within stores.     

Consumers have rejected the status quo!  That spells opportunity in change.  Challenge everything!  Be willing to experiment and test new ideas at the point of sale.  Work with your display provider to break new ground.   Your customers are ready to respond!   

David Wilke – Chair, Associates Committee