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5:13 AM   April 21, 2014
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Greeting Card Challenges

As a category, greeting cards present several inherent difficulties for pet retailers. In racks, they represent hundreds of additional pieces of stock – all of which need to be straightened, reordered and updated on practically a daily basis.

When merchandised properly, they can bring in high margins on a consistent basis. Increase your chances of success with an eye toward the top three obstacles in the category.

“Inventory, maintenance and display are the three big challenges for retailers when it comes to greeting cards,” said Peggy Dial, president of Hunkydory Paper Products in San Antonio.

Putting a single, trusted staff member in charge of ordering and stocking your greeting card products avoids holes created when you sell out of popular items. Consumers look to retailers to provide a one-stop source for certain products. To create that perception with greeting cards, it’s important to go in deep and keep the shelves consistently stocked.

“When retailers have had cards and they’re not working for them, typically what happens is they decide they’re going to do a small rack,” Dial said. “The problem with greeting cards is that the typical greeting card customer will buy 3 to 8 greeting cards at a time. If all you’re offering is 12 styles, that’s not enough.”

Further create the perception of one-stop shopping for pet-themed greeting cards with displays that match the competition.

“Look at how American Greetings and Hallmark present their cards,” Dial said. “They’re not on spinners. There’s a floor full of them. They’ve been doing it for a very long time. There’s a lot of research that goes into that.”

Keeping that many cards organized and clean in a pet-store setting may be your biggest challenge.

“Often, pets are in the store and people’s hands are dirty,” Dial said. “Maybe pets’ noses get on the cards.”

Try putting samples of your top sellers on a nearby shelf. When customers pick up the samples, the fresh cards stay clean and organized in the rack on the wall. <HOME>

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