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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It is goodbye to greeting cards as demand drops

HYDERABAD: Saying happy Diwali with an SMS which has a diya made out of parentheses and hyphens seems to be beating the old fashioned greeting card with a pop-up diya hands down these days.
Demand for greeting cards during the festive season has gone down by a whopping 70% in the past five years, a new survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) which includes Hyderabad said. Gift shop owners across the city too lamented a sharp drop in sales of cards.
The recently concluded survey conducted under the aegis of ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) shows Diwali cards have lost out on their market as majority of youngsters prefer modern means of communication to wish each other.
The report revealed that the postal department too has seen a decline in movement of Diwali card with the number of such cards handled per day going from around 8000 a few years ago to 500 currently.
From being among the fastest moving items at gift shops in the city once, greeting cards find little to no takers now. "Sales in our stores have come down by around 200% over the past five years. Diwali used to be a very important time as it was one of the main seasons for greeting card and gift sales," said L C Umakant, owner of Shraddha Extension in Secunderabad.
"Now even corporate gifting has reduced as companies want to save money in this economy," he said, adding that even fancy items like big size cards which enjoyed huge demand three to four years ago with at least 50 to 60 pieces selling per day, has now dropped down to around 10 in a day.
With a steep fall in demand for greeting cards, city stores said that stocks too have been reduced to minimise losses.
"Last year we kept around 100 varieties of diwali greeting cards in our store. But this year it is down to just 25 varieties. Sales have suffered by around 40% in the last few years," said Puran Prasad, a Himalaya Book Store official.
Some stores are hopeful that the appeal of the 'personal touch' that comes with cards and gifts will draw more customers in the coming days.
Source : The Times of India

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