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leader Editor Ella Hoyos H

ands up if you’re fed up hearing about the countries economic crisis, the Eurozone, unemployment, restrictions on business loans, the tightening of screws on mortgages,

inflation and all that garb?

Government ministers, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of England have all had their two pennies worth to say this month. The result of which is a whole lot of negativity which, quite frankly, is like hammering the final nails in the coffin of consumer confidence. The world’s state of affairs might be miserable, yes, but does it do justice to paint such a bleak picture without including a few rays of sunshine? Prime Minister David Cameron’s put it very bluntly by telling Eurozone leaders and the Canadian Parliament that we are ‘not quite staring down the barrel but the pattern is clear’.

It was the Beetles who coined the phrase ‘All we need is love’ but what we really all need right now is hope. In the psychology of life, we human beings can function quite happily in our own towns, communities and homes without having it drummed into us that the end is nigh. Perception is reality and if we are to believe there’s hope, and that good things are around the corner, then we can carry on functioning in much the same way as normal. All this matters when we are trying to perk up the economy. It’s true that the average householder now has bigger bills to pay, smaller returns on our savings and less disposable income, but we do still have some flexibility and choice in how to spend our money.

All this matters to the struggling independent shops, the pub landlords, the UK manufacturers and home-grown industries trying to do business in the current climate.

What our great leaders are forgetting to do right

now, is to big up the good stuff that this country has got going on. Great Britain is the world leader in design in the Greetings Card market. The British send and receive more cards per capita than any other nation. Does David Cameron know that, and more to the point does he care? As an industry it is our job, collectively, to tell this ‘buy British’ story to our customers and to our Government to engender more national and civic pride. Butchers and grocers do it with their meat and veg and so should we. As one retailer lamented this week, card publishers are almost apologetic in declaring where the card was produced. Why not make a big statement, why not carry a Union Jack badge? 7

It was this way of thinking that helped us to win the war last time, so we can do it again. Let’s play to our strengths, campaign to buy British and help this country get back on its feet, one card at a time.

We have a range of features in this month’s mag from running a franchise, gift wrap and accessories to glam up your card offer and female cards. Defining what appeals to a woman is certainly not without its pitfalls. How easy it is to fall into the clichéd trap that women are just about lipstick, shopping, shoes, handbags and all that glitters. I’ll be the last person to deny that these habits are almost exclusively female, but woman have many more hidden depths to their characters. If publishers and retailers want their card ranges to trigger women’s buying behaviour they need to avoid simply stereotyping and cater for a variety of tastes and temperaments.

Editors Pick

Sorry, did I say it was all doom and gloom right now? Well I was forgetting the cheerful business of National Cupcake Week which took place a few weeks ago. Sensing the industry’s sweet tooth on this subject, GT ran a little competition on twitter to source the tastiest cupcake card design. Congratulations to Jenny Wiscombe with her sweet treat of a design.

Do you agree/disagree? Send your views to: Tel: 01442 289942

“As an industry it is our job to tell this ‘buy British’ story to our customers and our Government.”

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