Stockwell Greetings started 20 years ago as an artistic family business that manufactures all its greeting cards in the company’s hometown of Chicago, IL. In the beginning, Stockwell sold mostly to greeting card distributors, but later branched out to independent retail stores. Having already added gift bags and reading glasses to its offerings, Stockwell’s inventory will soon include giftwrap and an expanded greeting card line. With more than 7,000 loyal buyers, Stockwell Greetings has mastered the art of sending heartfelt messages, and has tapped a number of trends along the way.
“As of late, the trend in greeting cards has been to have as much modern color as possible, and very contemporary designs,” explains John Fenwick, owner. “If you look at today’s greeting card racks, you’ll notice that they look like racks of candy. They’re bright and eye catching. With that in mind, we’re keeping our greeting cards very colorful.” In keeping with the uptick in pigment, the company introduced a new line called Amazing Animals, and added color to the interior of its greeting cards, which feature new designs each month. Another trend Fenwick notices is the phrase, “Seasons Greetings,” being favored over “Merry Christmas.” Of the five million cards Stockwell sold last year, an increasing number proclaimed “Seasons Greetings.”
Sales have numbered in the millions this year, partly because of technology. “People thought that greeting cards were going to dwindle, but paper greeting cards are making a huge comeback,” Fenwick points out. “We’ve seen a surge in sales. With so many emails and texts flying around, digital cards can feel less important than real cards. Retailers should stock paper cards; not only are they making a comeback, but they are also one of the most profitable products a retailer can carry.” When the company recently offered a Groupon deal, it sold about two million cards in two days, most of which were blank stationary style cards. Fenwick found it interesting that a digital platform garnered such an enthusiastic response to paper cards, when it would have seemed less surprising for those customers to be drawn to email cards. “The way it works out, paper cards make more of an impact than people ever would have guessed,” he says.
Greeting cards wholesale for $.18, and retail for $2.75 or more. Cards are an easy impulse buy, even if there’s no holiday or birthday giving customers a reason to buy. There is no minimum order, but orders of $350 or more receive free freight. The company website has Stockwell’s latest deals, and recently added an option for customers to shop by individual design, rather than by broad category alone. Cards are packed in half-dozens, in order to give buyers the most freedom of choice.
For more information:
5410 W. Roosevelt Road #308
Chicago, IL 60644