Magazine subscription company Unique Magazines has invested £30,000 in the launch of a new greetings cards offering, Cards from Unique with the potential to bring new jobs to the firm over the next five years.
Following the closure of around 350 Clinton Cards stores earlier this year and the continuing growth of the online greeting cards market, Unique is capitalising upon a market worth £1.38 billion each year to offer consumers the personal shopping experience of buying on the high street coupled with the convenience and value for money of purchasing online.
The site, www.cardsfromunique.co.uk offers a wide range of high quality cards for all occasions including birthdays, special events, weddings, anniversaries and Christmas. The new business will offer a selection of speciality sourced designs featuring different styles and captions - many of which are not available on the high street - from leading card manufacturers and smaller, more niche designers.
“Our research led us to understand that consumers want the convenience of buying online but still want to retain that personal shopping experience of picking up a card and looking inside which we have catered for through some of the technical developments of the site as well as our handwritten card service.
She added, “Buying a greetings card is very personal experience, with a customer spending time choosing the right card and verse for someone special. Traditionally online services have not been able to replicate the intimacy of a retail shopping experience, however thanks to the introduction of innovative browsing technology, CardsfromUnique customers will be able to ‘look inside’ their selected cards and have the personal shopping element of choosing cards on the high street but with a wider choice of product at a more competitive price.”
The UK has the most successful greetings cards industry in the world with each person on average sending 31 cards each year.
In its first year, CardsfromUnique is expected to generate £100,000 worth of sales from customers across the UK interested in greetings cards and gifts. The business currently has 1700 card designs available from suppliers including Hallmark, UKG and Tracey Russell and is already dealing with up to 200 orders a day in the run up to Christmas.
Unique Magazines was established in 2004 by John Porrett, a former director at Mills Convenience Store. The company has seen its turnover more than double from £480,000 to just over £1 million in the last two years and it aims to break through the £2 million mark by 2015. Unique handles 3,000 magazine titles from over 200 publishers which it supplies monthly to individual consumers as well as business customers including schools, libraries and marketing firms.