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Diwali greeting cards demand dips by 70%
Demand of Diwali cards has gone down by over 70% in the last 5 years due to advent of e-Cards, popularity of social networking sites, use of SMS, MMS and phone calls, etc.

INDUSTRY BODY Assocham has carried out a survey during the month of September-October under the aegis of its ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) on “Diwali cards lost its shine”, as majority of youngsters have taken to the modern means of communication to wish their near and dear ones with E-cards, SMSes during Diwali and on New Year.

“During the Diwali, the postal department is also facing the slump. There is a steep decline in the movement of Diwali post cards and greetings cards. Earlier, the postal department used to handle about 8,000 post cards and greeting cards per day during Diwali but now the numbers have come down to about 500 cards per day," reveals the survey.

The colourful and expressive greeting cards are fast losing their charm among citizens. A meager share of respondents spend time choosing greeting cards in shops.

Nearly 80 per cent of the respondents said that that they used to buy many greeting cards ahead of Diwali every year but now, they prefer sending e-cards or text messages to everyone as it is more convenient and less time consuming.

“Majority of the Card shop owners too admitted that they are witnessing thin sales over last 5 years. Only those having near and dear ones abroad are sending greeting cards. Also the corporate sectors and politicians prefer greeting cards to wish others these days," added a retailer at a greeting card shop.

Greeting cards are slowly losing their sheen due to the emergence of newer technologies such as e-cards, smaller households, and the ability of people to make their own greeting cards. Rise of the Internet and mobile phones as a medium for socializing is also affecting the greeting cards market, adds D.S. Rawat, Assocham's Secretary General.

“Growing convenient and cost effective alternatives such as e-cards are also hampering growth of traditional greeting cards”, Mr. Rawat added.

Majority of card owners also said that they have already converted their dedicated greeting card shop to gift items shops due to decline in greeting cards demand in the market.

Traditionally, it has been a medium to express love, affection, care and lot more emotions to friends, family members and well-wishers. These cards provide a gentle and emotional way to express the feelings from the sender towards the receiver in the most appropriate way.

Over the last couple of years, there has been a 70% decline in sales of greeting cards, although cards meant for different occasions and 'days'—mother's day, father's day have witnessed a dramatic rise.

According to Assocham's estimates, the total size of the greeting card industry is between Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore in India. The Global Greeting Cards Market to Reach US$30.4 Billion by 2015.

Consequently, publishers are beefing up their offerings to include cards for every gender, age group, occasion, ethnicity and relationship, highlights the survey.

Around 55 per cent of the survey respondents fall under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26 per cent), 40-49 years (16 per cent), 50-59 years (2 per cent) and 60-69 years (approximately 1 per cent).

The survey was done in the major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabd, Pune, Chandigarh, Dehradun, etc. A little over 200 employees were selected from each city on an average.

The survey was able to target corporate employees from 18 broad sectors, with maximum share contributed by employees from IT/ITes and BPO sector (17 per cent).

Employees working in engineering and telecom sector contributed 9 per cent and 8 per cent respectively in the questionnaire. Nearly 6 per cent of the employees belonged from market research/KPO and media background each. Management, FMCG and Infrastructure sector employees share is 5 per cent each, in the total survey. Respondents from power and real estate sector contributed 4 per cent each. Employees from education and food& beverages sector provided a share of 3 per cent each. Advertising, manufacturing and textiles employees offered a share of 2 per cent each in the survey results.

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