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BROOKLYN, Ohio — Getting the most from the card category depends not only on the right merchandise, but also on the right merchandising. Outposting and signage can have a big impact on the department.
Merchandising elements, such as cohesive signage, caption locators, call-outs and detailed product descriptions, are important to the department not just seasonally, but also year-round because they help guide consumers in the aisle and make the section more appealing to shop. American Greetings works with retailers year-round to create an engaging and cohesive look that attracts consumers to the aisle and makes shopping the aisle easy.
“To assist our retailers in creating the right environment, we’ve led a significant transformation of the shopping experience, highlighted by dynamic merchandising systems that set the stage for our latest introductions,” said Frank Cirillo, a spokesman for American Greetings.
Cirillo said the strategy used during the Christmas holiday selling season is a good example of how AG works with retailers to create merchandising and signage based on its extensive consumer intelligence data.
“In the card aisle this Christmas season, we used a lot of red and green, as well as seasonal imagery and iconography, to let consumers know exactly what can be found, but we also developed engaging call-to-action messaging urging consumers to ‘make their holidays the happiest,’” Cirillo said. The focus on creating a boutique builds excitement in the store and can boost seasonal sales.
Hallmark also uses signage to call out innovative new products in the card aisle. At CVS, Hallmark’s signage highlights “innovations” and calls attention to the company’s webcam greetings, cards with sound and displayable greeting cards.
Drawing attention to new products is crucial because innovation is the fuel that drives the category. Consumers have an endless appetite for novelty, particularly when it comes to technology.
AG’s Illuminotes, introduced this fall, feature a frosted vellum window and a diffused light. Another collection of holiday cards allows senders to record their voices as they sing along to background music of a popular carol, creating a personalized audio message for the card’s recipient. The Yakety Yak line of cards, also recently introduced, features music and motion technology to relay a humorous message. The new lines all incorporate the latest technology to create cards that consumers are likely to spend more for because they are keepsakes that can be shared.
Not all of AG’s new lines include chips, but low-tech innovation can be just as entertaining. Flipbook, which produces animation the old-fashioned way, is a new line designed to be a fun way to introduce kids to card-giving. “It’s A Gas,” another recent AG introduction, is a line of whoopee cushion cards that can be signed and sent in an accompanying envelope.