Gifts Today magazine

Cyril focuses on future

Changes mean Cardgains’ new programme shows passion for all independent retailing.

A shift in core membership has see Cardgains change their focus for their graphics and marketing programme in 2016 with the new strapline Passionate About Independent Retailing designed to reflect this.

But, despite the Sheffield-based buying group finding that many greetings retailers have changed their ratio from 90 per cent cards to include a higher percentage of ancillary products, they’ve also seen a growth for card sales as more shops offer them.

Cardgains joint MD Chris Dyson said: “Over several years we have seen a shift in our core membership of greetings card shops and see that more space has been created for other necessary products.

“Historically many card shops were 90 per cent cards, where now our surveys show it to be a lot less percentage-wise – this is great news for the ancillary product suppliers and, consequently, Cardgains and the members have seen growth in these areas, particularly in candles and home fragrance, and also gifts, party and jewellery.

”Interestingly the shift has also meant growth for greetings cards as the consumer is drawn to shops offering more product diversity where they can also still buy quality, value for money cards at good prices, and can buy their gifts and self-purchases too."

The Cardgains team will remain focused on customer service and supporting their loyal greetings card retailers, yet they say they now feels their advantages, trading terms, bonus opportunities and marketing offer great benefits to other retail sectors outside traditional greetings stores.

This has become apparent in the type of outlets wanting to join the group and Cardgains feel their portfolio now offers so much more choice than even just a few years ago with some really big names, as well as some fantastic new niche products and suppliers offering a great product portfolio for all.

Chris added: “Part of our strategy for 2016 is our intention to develop all the store types of our existing membership. The strength and breadth of the 2016 portfolio will also make Cardgains effective to non-traditional retailers.”

The buying group’s character Cyril Service has had a makeover to bring him bang up to date, losing his hi-viz jacket from the past year for a smarter look to show how he’s a more passionate, approachable and communicative kind of guy.

After being with the Company for 5 years, Cyril now has his own direct email address and has taken on the important role of social media communication so is very active on both Twitter (@CyrilService) and Facebook (Cyril Service at Cardgains).

In 2016 Cardgains will continue their social media development programme and move on to provide social media training courses for members with regional events planned for later in the year – any members wishing to register for a place on one of the courses can email Cyril on

Penny Shaw, Cardgains Marketing Director, said: “The social media platforms are very exciting and still relatively new to our industry. We’ve seen how quickly news can spread through these communication mediums and believe we can all benefit by getting involved. “Our idea to help suppliers came early in 2015 and we have already seen increased interaction and activity with Cyril from those who attended the courses – however, we believe the next stage is to get more of our members Tweeting and Facebooking, liking and sharing their news to their customers, who are ultimately the consumers we all want to buy products from our stores.

“We’ve got some great ideas on how to do this, but Cyril is keeping them under his hat for the time being – his ideal is to reach the industry and beyond!”

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