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Starting A Greeting Cards Business - Retail

Oct 30, 2007
What business offers high profit margins with sales all year round? Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Easter, Valentines Day, Birthdays & Christmas are just some of the many occasions celebrated around the world and they all demand greeting cards and associated products.

Retailing greeting cards, small gifts, tags, ribbons, bows, key rings & fridge magnets all offer high profit margins. The minimum mark up is over a hundred percent but because the retail price is low, people do not mind paying a decent premium.

Most suppliers are happy to give thirty to sixty days credit whilst your customers pay cash! Cashflow is important in any business and this business offers great cashflow.

Location is key to the success of this business. Find a busy road where other retailers have set up shop and there is a high foot flow. It is not necessary to be in the town centre where rents and rates can be far too high. A busy market or main thorough fare is good enough.

The hours are good as mainly you will have to be open at 9:00am and finish by 5:30pm six days a week with Sundays off. I know of one retailer who starts a little later around 10:00am but then stays open until 6:30pm to cater for people buying a gift on their way home from work.

The design of the shop front and interior can make or break this business. Creating a front that is appealing and then spending money on quality shop fitting is money that will be well spent. Many small greeting card retailers make the mistake of not displaying their wares correctly.

You will need a minimum of 1000 square feet of display plus somewhere to carry your stock. The premises should be carpeted and well lit so that your customers feel a warm and friendly atmosphere. By using warm spotlights properly you can highlight the merchandise and emphasize the fast moving items. Proper use of glass displays will help in selling those high profit margin small gifts.

Stock management is important in this business. If you buy too little stock, your customers will end up going elsewhere. If you buy too much stock, then you will have to wait until next year before you can sell it again!

Ensure that stock levels are maintained and remove stock immediately once the season is over so that your customers always see the right cards at the optimum time. Some suppliers will even offer to take your excess stock back once the occasion is over.

You will have to accommodate for most budgets and tastes. This will involve carrying a large range of styles and different formats so that you can cater for people of all ages. And do not forget your wrapping solutions... from gift wrap, gift bags, bottle bags and money wallets.

Many suppliers provide retailers with beautiful stands on free loan provided that they are used to display their cards only.

By offering a tremendous selection of good quality greeting cards and using proper stock rotation this will translate into decent sales, repeat customers and great sales! People love buying beautiful greeting cards and if you get the shop front right, offer great service and your display is spot on, then there is no reason why you can not be a successful greeting cards retailer.
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