Americans purchase 7 billion greeting cards every year. Annual retail sales of greeting cards are estimated at more than $7.5 billion.

The average person receives more than 20 greeting cards in a year, about one-third of which are birthday cards.

The exchange of greeting cards is one of the most popular and widely accepted customs in the United States. There are cards for virtually any occasion or relationship.

Nine out of 10 U.S. households buy greeting cards, with the average household purchasing 30 individual cards in a year.

Women purchase an estimated 80% of all greeting cards. Women spend more time choosing a card than men, and are more likely to buy several cards at once and to pay attention to the price. Men generally focus on buying one card for a specific occasion, and are unlikely to consider cost a key purchasing factor.

Greeting card prices can vary from 50 cents to $10. The cost of a typical counter card, however, is between $2 and $4. Cards featuring special techniques, intricate designs and new technologies are at the top of the price scale. – Courtesy of the Greeting Card Association.

* There are more than 3,000 greeting card publishers in the United States, ranging from individual studios and small family-run companies to major corporations.

* There are two categories of greeting cards – Seasonal and Everyday. Total card sales are split approximately 50-50 between the Seasonal and Everyday categories.

* The most popular Everyday cards are birthday cards, which account for more than half of all Everyday card sales, followed by wedding/anniversary, get well/sympathy, and friendship/encouragement cards.

* The most popular Seasonal cards are Christmas and holiday cards, which account for more than 60% of all Seasonal card sales, followed by Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Graduation cards.

* Electronic greeting cards (e-cards) are popular with Americans of all ages because they are casual, fun and spontaneous. Worldwide, an estimated 500 million e-cards are sent each year.

* More than 2 billion boxed and individual Christmas cards were sold in the U.S. last year.

* The card publishers belonging to the Greeting Card Association account for nearly 95 percent of U.S. industry sales.

* Greeting cards can be purchased almost anywhere. Approximately 100,000 retail outlets around the country sell greeting cards.

* Giving a greeting card creates a lasting impression and emotional bond between sender and receiver. In a national survey for the Greeting Card Association, nearly one-third of respondents said they keep the special cards they receive “forever.”

* E-cards often supplement traditional card sending, and are frequently sent as a spur-of-the-moment gesture or for an occasion too informal for traditional card. Because consumers rarely send e-cards in place of a traditional card, the availability of e-cards has expanded overall card-sending.

* All statistics exclude e-cards unless otherwise noted.

– Courtesy of the Greeting Card Association.

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