by Greeting Carp
Khanov Greetings, owner and
Andrei and Elena Khanovs, managing director and
art director of Khanov Greetings and Greeting Carp:'We operate in the premium
segment of the market which has been growing over the last few years, especially
in everyday sector.
Sales of Christmas cards were woeful in 2011. One
of the reason for this 'great Christmas greeting card collapse' is the
last Christmas holidays in Russia were far too long (3-4 weeks).
During this holiday season many people prefer to
leave cold and snow Russia and make tour of Thailand, the Maldives, the
Canary islands, ect. As a result heaps of Christmas gifts and cards were
not sold. As a result, the gross profit of the Russian retailers in the
Christmas run up decreased by 25-50% compared to the Christmas season of
On a positive note, card sales of the Russian Spring
events (Russian Men's and Women's Days and St Valentine's Day) this year
increased compared to last year.And in January-February the gross profit
of many Russian companies grew by 25-50%. But in March, following the Russian
presidental elections growth came to a halt. Both buyers and sellers fear
a new wave of economic crisis, highter taxes, ect, and are behaving very
the medium and economy class segment, cheaper greeting cards are squeezing
out their higher quality counterparts.
In the premium segment (where we operate) the quality
of greeting cards sold and the retail prices paid are growing. In this
segment, greeting cards do not play the usual role as much (sending goods
wishes), but are used more to project the giver's personality.
For example we produce postcard with raps on to
the music of some popular songs. As a result, often at a wedding or a birthday,
there is a collective reading of these raps.
|Such greeting cards are recited for several hours,
with up to four bottles of wine being emptied while they are doing it!
Russia and China share a common
border - that says it all. The Russian greeting card markets is just starting
to complete with unbranded greeting cards from China. The design is less
of a considerations. It is all about 'selling at low prices'.
|Top: A scene on Khanov
Greetings and Greeting Carp's stand at the recent Moscow Book Fair.
||Above: Andrei Khanova
with one of the company's Vredina cards. "Vredina is an inoffensive (almost
affectionate) Russian word to call a nice person who disagrees with you
on something, ' he explains.
Thankfully, sustaned marketing efforts are starting
to have an effect on changing the customers' perceptions, and for that
reason, the demand for the Chinese unbranded goods is declining. We continue
to wage 'the Great War against the Great Wall'.
Very few greeting cards in Russia are sent by mail.
The reason is that way back in the 1990s our postal service started to
tighten the purse string, just like in the UK and the US today. First mailboxes
disappeared from the streets. Then postmen's visits became less frequent.
Then the standart size of letter was changed. Than the lenght of time taken
for the post to arrive was extended.
We are very much looking forvard to PG Live to
see the new things and to better appreciate the differents between the