The expansion of private sector business and growth of corporate houses have contributed to the survival of the greeting card industry in the face of tech revolution.
Although a huge section of people prefer greeting people during Eid through mobile SMS and internet, there is still a demand for printed greeting cards.
A few years ago, the industry witnessed a huge sale rush, but the scenario has changed significantly with the evolution of modern communication methods, industry
A myriad of greeting cards used to be sold during Eid, Durga Puja, Christmas and other national or religious festivals including the New Year celebrations, but the sale has come down to a few thousand round the year,
Nowadays, city people prefer digital cards over printed cards and therefore card makers have come to rely heavily on corporate firms as their core client base.
Since the tech evolution is on the rise, the greeters now prefer sending multimedia messages, emails, e-cards and short messages as the most convenient method of wishing someone.
They look upon the e-methods easy and time-efficient approach compared to that of buying greeting cards, writing on them and sending out afterward.
The rise of communications technology has led to decline in the card sale, adds the industry insiders.
Eid-ul-Fitr is fast approaching, but buyers are very handful as the e-greeting has got the upper hand over the age-old tradition of wishing someone through cards.
The industry now heavily relies on the sale to companies and firms, they said.
“The corporate business houses have been the lifeline for the sector. The use of greeting cards to wish well wishers and clients by the corporate firms has increased by more than 50% over the last few years,” Arman, manager at the branch of Azad Products at Purana Paltan, told the Dhaka Tribune.
There was a time when almost everyone used cards to greet their near and dear ones, but now the corporate houses and financial institutions have only kept up with the trend, said Arman.
“Three years ago, we used to be so busy before Eid that we hardly ever got the time to speak to anyone. But those are gone now. We hardly ever see the rush and excitement that we used to see a fews years ago.”
Over time, there have been changes to designs and patterns, Arman said. Recently, laser cards have come to the market and most multinational companies and well-off people are the major buyers of these expensive cards.
The production of Eid cards, posters and view cards has declined by over 40% in recent years, people involved with the sector
Many card makers have been forced to consider alternative trades to survive, they said.
“We do not mainly focus on the sale of cards anymore,” Harun Ar Rashid, owner of Halmark, a card and gift item seller at the New Market, told the Dhaka Tribune.
Hallmark, a privately-owned American Company, has been in business in Bangladesh since 1999. Although it deals in greeting cards, all Hallmark outlets now sell various products including gift wraps, party wares, soft toys, stationary, life celebration products, and so on.
Industry people said the use of cards is more popular in rural areas than in the capital and children and old people are the major buyers at the individual level.
Abdul Mobin, owners of Appollo, a card seller in Rajshahi, said: “We are just struggling to survive as the pattern of greeting has changed in the course of time and due to technological innovations.”