Fewer greeting cards, more exports of gift bags, paper: how Archies is growing its business?

(Representative photo) | Photo credit: iStock Images

Highlights

  • Less than 20% of greeting card revenue signals a shift in strategy for the giftware industry
  • Archies focusing on OEM business; export of gift bags, greeting cards to Europe, Africa
  • Despite store closures, lighten the business model; Archies says retail footprint is getting stronger

New Delhi: While the CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) had highlighted the unprecedented Diwali sales to claim the dynamism of offline markets, the extent of physical sales was mixed. CAIT noted 15 to 20 percent growth in distributors, retailers of consumer staples, durable goods, electronics, toys, kitchenware, footwear, optical and clothing; 70% business growth for local artisans, potters, artisans and small entrepreneurs, and said greeting card retail was not doing well.

Archies Limited, the market leader in the greeting card segment, has closed almost 70 stores since the start of the COVID pandemic and has transformed into a lean business model as all retail businesses have been affected. However, the company’s Archies spokesperson told ET Now that the company’s retail footprint and B2B business is doing well and that it has done much better this Diwali season compared to last year.

Although Archies’ revenue is no longer the same as in 2019, its spokesperson said the company is now better positioned in terms of overall health and has seen growth in terms of flow positivity. of cash compared to 2019. One of the reasons for this success is the diversification of the business into new areas like Archies Beauty, as the spokesperson admits that the card industry is not the same, the company deriving less than 20% of its revenue from greeting cards.

The gift industry, which has evolved from simple greeting cards to personalized products and gift bags over the past few decades, is no longer personified by greeting cards. But the existing manufacturing infrastructure and lessons learned from the donation activity are now being used beyond Indian shores.

Archies is looking forward to a shift in demand from China and a focus on OEM business as its work for companies located in Europe and Africa expands rapidly. Its 2.5 lakh square foot paper manufacturing plant in Manesar is for OEM business; by making gift bags, greeting cards and paper for export.

Mika R. Pyle