Marks & Spencer is to take on card retailers such as Clinton and WHSmith, and online specialists such as Moonpig, with the launch of a personalised card service.
The retailer aims to grab a slice of the £10m online greetings card market with an offer comprising 1,200 exclusive designs sold through website marksandspencerpersonalised.com.
Traffic to personalised card websites has doubled since 2008, Marks & Spencer said. The value of the market is expected to reach £130m by 2013 and research has shown that a third of Marks & Spencer customers already use such services.
Marks & Spencer Direct director Dave Hughes said: “Our customers tell us that despite the fact that we live in a computer age, they still get a thrill when they find a card waiting for them on the doormat.
“The digital revolution hasn’t diminished that and has made it easier to add a personal touch.”
The service is being run with Marks & Spencer’s existing card supplier Tigerprint, a division of Hallmark.
M&S has set itself a target of increasing Direct’s sales to £500m by 2010/11.