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Canada Post Increase Will Impact Greeting Card Sales

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Canada Post is soft-pedaling the impact that the postage price is going to have on various sectors of the economy, including charities concerned it will impact donations. However, in the Christian retail sector, we tend to see a higher rate of cost sensitivity. While different stores may notice the change to different degrees — some perhaps not at all — this is definitely a time to buy cautiously in the greeting card department, including commitments for 2014 Christmas cards which are due by March 31st.

The Toronto Star highlights the changes effective March 31st:

  • Domestic postage jumps from 63 to 85 cents, an increase of nearly 35%
  • Metered mail jumps to 75 cents for a domestic letter
  • New in 2014, stamps purchased individually are $1.00 (Note: It’s unclear how the Post Office will process sales of individual stamps needed to ‘upgrade’ existing stamps the extra 22 cents.)
  • The permanent or “P” stamps were taken off the market the day after the announcement
  • 40% of small businesses send 50 letters per month. Canada post cites a $55 increase for businesses sending 250 letters annually, but 50 a month would be 600 letters annually.
  • Flyer (direct mail) prices are unchanged.
  • Door to door mail delivery in Canada will begin being phased out and will completely cease in 2018

In addition to the impact on greeting card customers and the impact on mail your store sends, the increase also affects people sending mail to your store, such as churches remitting account payments.

For charities — including Christian missions and parachurch organizations — the increase is of utmost concern since mail is critical to receiving revenue. Many large donations come from older donors less likely to use online giving.

In the United States, the price for a first-class domestic letter is expected to rise from 46 cents to 49 cents on January 26th, an increase of 6.5% (compared to 34.9% here) with bulk rates also expected to rise 6%.

>>>Sidebar: David C. Cook Canada announced last week that for stores selling Dayspring counter cards at discounted rates, the consumer discount will drop January 2nd to 15% from 20%.

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