Budget greetings card retailer Card Factory is launching a new “Festive Family Photocards” service, which offers the chance to get a family photo taken by a professional photographer, following the trend of annual family photoshoots by the likes of the Kardashians.
The Wakefield-based group has engaged UK celebrity couple Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash to launch the service as more people opt for personalised Christmas cards.
Card Factory is launching its own pop-up shoots in stores across the country and families can also create their own cards online. Each family Christmas card comes with a personalised message, printed and delivered directly to the customer’s home.
The rise in personalised family Christmas cards has been spurred on by the Kardashians and the Royal Family, including the Cambridges and the Sussexes.
Customers in Leeds will be able to visit Card Factory’s "Festive Family Photocards" service at the Crown Point Retail Park store from November 14 to 17.
They will be able to choose from an array of photo backgrounds and festive props, before having their portrait taken by a professional photographer.
For those unable to make it into a participating store, the service will also be available online with the full range of backgrounds and themes.
Card Factory regional manager Jon Balding said: “We have seen a rise year-on-year of demand for personalised Christmas cards so we thought - why not take it one step further?
"We hope customers in Leeds will love the Family Festive Photocard service as much as we do, and that it will help to make Christmas extra special this year.
"The service was created to give every Card Factory customer the opportunity to take a proper family portrait - something that can often be reserved just for the rich and famous."
The service will be available online until December 31 and at select stores across the UK for a limited time, priced at £10 for 10 cards.
The new service was launched as Card Factory announced results for the nine months to October 31. The group saw year to date revenue growth of 5 per cent and overall like-for-like sales rose 0.9 per cent.
The firm said a focus on range and customer experience led to an increased average spend both in stores and online, which helped to offset the impact on like-for-like sales from weaker footfall in the third quarter. Third quarter like-for-like sales fell 0.4 per cent.
The group said full year profits will be broadly in line with its previous expectations.
Card Factory's chief executive Karen Hubbard said: "I am pleased with our year-to-date performance. Our ongoing focus on customer experience, and the quality and range of our card and complementary non-card products, has led to an increased average spend both in stores and online. This has helped us to substantially offset the effect of the lower high street footfall experienced in the quarter and the corresponding impact on our like-for-like sales.
"We remain on track with our new store roll out and are focused on pursuing other new growth opportunities and retail partnerships to extend our market penetration in the UK and overseas.
"Our quality/value proposition and new product ranges give us confidence that we are well positioned to deliver a good performance in our key fourth quarter trading period. The board anticipates profits for the full year to be broadly in line with its previous expectations."
Zoe Mills, retail analyst at GlobalData, said: ‘‘Card Factory is heading into the Christmas period in an enviable position, with growth in its year to date group sales accelerating against strong comparatives, while its competitors face declining high street sales and store closures.
"Yet its existing store estate continues to plague its like-for-like performance with its third quarter like-for-like sales declining by 0.3 per cent, hindered by declining footfall.
"Given Card Factory’s outperformance in seasonal categories, the greetings card specialist must focus on its existing store portfolio to ensure that it can continue to steal market share from midmarket players such as Clintons and WH Smith."