The western European photo merchandise market, including personalised calendars, greetings cards and the like, is expected to expand 11 per cent this year to sales of €470m (£405.4m), according to marketwatcher Futuresource.
Joanna Wright, senior market analyst at Futuresource, said that Germany dominated the market, with the UK in second place.
"Accounting for €127m of market value, [Germany] has the largest sales in the region. Photo cards are the exception, where the UK continues to lead the charge and follows Germany as the second-largest photo-merchandise market overall, witnessing 35 per cent growth and reaching nearly €70m [in sales]," said Wright.
Growth varies significantly both by country and by type of product. Wall décor – dominated by canvas prints – and photo cards achieved shares of 80 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, in some European countries, she said.
"This growth has been fuelled by increased services offered to consumers and a number of highly effective marketing activities, including promotional offers and prominent TV campaigns," said Wright. "In 2011, the canvas print market is expected to grow a further 32 per cent, reaching €23m."
Some products, such as calendars and cards, are seasonal and will likely boom in the lead-up to Christmas, she added, and the market is highly fragmented overall.
Online mail order is the leading sales channel, accounting for 84 per cent of sales across western Europe. However, some UK retailers are starting to roll out in-store merchandise equipment, suggesting strong growth for in-store channels through 2012.
"It is also important to consider the notable shift in southern Europe, away from online ordering, with 62 per cent of single image gifts taking the order-in-store approach in the Spanish market," said Wright.
The photo merchandise market is predicted by Futuresource to grow steadily until at least 2014.
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