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Selfies could be about to make 140-year-old holiday tradition disappear

26 September 2017 08:15

Selfies and social media have led to a decline in postcard sales

Selfies and social media have led to a decline in postcard sales

Sending a postcard from your holiday at the seaside is a treasured memory for many Brits. Now, a 75% decline in postcard sales suggest the tradition could be grinding to a halt.

Britain's oldest postcard company, J. Salmon, has announced it will cease trading in December blaming the huge increase in the popularity of social media for its dramatic decline in sales.

The firm says rises in Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook mean photo mementos from a British seaside break are no longer in high demand.

Joint managing directors Charles Salmon, 61, and his brother Henry, 56, have sent a letter to its supply chain, announcing the firm's "proposal to withdraw from publishing".

The company - established in 1880 - reports that sales of traditional postcards have fallen to a quarter of those in its glory days, reducing from 20 million in the 1990s, to just five million today.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror , seaside newsagent Barry Starling, who has a busy shop on the Norfolk coast, said: "It will be a great shame to see them go - but our sales have fallen from more than 30,000 cards a year to under 10,000. People now just use their mobile phones these days to send picture and holiday greetings."

Short British breaks

The postcard firm is also blaming changing holiday patterns its demise, saying holidaymakers now head to the seaside for short trips, rather than longer breaks.

Mr Charles said: "Changing spending and holiday patterns and new technology have had a huge effect on the business. People are going for shorter breaks, not for a fortnight, so you're back home before your postcards have arrived."

"One of the biggest changes we've seen over the last 20 years is the marked decline in the popularity of two-week holidays and the rise of short breaks," the Office for National Statistics (ONS) told the Guardian newspaper in August 2017.

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