Easter baskets are an indelible part of the holiday, but apart from a sugarloaf, what's their meaning? Nathan Rousseau Smith gives us a history lesson.
Greeting card companies need a sympathy note.
Many people give out cards in favor of digital alternatives or simply send fewer cards between major holidays such as Christmas and Valentine's Day.
Now major retailers, including CVS and Walmart, are ready to reduce their cards, and greeting card companies have closed down hundreds of standalone locations.
There are encouraging signs in some areas of the business, including premium cards costing more than US $ 10, budget cards costing less than US $ 1, and personalized options.
But Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy, told USA TODAY in an interview that the company has too much aisle for greeting cards. He said that the retailer, with around 9,600 locations, is moving more space on healthcare products after finding out that greeting cards are not selling well with an in-house analysis tool.
"More and more people are using text and e-mail and e-cards and fewer people are buying tickets, which is an area where the company expects a decline," said Hourican.
Walmart "thinks about what we put in stores," said the company's US CEO Gregory Foran "Do we really need the amount of linear footage we have in greeting cards?" He said earlier this month Conference Call
According to the greeting card, Americans still buy more than six billion cards a year, which did not provide more detailed statistics on trends in the industry.
However, greeting card industry sales will decline by 3 annually by 2023 ” width=”540″ data-mycapture-src=”” data-mycapture-sm-src=””/>
” width=”540″ data-mycapture-src=”” data-mycapture-sm-src=””/>
When it comes to greeting cards, the idea really matters. (Photo: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan)
And the retail space occupied by greeting card businesses went from 2013 to 2018 by more than 27 percent, according to the real estate company CoStar Group.
"One of the big factors that affect it is technology and social security le media and the ability to connect with people on special occasions through these platforms, "said IBISWorld analyst Tanvi Kumar, who has studied the industry. "There is a huge increase in eCards."
The disorder is bubbling in the traditional greeting card industry.
The second largest manufacturer in the industry, American Greetings Corp., sold a majority in April to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. The company replaced CEO John Beeder in just over a year in February and announced that former co-CEO Zev Weiss would return to the top spot.
Thank you! You Are Almost Registered for
Be sure to send e-mail to confirm your subscription to the newsletter.
IBISWorld estimates that American Greetings revenue has declined by about 16 percent over the past four years. The Cleveland-based company refused to comment on this story.
In the US, Hallmark Cards, industry sales director, has cut more than 1,000 jobs over the last five years, as earnings have declined, according to IBISWorld. According to CoStar
Lindsey Roy, chief marketing officer and vice president of Hallmark Greetings, said the company had "experienced some of the same overall market momentum," but the charts are overall "fairly flat."
"Our trademark stores have decreased over the years. There is less, "she said. But "we are definitely at the point where we really believe we can stabilize this trend."
Millennials are still buying tickets
It's not all bad news for greeting cards.
For example, this is a myth Young people do not buy them.
As a social media-infused millennium, Elizabeth Flake does not want to give up the tactile and personal experience of card giving and receiving.
"I grew up with a greeting card family – my dad is an avid Hallmark shopper, and my grandma was known on public holidays and birthdays to show all her cards on the kitchen table," said Flake, wedding and event planner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Hallmark's Roy said that unlike traditional wisdom, millennials such as greeting cards are a viable alternative to social media interactions.
"In a world that is highly digital and fleeting and fast, it is something special that is truly unique."  9005] Entrepreneurs, niche card vendors and specialists also play the Millennials' interest in cards.
"The biggest thing everyone is trying to do is tune their greeting cards to the younger crowd," said IBISWorld's Kumar. "They take on a casual tone. They are ironic and funny.
Boston-based startup Lovepop has sold more than five million of its handcrafted luxury pop-up cards since launching in 2014. After securing funding from "Shark Tank" host Kevin After O & # 39; Leary appeared on the reality television show, Lovepop sells 90 percent of its tickets directly to online consumers.
The company also sells tickets to 3,000 retail stores, including the very first retail store in New York City's Hudson Yards development.
The typical drugstore greeting card has fallen out of favor for some reason, but that does not mean that cards disappear, said Lovepop boss Wambi Rose.
"Consumers are getting tired of this offer, and we bring a very different customer experience," he said. "Every single Lovelop is cut by laser and assembled by hand."
The cards usually cost more than $ 10, but the recipients often view them as souvenirs to show them, he said.
Hallmark, Papyrus, Paper Source Even online entrepreneurs of mom-and-pop at Etsy are taking an interest in premium cards.
Paper Source, which generates around 15 percent of its sales with greeting cards, has opened a total of around 50 stores in the last five years out of 128. Growth is based on careful product selection rather than mass-market selling, said CEO Winnie Park. For example, the company has about 500 greeting card suppliers.
"Part of the magic we bring to market is a curated selection that is absolutely unique," said Park. "I would say that nearly half of our customer base is made up of millennials, and they definitely buy greeting cards."
On the other hand, some wealthy young people and other budget-minded consumers were cut off due to the rising card costs, which blamed IBISWorld for rising paper costs and card companies seeking lost profits compensate.
"The problem I have experienced in recent years is that the price of greeting cards has increased significantly," Flake said. "I'm paying $ 6 for a glitter card."
Some retailers have helped out on expensive cards by reversing the game.
Hallmark began selling budget-oriented tickets in Dollar Tree stores in June, including a $ 2 deal. The move led to a double-digit increase in quarterly sales of cards over the previous year, Dollar Tree CEO Gary Philbin told investors in November.
Philbin said the company was "extremely satisfied" with the partnership.
Seeking Connection in the Digital Age
However, the industry still faces challenges to address digitally-oriented consumers.
For example, engaged couples are increasingly sending digital save-the-date cards, inviting invited invitations to RSVP online to send wedding invitations cards, Flake said.
"There are much fewer cards and gifts that are brought to weddings," she said. "The map and the gift table have become smaller and smaller because people are choosing to send something through an online gift registry."
The Kumar of IBISWorld said that between the three major card holidays, customers also send fewer cards: Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. For example, birthday card sales are still the most popular non-holiday cards, but they are out of favor with some consumers when they send greetings through Facebook and other digital media.
This, for example, led Hallmark to respond with the introduction of a new line of cards under the Just Just brand. The hope is to encourage people to remember a paper card instead of just texting or posting a Facebook message.
"We see big growth here because people just need a bit of good their lives," said Hallmark's Roy.
People will pay for a personal touch, Lovepops Rose said The startup gives customers the ability to customize a message when they buy Lovepop cards online.
"The basic human need to connect is as strong as ever," he said.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @ NathanBomey .
Read or Share this story with: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/03/26/walmart- cvs-may-cut- Greeting Cards-Space-as-Cards-Decrease / 3243515002 /