Many consumers assume that the technology advancements and reliance on social media and e-mail have made products like paper greeting cards obsolete. However, while e-cards are also becoming popular, the greeting card industry is still blossoming.
One of the most highly recognized greeting card retailers is Hallmark Cards. This privately owned company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri was founded in 1910 and is the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the entire United States. Hallmark employs 11,000 full-time employees around the world, and its creative staff consists of editors, writers, designers, and artists.
Together, this team generates thousands of new greeting cards and related products, like gift products, each year. The greeting card selection includes various licenses and brands, like Shoebox, Maxine, and more. The first company to recognize Valentine’s Day, Hallmark is also a leader in other changes – it was the first greeting card company to add same-sex marriage cards to its selection (in 2008).
Based in Brooklyn, Ohio, American Greetings sells greeting cards and party products, among other items. In 2012, American Greetings brought in $1.65 billion in revenue, and went back to being a private company in 2013. It is one of the largest companies in the entire world, partly because of its popular copyrighter properties, which include Care Bears, Holly Hobbie, Strawberry Shortcake, and some Nickelodeon characters.
Although they are not one single entity, small and independent card shops together make up a large part of the greeting card market. They are also becoming increasingly popular as customers look to send and deliver greeting cards that are not mass produced.
For example, one upscale card store in New York City has seen an increase in sales every year, despite the cards being more expensive than those found at larger retailers. The owner attributes this to the fact that handmade cards are becoming more of a thoughtful gift in their own right, instead of just a gift accessory.
Small, boutique card printers, shops, and even online companies have continued to grow. Meanwhile, larger greeting card retailers have introduced lines that try to replicate the feel of original, high-end cards. With the increased focus on technology, websites specializing in e-greeting cards have continued to grow as well, giving customers even another option.