Marketing

*American Greetings’ and Hallmark’s sales of battery operated greeting cards
*Links to American Greetings’ and Hallmark’s current battery operated greeting cards
*Examples of smaller greeting card distributors, including Americhip
*Licensors
*Licensees

This table compares the financials of greeting card companies to internet companies :

FACEBOOK YAHOO HALLMARK AM GREET AMSCAN CSS IND.
YEAR 2012 2012 2012 2013 2011 2013
SALES 5089 4986 4000 1868 1872 364
NET INCOME 53 3945 ? 49.9 76.4 15.2

The greeting card manufacturers have bought many companies in the past :

American Greetings bought Seattle Photo Works in 2008 for $28.6 million and Webshots in 2008 for $45 million, Blue Mountain Arts in 2001 for $35 million, Gibson Greetings in 1999 for $163 million, Recycled Paper Greetings in 2009 for $116 million, Papyrus in 2013, Contempo Colours in 1999, Clinton in 2012 for $93 million, and Carlton Cards in 2012.

Hallmark bought SpriritClips in 2012, a variety of programs for the Hallmark Channel throughout 2001-2013, bought and then sold Picture People in 2005, DaySpring in 1999, Gift Certificate Merchant in 2000, Tapper Candies in 1998, Interart in 1998, Creative Publishing in 1998 for $306 million, and various distributors worldwide during the last 20 years.

Amscan (AAH Holdings) bought Party America in 2006 for $41 million, Factory Card & Party Outlet in 2007 for $71 million, and also bought Party City.

Mr. Taylor, owner of the Wolverines has purchased dozens of companies. Taylor Corporation reportedly reached an estimated $1.7 billion sales in 2007.

C.S.S. Industries purchased Seastone in 2009, Hampshire in 2008 for $10 million, Iota in 2008, and Gibson in 2007.

Hallmark posted its first revenue gain in three years in 2010 — $4.1 billion worldwide — a 3 percent increase from 2009. The numbers marked the first uptick in consumer spending since 2007, when the recession took its toll.
Strong sales of recordable cards and interactive storybooks that include talking furry friends led the sales rebound. But Hallmark credits the turnaround to its innovation pipeline rather than any one product.
“We started innovation many years ago with the introduction of cards with sound. That was the first iteration,” Hallmark spokeswoman Deidre Mize said. “Technology allowed a lot of this to happen.”
The sales results reported by Hallmark and Fleishman-Hillard reported a 9% jump in card sales from the previous year. Holiday cards and products were up 10% from the previous year. Of the increased sales, the sound cards accounted for half of the increase.
The privately held company’s Sound Cards line, which includes more than 500 designs and songs, had been a winner in the two years since it went on sale, according to a 2008 Associated Press report.
While Hallmark doesn’t break out sales figures for the cards, according to the story, it said the line helped spark an 8 percent rise in companywide revenue to $4.4 billion in 2007.
Combined with a 3 percent rise in card sales in 2006, the Sound Cards have helped the company turn around a business that had remained flat for several years as e-mails and e-cards became more popular, according to a published report.
“Whether it’s a new twist on a card with sound, lights, or motion or a new kind of paper technology, we at American Greetings want to make sure we’re always offering them something new in the card aisle,” said Carol Miller, executive director of new product concepts at American Greetings, Cleveland. “It offers them an extended experience with the card—a happy memory, a display piece, or a fun gadget to play with long after their big day is over
The Sound Cards line, which now includes several hundred designs and songs, has been a winner for Hallmark in the two years since it went on sale. While the privately held company doesn’t break out sales figures for the cards separately, it said last month that they helped fuel an 8% rise in 2007 companywide revenue to $4.4 billion.
Combined with a 3% rise in card sales in 2006, the Sound Cards have turned around a card business that had remained flat for several years as e-mails and e-cards became more popular.
Hallmark’s main competitor, American Greetings has sold its own line of sound and music cards for more than a year, said spokesman Frank Cirillo, adding that it also has been popular and expanded to several hundred cards. Besides sound, American Greetings also sells cards with blinking lights and animated images.
While American Greetings doesn’t currently have a recordable card, Cirillo said the company is experimenting with that, as well as other ways to add value and interest.
“We’re constantly looking at ways to advance the line,” he said.
Hallmark hopes it pays off, boosting the bottom line of a company that had $4.2 billion in revenue in 2005. While it won’t say what percentage of that revenue is derived from the sale of greeting cards, the company says that Sound Cards have so far fueled a 9 percent increase in sales of everyday cards compared with 2005.
Mila Albertson, membership services director for the Washington, D.C.-based Greeting Card Association, said card sales generate about $7 billion a year. Most of the industry’s recent growth has centered on “high-end cards.”
Hallmark’s chief rival, Cleveland-based American Greetings Corp., is designing cards that include everything from sound and movement to lighting effects.
“Music cards are a nice innovation. We welcome anything that brings growth to the category,” said Sue Buchta, executive director of seasonal cards. “We’re going to touch base with the consumer and find out what’s important to them. Music might be one way to do that. Lights and motion might be another.”
Customization is key in Hallmark’s battle to win “social expression” customers, one by one if need be. And it’s what makes HMK different from Hallmark’s network of 2,600 Gold Crown card shops. The company sees it as a gifts-plus-cards store instead of a cards-plus-gifts store.
Read more here
American Greetings Annual Report 2012
We continue to regularly evaluate potential acquisition opportunities to support and strengthen our business. Wecannot be sure that we will be able to locate suitable acquisition candidates, acquire candidates on acceptable terms or integrate acquired businesses successfully.
…together with the growing use of technology by consumers to create personalized greeting cards with digital photographs and other personalized content
The Sound Cards line, which now includes several hundred designs and songs, has proven a winner for Hallmark in the two years since it went on sale. While the privately held company doesn’t break out sales figures for the cards separately, it said last month that they helped fuel an 8 percent rise in 2007 companywide revenue to $4.4 billion.
Combined with a 3 percent rise in card sales in 2006, the Sound Cards have turned around a card business that had remained flat for several years as e-mails and e-cards became more popular.
Hallmark’s main competitor, Cleveland-based American Greetings Inc., has sold its own line of sound and music cards for more than a year, said spokesman Frank Cirillo, adding that it also has been popular and expanded to several hundred cards. Besides sound, American Greetings also sells cards with blinking lights and animated images.
While American Greetings doesn’t currently have a recordable card, Cirillo said the company is experimenting with that, as well as other ways to add value and interest.
“We’re constantly looking at ways to advance the line,” he said.
But both companies acknowledge there is a limit. Customers will pay only so much for a greeting card, regardless of the nifty bells and whistles.
“The innovation platform here is becoming broader and broader and we’re trying to meet customer demand,” Cirillo said, “but also provide a value-priced product.”
SOUND GREETING CARD PRODUCTS
A greeting card can cost anything from 50 cents through to 10 dollars. The average price of a greeting card falls between the $2 – $4 price band. This is an interesting figure as it shows what the market accepts as a fair price for a card. The Greeting Card Association also report that cards featuring special techniques, intricate designs and new technologies are at the top of the price scale.
There is a significant trend towards combing high technology with greeting cards, for instance musical cards or greeting cards that contain LED lights. People are now familiar with e-cards and these are becoming increasingly accepted. However as more greeting cards feature high-tech wizardry, so there is a growing appreciation for handmade cards.
But overall sales have been declining due to the popularity of e-cards and other options. Still, Hallmark and its ilk are putting on a cheery face: “Electronic communication is better for sharing information, but greeting cards are better for sharing emotion.” Cue soft hues and flowers.
It’s remarkably difficult to track down market data on this new generation of cards, which sing, light up, shake, and more. The Greeting Card Association had no stats available, and a representative from Hallmark — whose array of high-tech offerings is nothing short of mind-boggling — would divulge only that they are “extremely popular.”
This article in the New York Times Blog offered some stunning statistics on the greeting card industry :
• According to the United States Postal Service, the number of greeting cards mailed within the U.S. has declined by 24 percent from 2002 to 2010, and continues to drop today.
• Traditional sales have fallen by 60 percent over the last decade, to $5 billion a year.
• American Greetings stock was valued at 65 percent less than it was in 1998.
• Hallmark’s card sales dropped to 5 billion cards a year in 2012, down from 6 billion in 2011.
Some bright spots:
• Digital greeting cards continue to rise, up to $4 billion in sales in 2013, a 20-percent increase from 2012.
• The statistics were based on “traditional” cards, and not independent designers.
• The report said barriers to enter the industry are not difficult and possible areas of growth are likely small geographic areas and niches in the market.
Current Conditions
Despite fears that the Internet and free e-cards would diminish the industry, greeting cards sales actually increased in the 2000s. According to the Greeting Card Association (GCA), “Because e-cards and traditional cards are generally used in different ways and situations, the e-card seems to be expanding overall greeting card sending.” The popularity of e-cards continued to grow. The GCA estimated e-card volume at 500 million per year in 2009. Studies showed that consumers sent such greetings in addition to, not instead of, traditional cards, which were perceived as preferable for important occasions or a true measure of feeling.
New innovations in the greeting card industry proliferated in the late 2000s. One of these was introduction of light technology into cards. Using small LED lights and circuit board technology, card creators designed cards that lit up when opened. In addition, “lenticular” cards–which used technology similar to holograms–incorporated images that appeared to “move.” In 2009, American Greetings introduced envelopes with sound and music. Activated by a mechanism in the flap, the recorded piece would sound every time the envelope was opened. E-cards also saw new and improved features. For example, users could make talking e-cards or cards that featured avatars (cartoon images of themselves). M-cards could be ordered online and then delivered to a mobile phonehttp://business.highbeam.com/industry-reports/wood/greeting-cards
Total Retail Value: $179.64
Profit Margin: $89.82
Wholesale Price: $89.82
Each card retails for $4.99 each
TOLLCOATING.COM
Another possible future is to grow and become a custom tollcoater of high value added coatings for medical applications :
http://www.tollcoating.com/ a division of Carestream Canada
LICENSEES & LICENSORS
Top 125 Global Licensors :
LIMA Licensees Database :
Leading Global Licensees :
Licensing :
Licensing Expo
2014 Show Dates & Location:
Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
Exhibit Hall open: June 17-19, 2014
China Licensing Fair
2014 Shanghai International L&S Expo
Date: 2014/5/16 – 18
Venue: Shanghai World Expo E&C Center
Licensing Japan
July 2-4, Tokyo Big Sight
Licensing Dubai MENA
27-28th October 2014