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Bob Moon: If video killed the radio star, can you imagine what e-mailing has done to the greeting card? Not much, so far. The latest quarterly earnings report from American Greetings Corporation says “I Still Love You” in so many ways. Profits nearly doubled from a year ago. Marketplace’s Jill Barshay reports on how paper cards are surviving in the Internet age.
Jill Barshay: American Greetings chief executive Zev Weiss thinks that women are the key to his company’s success. He told investors on a conference call yesterday about what he calls his “strategic card initiative.”
Zev Weiss: This includes the continuous effort of understanding the consumer and her needs.
American Greetings and its biggest rival, Hallmark, have kept pace with Internet competition by using new bells and whistles. Hallmark’s latest hit are cards that play pop music.
Kathy Krassner is editor-in-Chief of Greetings etc. magazine. She says it’s still mostly middle-aged women who buy the seven billion cards sold each year.
Kathy Krassner: Certainly a challenge facing the industry is to make sure that the next generation of consumers coming up knows to continue buying printed cards.
American Greetings hopes Ellen DeGeneresa€™ humor could woo buyers. It recruited the comedienne to launch a new line of cards this week that makes quirky observations about daily life.
In New York, I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.
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