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Scott Jagow: A survey out this morning says less than 40 percent of Americans went shopping over the weekend. That’s at least a six-year low for the last weekend before Christmas. Some people aren’t even buying cards. There’s a little ditty going around the web: Times are tough, life is hard, let’s just skip your greeting card. Here’s Marketplace’s Bob Moon:
Bob Moon: When it comes to sending out season’s greetings, it seems hard-pressed Americans have been checking their list twice — and cutting back.
It’s not that people have suddenly abandoned what the industry’s trade group calls a “cultural tradition.” But the Greeting Card Association’s Barbara Miller says it stands to reason that tighter times are . . . well . . . in the cards:
Barbara Miller: I think you can pretty well anticipate that in difficult times, people may perhaps purchase cards that aren’t quite as expensive, or maybe drop one or two people off of their list that are more casual acquaintances. But overall, it’s not that expensive of a tradition.
The association expects 85 percent of Americans will still send some sort of card this year. But earlier this month, American Greetings was forced to send out unhappy notices in the form of pink slips to several hundred workers. It could be worse, but the industry has actually been seeing increasing sales of business-oriented greetings, as corporate clients do what they can to reach out to customers.
In Los Angeles, I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.
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