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BILL RADKE: Today American Greetings releases its quarterly reports. Analysts have high expectations for the greeting card company after a tough start to the year. But some wonder if paper cards have a similar bright future in the era of Facebook and Twitter. Reporter Sabri Ben-Achour has our story.
SABRI BEN-ACHOUR: This holiday season you could send a paper card, or you could send these tap dancing reindeer.
[Sound of dancing reindeer — tap, tap, tap.]
That’s an e-card. And a lot of people are wondering if it represents the future of holiday greetings.
EDDIE MARMOL: Within the last two years, we’ve seen a rise of about 40 percent during the holiday season.
Eddie Marmol is with e-card maker 123 Greetings. He credits the economy.
MARMOL: We’ve never charged a penny for a card. So, that’s what it all comes down to.
Owen Shapiro is a retail analyst. He thinks it might also be a cultural shift from paper to multimedia.
Owen Shapiro: There is a real danger for greeting cards to become less relevant, particularly to the younger generation of consumers.
Hallmark said in a statement it doesn’t believe e-cards are crowding traditional cards out at all. They say people appreciate paper more, and 20 paper cards are sent for every one e-card. Even so, both Hallmark and American Greetings are snapping up e-card companies or offering e-cards of their own.
In Washington, I’m Sabri Ben-Achour for Marketplace.
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