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What a Card

Things are a lot different today than they were a few years ago. Heck, with the speed of communication, things are a lot different now than they were a few days ago.

Today people are given electronic options for everything from shopping and banking to sending a gift or an RSVP. And while some of these options have made life infinitely easier, it’s hard to ignore the fact that something personal seems to have been lost along the way in cyberspace — namely meaningful correspondence.
 
I realize that working in the stationery and party industry clouds my judgment and adds in a bit of a bias, but receiving an actual card or a note is still one of life’s simplest and most appreciated pleasures for me.
 
Another of life’s simplest pleasures? Laughter. When you combine the two, you have the story on p. X of this issue that shows how cards can leave you laughing all the way to the bank. According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans spend more than $7 billion a year on cards, so the profit potential is there.
 
As retailers, you have the chance to remind shoppers of the fact that greeting cards are still relevant and how important a personal connection (and laughter) can be.
 
Also relevant is the element of personal contact and service that shoppers receive from brick-and-mortar stores, something that can’t be downloaded from Internet sites. Whether they’re shopping for the perfect card, a balloon bouquet or decorations for an upcoming shower, the connections that are made through personal contact is what will bring shoppers back once again.
 
So while there’s no denying the ease of e-options, there’s also no denying the fact that it’s the small personal pleasures that last the longest — a conversation with a stranger, unexpected laughter and a card you can keep on your shelf.
 
Some things never change.

Originally posted Thursday, Apr. 25, 2013