American Greetings sold its retail operations to the parent company of Papyrus (a high end card company) and Papyrus sold its wholesale operation to American Greetings. I was asked to comment yesterday by the Cleveland Plain dealer about this sort-of merger and here’s what I said:
Karen Mishra, assistant professor of marketing and advertising at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., is shocked that Papyrus and American Greetings would become partners because “their products are at opposite ends of the market, appealing to entirely different audiences.”
But the deal makes sense for both, because it gives Papyrus a broader foothold in the consumer card market and it lets American Greetings get out of the day-to-day retail business, she said.
Consumers are unlikely to notice a difference unless Papyrus changes the stores or the products, but she suspects that any changes would be improvements, “since Papyrus produces higher-end products.”
This will actually help them compete with Hallmark who is still the leading card company, so from that perspective it is an interesting and probably good deal for both.
I’m still a huge Hallmark fan, however–I just got my Hallmark gold crown rewards–an $8.00 coupon this time–for being such a loyal customer. It will be fun to watch to see if American Greetings and Papyrus can beat that.