Hearne: Fast Times @ Hallmark Cards

cartoon_caveman_birthday_greeting_cards-r951f5003575347eb94063884022308d7_xvuat_8byvr_512Once upon a time, it was the Stone Age

Nobody knew nothing about newspapers in driveways…or driveways even. No one drove Fiats. And what passed for social media back then was probably something akin to some caveman dude clubbing a Raquel Welch lookalike and dragging her back to his hole in the ground for a bit of body painting.

And five buck greeting cards like the one I bought at Urban Outfitters Sunday? That was back to the future stuff.

Unfortunately for hometown card company Hallmark, what goes around comes around and the company’s business model seems to be headed in the direction of those bygone days. Because only the Fred Flintstones of today (and me once, maybe once or twice a year) still buy greeting cards.

The rest of society – under 50 – has mostly moved on, like George Jetson.

Leaving the card counters at Hallmark up you-know-what creek.

Not only that, but in the space of a week Hallmark has been hammered for gender insensitivity towards gays and getting out of the “party ware” biz, Resulting in the laying off 250 more locals and bringing down the size of the company’s workforce here to under 3,000 for the first time in…I dunno…ages.

The awful truth: according to research giant IBISWorld, total greeting card revenue will decline at the rate of 6 percent a year over the next five years.

I realize it’s a more complicated than that, but taken at face value, a 30 percent hit, coupled with reports that people in their 20s and 30s do not appear to be buying greeting cards period doesn’t bode well for Hallmark. Making it hard to be optimistic for one of the Cowtown’s once-brightest business stars.

That’s almost like expecting tony Halls Plaza shoppers to migrate to Crown Center next year after Restoration Hardware takes over at the vaunted Plaza retailer’s historic digs.

Hallmark Controversial OrnamentNot gonna happen.

As for Hallmark’s “gay” Christmas sweater ornament controversy, at least there’s a glimmer of good news where that’s concerned…if you wanna call it good news.

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality are defending Hallmark’s decision to substitute the word “fun” for the word “gay” on the sweater’s front. As in, “Don we now out gay apparel,” from the song Deck the Halls.

“Who could blame Hallmark for changing the Christmas carol from ‘Don we now our gay apparel’ to ‘Don we now our fun apparel’ because homosexual activists stole the word ‘gay,'” says the organization’s Peter Barbera. “It used to mean ‘happy’ and ‘joyful’ – and now it means, basically, identifying a sexual perversion: homosexuality. So I don’t blame Hallmark for making this change.”

Like I said, rough week for the hometowners.

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4 Responses to Hearne: Fast Times @ Hallmark Cards

  1. Rich says:

    Receiving a sweater like that as a gift would be worse than getting a fruitcake. Oops, I meant funcake.

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