This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Not All Greeting Card Stores Need 'Sympathies'

The recent sales have given Krepel a renewed optimism, and he says he wants to launch an e-commerce store and be more diligent with social media.

Recent sales aside, Avant Cards is an example of a small business struggling in a shrinking independent greeting card store industry, particularly with the ability to buy cards online and at discount retailers such as Target (TGT), Wal-Mart (WMT) and drugstore chains including CVS (CVS) and Walgreens (WAG).

>>Social Media Strategies for Business

"The impact of the economy on small businesses, the rise in the use of cellphones, email and other electronic media for communication and therefore a decline in writing and mailing personal correspondence, and the pervasiveness of big-box stores and chains selling paper goods and cards, makes it hard for small stores to compete," Caroline Kennedy, editor-in-chief of trade magazine Gifts & Decorative Accessories writes in an email.

Krepel notes that one of his stores used to be in a nearby mall, which also had a Hallmark store and an American Greetings (AM) store. All three have closed, he says.

He blames consumer attitudes more than discount retailers for taking market share.

"It's more psychological than anything," he says. "Here in Lincoln we only have about 5% unemployment. We're mostly an agricultural area. We've been doing pretty darn well. But everybody thinks the same way" as the rest of the country in that "everybody is afraid that they'll be the next to lose their job."

Still, Cinda Baxter, founder and president of The 3/50 project, a campaign to strengthen local bricks-and-mortar businesses by encouraging consumers to shop local, says while small card shops have an uphill battle, they have strengths to call upon.

As a former owner of an upscale stationery store, she knows that even with the proliferation of do-it-yourself paper products such as invitations and letterheads, "corporate customers came scrambling back. They recognized what a lot of consumers are now recognizing ... there are a lot of times when email is not appropriate."

There is a renewed need, particularly in a tough economy, for more personnel connection "that we can't get from a computer," she says.

2 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,390.52 +195.10 1.13%
S&P 500 0.00 -2.75 -0.14%
NASDAQ 4,630.7410 +64.6030 1.41%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs