This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Not All Greeting Card Stores Need 'Sympathies'

She acknowledges that running an independent card and gift shop in today's times is challenging, but she has plenty of ideas on how to make it work. Her ideas include putting in a second line of full-price cards, making more room on the floor for giftware and perhaps even opening a satellite post office or doing custom invitations.

"The rent is really high. We have to sell an awful lot of stuff to pay the rent. On the flipside, we feel like we're being entrepreneurial and constantly bringing in new stuff," she says. "We're always trying to think of what can we do to get more people in."

Here are three lessons newcomer Norman has already learned:

1. Diversify and tailor merchandise to customer demand.
The business partners recognized immediately that CardSmart's merchandise needed to expand. They have added moderately priced giftware such as picture frames, hostess gifts, scarves and jewelry.

"You have to maximize every inch of space with other merchandise when you're selling cards at 50% off," she says.

2. Know your market.
"That's the difference between a Party City and us," says Norman, a former cardiovascular ultrasound technician.

For instance, CardSmart's hometown has many children who attend sleepaway camp. It's common to have "Welcome Home" balloons for them at the end.

Norman and Rothberg, living in the area and having kids of their own, knew that and were prepared. "We did not run out. Party City did," she says.

3. Get to know your customers.
"We've been here six months, we probably know 50 to 100 customers on a first-name basis. It's cliche, but everybody knows your name here," she says.

To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to:!/LKulikowski


Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
4 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

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 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • 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