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Brick-and-Mortar Card Stores Thrive in Internet World

While there is certainly a selection of traditional cards to choose from, greeting cards, industry wide, are also being tailored to a new generation of buyers.

"Designer Greetings is making great improvements in the 50%-off cards. They're not as frumpy. They're definitely becoming a little more vibrant and colorful," Norman says. "We just got a new card, which says "OMG" on the cover of it," she says, referring to the texting abbreviation for "Oh my God," used frequently by the younger generation.

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When asked if she thought the new generation of cards was an attempt to keep the greeting card industry relevant for a generation that was less inclined to buy cards, Norman said she wasn't concerned.

"I don't think the card business is going to become nonexistent," she says.

That being said there are plenty of full-price greeting card store chains like Hallmark and American Greetings (AM) that are closing stores.

The troubled economy may put off customers from wanting to buy a $5 greeting card, but stores like Card$mart that sells 50%-off cards are still doing well.

"If e-cards were going to have put card stores out of business, we wouldn't be here," Norman says. "It's not fun when you get an e-card. I don't think that part of the Internet and communication has really taken off. There is still something about getting a card in the mail that somebody wrote something in."

One holiday that isn't a huge card seller: Halloween. The customer that buys the most Halloween cards? Grandma.

Norman makes sure she is stocked full with cards to grandchildren for Halloween.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to:

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