People are still sending greeting cards in the digital age, although the rise of social media is prompting industry changes.
Consumers buy approximately 6.5 billion cards each year, ringing up between $7 billion-$8 billion in annual sales, according to the Greeting Card Association trade group.
Nevertheless, the ability to stay in touch with loved ones through Facebook, Instagram and similar sites has affected the industry.
Hallmark Cards Inc. announced plans last week to close a Connecticut distribution center and cut 570 jobs. The company has slashed its workforce from about 22,000 full-timers five years ago to 10,500 today, NPR reported.
The industry is keeping up with changing times through new products, including cards that target gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender consumers, Smithsonian.com reported this week.
Companies also are embracing technology. For example, American Greetings Corp. offers an app that turns iPad artwork into paper cards that can be mailed.
Another bright spot: Younger consumers are eschewing e-cards in favor of traditional cards from smaller companies such as Easy, Tiger.
Co-founder Mike Sayre told NPR he’s optimistic for the future.
“There’s a lot of room for growth,” he said. “It just has to be done in a different way.”