Millennials are ditching the chain store greeting card, and stores like Walmart and CVS are considering taking shelf space away

  • Greeting card sales are not what they once were, and some stores are reducing the space they currently dedicate to selling them.
  • CVS and Walmart are two retailers both considering or implementing a reduction in the space they allocate to the product.
  • Most retailers and manufactures don’t blame millennials, but rather a rise in e-cards and a shift in taste.

Boring greeting cards are going the way of VHS players and dial-up internet.

Customers are no longer excited by the well-known pieces of card stock with heartfelt sayings in them often found in big box stores and pharmacies, and those retailers aren’t either.

“More and more people are using text and email and e-cards, and fewer people are buying cards, so that would be one area” to cut back, Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy, told USA Today.

CVS is now looking at reducing the space it gives to greeting cards as they’re not selling as well, instead putting more health-focused products there, according to the store’s internal analytics.

The pharmacy chain isn’t the only one, either.

Walmart also may be looking at reducing the amount of space it uses to sell cards in some stores. As the company remodels stores, it is removing some space currently allocated to some products, according to Greg Foran, CEO of Walmart US.

“We’re currently reimagining what we’re putting in the box,” he said during a conference call with analysts. “Do we really need the amount of lineal footage that we’ve got in greeting cards?”

About a quarter of the retail space in stores for selling cards vanished from 2013 to 2018, according to real estate data firm CoStar Group via USA Today, and the two big traditional card makers, Hallmark and American Greetings, have both suffered sales decreases in the past few years.

Unlike many retail trends, it’s not all millennials’ fault.

Read more:
Millennials and their spending habits are wreaking havoc on these 18 industries

They may just prefer a different product. Instead of cards with flowery language and a serious tone, they prefer those with a jovial, ironic tone, or with more ornamentation that feels more like a gift that a recipient can keep and display.

“I would say that actually nearly half our customer base is millennials, and they definitively buy greeting cards,” Winnie Park, CEO of specialty card chain Paper Source, told the paper.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.