Q&A: Designer Greetings’ Gimbelman explains how to build a card destination

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Q&A: Designer Greetings’ Gimbelman explains how to build a card destination


Greeting cards remain a big part of a mass retailer’s merchandising plan. According to Steven Gimbelman, CEO and president of Designer Greetings, independent and smaller retailers can benefit from his company’s unique programs. Gimbelman spoke with Drug Store News about the greeting card category.

Drug Store News: How can the Designer Greetings’ program benefit independent drug stores and small-chain retailers when there are now fewer places to buy cards as card shops in many areas go out of business?  
Steven Gimbelman: Designer Greetings offers a variety of programs that are designed to help your pharmacy increase sales. The Card$mart program, selling cards at 50% off every day, is a traffic driver for independent and small-chain retailers. Offering the most extensive title selection in the industry with more than 23,000 card titles, Card$mart also provides a Preferred Giftware Vendor Program, which is an exclusive benefit to the retailer, whereby the store owner gains access to top gift vendors across multiple gift categories. In addition, part of Designer Greetings’ array of product is their premier gift wrap line, known and recognized nationally as the branded “Glitterwrap” program. This program includes the essential gift wrap items, such as gift wrap, roll wrap, gift bags, bows and ribbons, all in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit every customer’s need.  

Drug Store News: How can the independent drug store or small chain drug store compete with greeting cards against large chains?  
SG: A top advantage for independent drug stores is that Designer Greetings’ Card$mart program out values the national drug chains. The two biggest national drug chains sell their cards at full price. As you know, card prices have risen dramatically and the discerning shopper is discouraged. With Card$mart, the shopper can purchase cards at 50% off the published retail price, without sacrificing quality. Such appealing pricing drives traffic to the store, creating new customers. This is one of the only products an independent drug store retailer can buy that out values national retail drug chain stores. In addition, data has shown that the Card$mart customer will purchase more units of cards, ultimately improving the retailer’s profit, an advantage every retailer is seeking.  

DSN: Why should an existing store think about giving up prime space in their location and dedicate it to cards?  
SG: Card$mart Store-In-A-Store is a huge traffic driver. Moreover, while the customer will receive quality product at a value price, the likelihood that they may purchase more units ultimately drives up retail sales, bringing new customers to the store. However, if your store does not meet the minimum space requirements, our dedicated and experienced sales team will help find the program that best suits your store to maximize greeting card sales.  

DSN: What is the state of the greeting card category right now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how has Designer Greetings continued to meet customer needs?  
SG:  During this unprecedented time, greeting cards remain part of the product sold in the essential business channels, drug and food, thus we are seeing strong sales coming from these channels, especially for our new card line we created specifically to address COVID-19, Care and Concern. 

The Care and Concern line offers the perfect sentiment for this difficult time with encouraging messages, such as “Yes you can!” and “It’s a good day for a good day.” The ability to send a handwritten card to a friend or family member at this time when physical touch is lacking is like sending someone a big “socially distant hug,” and Designer Greetings hopes our cards can put the biggest smile on someone’s face.