Skip to main content

Q&A: How Designer Greetings builds greeting card sections at independent, small retailers


Steven Gimbelman, CEO and president of Designer Greetings, said that the company’s Card$mart program can help build sales at mass retail. In a talk with Drug Store News, he outlined how the program can be best utilized.

Drug Store News: We have noticed a lot of card shops have closed in areas near many of the independent and small chain drug store retailers. How can the Designer Greetings program benefit independent drug stores and small chain retailers when there are now fewer places to buy cards?  
Steven Gimbelman: Designer Greetings offers a variety of programs that are designed to help your pharmacy increase sales. The Card$mart program, selling cards at 50% off every day, is a traffic driver for independent and small chain retailers. Offering the most extensive title selection in the industry with over 23,000 card titles, Card$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 our 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.  

DSN: How can the independent drug store or small chain drug store compete with greeting cards at Walgreens and CVS?  
SG: A top advantage for independent drug stores is that Designer Greetings’ Card$mart program out values the national drug chains. The three national drug chains sell their cards at full price. As you know, card prices have risen dramatically and the discerning shopper is discouraged. With Card$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?  
SG: Card$mart Store-In-A-Store is a huge traffic driver. Card$mart is one of the only programs that an independent drug retailer can buy that out values the national chains. While the cost to the customer is “half” the price, Card$mart greeting cards do not sacrifice on quality. Card$mart products are equivalent to the competition’s high-end full price card lines. 

Moreover, while customers 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 hand-written card to a friend or family member at this time is like sending someone a big socially distant hug. Designer Greetings hopes our cards will put the biggest smile on someone’s face. Visit us at or on Instagram — @CardSmartCardAndGift.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds