Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss
September 26th, 2011
05:41 PM ET

Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss

Getting laid off from a job has always been synonymous with the delivery of a pink slip, but thanks to Hallmark, the experience might also become associated with receiving another piece of paper in the mail.

With unemployment sitting at 9%, the ongoing layoffs across the country have persuaded the greeting card giant to begin rolling out a line of sympathy cards with words of encouragement for people who have lost their jobs in the tough economy.

The development of cards that deal with the various hardships of the times is nothing new to Hallmark. The company also produced cards aimed at individuals who struggled through events such as the Great Depression, the military draft, and losing loved ones on September 11, 2001.

“People in times of need will always need to connect and when the consumers have asked us for a way to connect in those difficult situations, we try to respond in an authentic way and we think that what the greeting card does is offer a bridge,” Hallmark’s creative director Derek McCracken told NPR’s All Things Considered.

Those that work with the unemployed say they don’t think it’s a bad idea. “Getting a card like that and somebody caring is fabulous,” Michelle Crowthers-Lunczynski of Work One in Franklin, Ind. told CNN affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The crazy part to think about this is there's so many people laid off. At least someone's caring enough to you know, get a card and say, 'I'm thinking of you.'”

According to McCracken, the idea to produce cards that lift the spirits of the recently unemployed came from the company’s own customers, who were asking for a card addressing a topic that hits close to home for so many people.

“They sent us letters. They phoned it in. They asked their retailers, you know, in their neighborhood, where do I find a card that said this?” he said. “Loss of job, like any loss, is a grieving process. And so we have to acknowledge as soon as possible what had happened and then try to support them. So that's where we kind of offer more cards on the, you'll get through this, versus dwelling on the loss of the job itself.”

The job-loss sympathy cards are not currently available at all of the company’s 40,000 locations nationwide, but Hallmark’s website lists several of the 5×7 cards on-sale for $3.49 each.

E-card companies have also latched on to the idea, but American Greetings, a main competitor of Hallmark’s in the world of paper and electronic cards, has yet to produce any layoff-specific products. Spokesman Frank Cirillo says that the idea is something that American Greetings might look at in the future, but it hasn’t seen a demand for the cards because the company focuses on personalized products that are open-ended and conversational enough for consumers to add in their own more specific messages.

Hallmark’s cards range widely in tone: Some of them contain messages that are more on the sentimental side and offer inspirational advice, while many are lighthearted and even make light of the recipient’s situation. One card reads: “Don’t think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time-out between stupid bosses.” Another says: “Don’t worry, you’ll get through this. Look at me! Okay, maybe don’t.”

“The ones that offer more moral support, but maybe with a little humorous twist in a more encouraging fashion are doing very well and we're publishing more of those,” McCracken said.

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Instead of giving an unemployed person a pathetic sympathy card, give them the cash that you would have spent on the pathetic sympathy card.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Anakaraya23

      haha, exactly! or perhaps a reference to another job? Something other than a stupid card.

      September 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dee

    This line of cards would have been more useful say, 3 years ago. A little late Hallmark.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. ME

    Glad to see the American spirit alive and well....We love profit, no matter how, no matter where, no matter why!

    September 27, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. flashtrum

    Their Hope and Change sympathy cards were a HUGE success.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mojo

    And the back of the card says, "Made in China"

    September 27, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Heh! So true.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Actually, they are made in the US.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Badly-Bent

    How about a card poking fun at what Free Trade has brought us to! Because it would be laughable if it wasn't so devastating.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Carol Riedy

    Tacky. Just plain tacky!

    September 27, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Paul

    I wish the greeting card industry would produce more blank or minimalist cards with evocative photos on them. I want to write my own words. If you care enough about someone to actually send a card in the mail, then it is tacky to let "the Greeting Card industry" put cheap flowery/rhymey sentiment where your own real thoughts ought to go.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • solacetea

      Then go to the section in your Hallmark store marked "Blank Inside".

      September 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Big Brain

    Instead of taking the time to buy a card, write a note, get a stamp and mail it.....how about connecting with that person on LinkedIn and writing a recommendation for them????? Much more useful and you don't even have to spend the $5 to send the card.

    September 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Big Brain

    How about an F U greeting card?

    September 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CL

    Sorry my !#@#$$%#%$! When is an American company sorry for making money?! The only thing they are sorry for is not making more money at the cost of those buy their cards!

    September 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. annette mahmet

    what's next... with deepest regret, sorry your home is in foreclosure!

    September 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrea

    ironic: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/apr/14/hallmark-lay-6-8-percent-us-work-force-some-lawren/
    I wonder if this is what inspired the cards.

    September 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. G

    Hallmark...cashing in on your job loss!

    September 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Steve in Doylestown

    Hallmark should go back to selling items Made in the USA instead of so much crap from China. Help bring jobs back to our own country, instead of just profiting from these specialized sympathy cards. Collectively we must force corporations to bring the jobs back here, by voting with our dollars.

    September 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
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