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. mouse

    Oooh. i think hallmark sux! stupid flowery crap! make your own cards! buy blank ones at art supply stores, doodle, whatever. everyone has a little creativity in them. and hey! take the five bucks for the card & send it to the person! take them out for coffee. what a stupid idea.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan R

    Here's an excerpt from a card I received:

    So sorry for your recent loss.
    Next time don’t flip off the boss.
    And when your surfing on the ‘net,
    Don’t go to sites that make you wet.

    And petty cash is there for all.
    Don’t use it to get shoes at the mall.
    The girls you work with might be your friends,
    Just don’t pinch their round rear ends.

    So as you update your resume,
    Thank God you have unemployment pay.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brock Peters

    If somebody ever gives me one of these I will rip their throats out!

    September 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pebbles Flintstone

    I think I would be offended if I rec'd a card in the mail based on a job loss. I have never known anyone that wanted to talk about losing their job with a bunch of friends and family. I mean, we all know it has happened but it's a painful and touchy subject.

    I would NEVER send one of these cards to anyone. 🙁

    September 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Stupid Cards

    Write a short e-mail and send it to Hallmark expressing your disgust at these cards. Extra points if you submit it in a type of prose!

    September 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stupid Cards

    P. S. The person who green-lighted this type of cards needs to receive one of them too!

    September 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Charles

    Interesting because I understand Hallmark outsourced all of their card production to another country.

    September 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • DL

      Where did everyone get the idea that Hallmark outsourced card production to another country? They make cards in the United States.

      October 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jack

    How about giving them some food or something useful?

    September 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ross

    Hallmark could care less about how you feel! They just want your buck, oops, I mean your $4 for a 25 cent piece of paper!! And now you are giving them thousands of dollars of free advertising! Yikes!

    September 28, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Michael

    Hallmark, as well as many "American" companies ought to be ashamed for their hypocracy! One of my Sisters just gave me another one of their "Made in China" cards for my birthday!The biggest reason for our economic woes is that companies have put making an extra buck above American workers.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Monique

    I only buy Hallmark cards, and I think the job loss cards are great, I wish I would have thought of the idea!

    September 28, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Corey

    When I got laid off I would have loved a funny card how about...
    I know your unhappy
    I know your sad
    But they gave me your parking spot
    So I'm kinda glad.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sue M.

    I got this great card last year that said: Sorry about your job loss, but think of it as time off between stupid bosses. It's taped to the inside of my front door and I chuckle every time I see it. Unemployed 11 days. VERY happy with new employer.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      A new job, great for you! Good Luck.

      September 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dana72

    I think its hypacritical, I worked for hallmark as a manager. They cold-heartedly fired me for a minor mistake, with no warning. Now I'm out of work with no unemployment money, struggling to make it. They showed no remorse or sympathy for me after working for them for over 3 years. It's ironic that this company prides itself on caring, it's just a fasade.They are nothing but heartless,money hungary heathens.They didnt give me a card to say they were sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • solacetea

      Was that Hallmark Corporate or one of the thousands of independently owned retail stores?

      September 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • DL

      I can guess why they let you go. Did you ever spellcheck?

      October 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. american greeter

    HALLMARK ALWAYS THINKS THEY ARE GONNA BRAINWASH PEOPLE INTO THINKING THEY NEED TO SEND A CARD FOR EVERTHING. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER ONE OF THIER STUPID MARKETING PLOYS TO TRY TO SAVE A DYING BUSINESS. THEY SHOULD LOWER THIER PRICES INSTEAD OF SPENDING TIME AND MONEY ON OUTLANDISH SALES TECHNIQUES. THIS IS WHY MOST PEOPLE BUY THIER CARDS IN THE DRUGSTORES NOW,THEY DONT WANT TO BE HARRASSED IN HALLMARKS BY UNGENUINE,OVERBEARING SALESPEOPLE WITH A SALES GOAL.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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