Greeting Cards & Other Publishing in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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The anticipated boost in demand as disposable income recovers will help to slow the deterioration of industry operations over the coming years. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Greeting Cards & Other Publishing industry.

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Consumer shifts to the internet will hurt demand, though recovery will offset declines

The Greeting Cards and Other Publishing industry is declining rapidly as consumers shift to paperless substitutes. Revenue for greeting card, day planner, calendar, yearbook and similar publishers is falling because consumers are increasingly using e-cards, e-mail and social networking sites, says IBISWorld industry analyst Agata Kaczanowska. Similarly, consumers are switching to online calendars that are easily shared with friends and coworkers, instead of using the traditional wall calendars and day planners that this industry publishes. Low disposable income and a dip in business spending hastened this shift to cheaper digital alternatives during the past five years. As a result, industry revenue is expected to fall at a 5.4% annualized rate during the five years to 2013 to $5.4 billion. In 2013, an anticipated increase in consumer spending is expected to slow the revenue decline to 3.5%.

In response to a contracting market and tightening budgets, companies in the industry are consolidating. Major company American Greetings Corporation made two significant acquisitions in 2009, buying Recycled Paper Greetings Inc. and PAPYRUS, and merging their operations to boost profitability. In early 2012, major company ACCO Brands Corporation acquired MeadWestvaco Corporation's industry operating segment, which was considered a major company prior to this merger. MeadWestvaco had already been consolidating its operations in-house to cut costs. Consolidation and exits due to shrinking demand are estimated to result in a 2.0% five-year annualized contraction in the number of enterprises to 935 publishers in 2013, compared to 1,034 in 2008. The top four companies in the Greeting Cards and Other Publishing industry are Hallmark Cards Inc., American Greetings Corporation, ACCO Brands Corporation and Visant Holding Corporation. Concentration has increased in the past five years due to companies engaging in merger and acquisition activity to maintain growth and profitability in this declining industry.

Concentration varies by segment and is particularly high for greeting card and yearbook publishers, continues Kaczanowska. US greeting card publishers range from small, independently run organizations to major corporations. However, in general, the greeting card business is extremely concentrated. Although the yearbook segment is less concentrated, the majority of the market is divided among just a handful of companies, which include Jostens, American Achievement, Herff Jones, Lifetouch Inc. and Walsworth Publishing Company. This segment's concentration has increased in recent years. In addition, advances in technology and online services have driven down prices for physical copies of yearbooks, cutting into industry profit.

IBISWorld anticipates that consumer spending on industry products will continue to decline during the next five years. The increasing proliferation of smartphones and tablets will provide a growing share of the population with cheaper and more efficient alternatives to industry products. Average unit selling prices will also continue to decrease due to this competition, which will further hurt industry revenue. The anticipated boost in demand, as disposable income recovers, will help to slow the deterioration of industry operations during the five years to 2018. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Greeting Cards and Other Publishing in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry comprises publishers that primarily publish greeting cards in print or electronic form. Some companies also publish products such as postcards, calendars, coloring books, yearbooks and more. This industry excludes newspaper, magazine, book, directory, map, atlas, database and music publishers.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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