A teenager’s big dreams and shoebox full of picture postcards launched this iconic brand in 1910. By 1915, the company had bought printing presses and began producing its own greeting cards.
- Headquarters: Kansas City, Mo.
- Founding year: 1910
- Number of locations as of January 2011: 40,000 retail outlets, 3,000 Hallmark Gold Crown stores
- 2010 net revenue: $4.1 billion, a 3% increase over the previous year
Today, Hallmark Cards employs 13,200 full-time employees worldwide, as well as 700 artists, designers, stylists, writers, editors, web designers, and photographers based in Kansas City.
Hallmark’s presence extends beyond the cards that got it started, however. The Hallmark Channel television network reaches millions of households with family-oriented programming, for example. But Hallmark’s standing as an innovator of the greeting industry continues, especially with its Cards With Sound, Recordable Cards With Music, and Cards With Motion.
Beyond its own retail footprint, Hallmark products can be found at more than 40,000 retail outlets domestically and online. Hallmark trend spotter, Marita Wesley, said recently that Hallmark’s ability to spot societal change and synthesize observations into cultural and consumer insights is key to it remaining an influential company today.
“Understanding the consumer and the ever-changing marketplace is the first step in creating new, innovative products,” she said. “Understanding trends is essential for companies and other organizations that deal with change. The adage that ‘nothing is certain but change’ is a cornerstone of trend research.”