Popular greeting card store files for bankruptcy

Have millennials killed the greeting card industry?


Quinn Bickerstaff

The Alderwood Mall Papyrus is expected to close for good within the next few weeks.

Quinn Bickerstaff
Shelves that once held greeting cards now sit empty.

The greeting card industry is at a rapid decline. Papyrus, a popular holiday card retailer, has recently declared bankruptcy. An anonymous employee sheds more light on the situation.

“Usually during Christmas time, we gift wrap presents so it’s a huge boom in our sales,” the employee explained. “We’re kinda popular during Valentine’s Day – just during the big holidays. Other than that, we get a few people buying birthday cards, get well cards… regular stuff.” Due to the nature of the industry, they would see a decline in sales during seasons with few holidays.

The biggest problem with business at Papyrus is the products they offer. In a digital era, gift cards have become redundant due to the simplicity of

Quinn Bickerstaff
The nearest Papyrus is located at Alderwood Mall.

sending a friend a text or call during a holiday or birthday; after all, when’s the last time anyone received a Christmas card? The employee explains, “not a lot of people use cards, especially people from the age fourteen to twenty-something – they don’t use cards. They usually send invites through the internet.”

If a friend is sick, most wouldn’t buy a sympathy card and send it through the mail for 3-5 business days, we would text them wishing them well.

Another problem that comes up is Papyrus’s unwillingness to put products on sale. “We don’t put a lot of things on sale, we try to sell it at full price as much as possible,’’ the employee explains. They only learned about the business closing mere days before going public, which surprised the employee because sales apparently were going surprisingly well despite plummeting after Christmas.

In hindsight, the employee thinks that if the company took advantage of sales more, business would be doing better. Customers typically walk in, look around at products, and leave because of how expensive most products are, especially for simple holiday cards; most cards cost around $10. Their least popular products are their knickknacks, and their most popular products are their higher-quality products, like music boxes; people want to pay for good quality, so Papyrus should have taken better notice of that.

The employee said that “doors are closing in (a few) weeks; however long our inventory lasts us”, and they will be having a final sale; “everything is like 20% to 40% off.” Papyrus will likely close between mid-February to early March. It’s unfortunate to see a remnant of the last era dying out to the simplicity of technology. Without simple gift stores like Papyrus, it leaves us to wonder: what cheap gifts will we get our friends and families during their holidays and birthdays? Looks like dear old mom will need more than a Happy Mother’s Day card and a ‘#1 Mom’ mug.