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Archive for February, 2009

02 13th, 2009

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching — not sure what to get that ex-special someone?

Open the card up, and it continues: “Someone else.”

Another card from the site starts out cheerily: “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Inside, it adds, “Even though we both know it’s over.”

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For most people, Valentine’s Day is still about chocolates, hearts, teddy bears and romantic sentiments. But a growing number of the recently or steadfastly single are getting in on the holiday as well, spawning anti-Valentine’s Day cards, T-shirts and parties.

Anti-Valentine’s Day cards have been popular among smaller distributors and Web-based e-card producers for several years. Now the trend is starting to attract more mainstream attention.

Industry powerhouse American Greetings Corp. this year added 10 anti-Valentine’s Day cards to the roster of 2,500 cards it produces for the holiday. While it may be just a tiny portion of the company’s holiday effort, “that’s huge for a new product in our industry,” said American Greetings spokeswoman Megan Ferington.

Ferington said the Cleveland-based company decided to add anti-Valentine’s Day cards after noticing last year that more people were holding singles parties or girls’ nights out on what is traditionally a night for couples.

“Singles just want to be part of the holiday,” she said. “There really was an undercurrent of people wanting to celebrate.”

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One card from American Greetings’ collection opens with: “They had shared a moment.”

Inside, it reads: “A lifetime commitment was completely out of the question. Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day (for the woman who knows what she doesn’t want.)”

In addition to the more overtly anti-holiday cards, Ferington said American Greetings also has boosted its lineup of Valentine’s Day cards that are meant to be sent to friends rather than soul mates.

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Hallmark Cards for years has offered both humorous and heartfelt Valentine’s Day cards to send from one female friend to another, said spokeswoman Rachel Bolton. Recently, however, she said the popularity of such cards has grown, thanks in part to such cultural influences as the TV show “Sex and the City.

One of the huge trends is cards for singles,” Bolton said.

It’s not surprising that people who make their living selling greeting cards would reach out for a wider audience than just those who are happily coupled up (or in grade school). After all, Valentine’s Day is one of the most important holidays of the year for the industry.

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The Greeting Card Association expects Americans to buy 190 million Valentine’s Day cards this year. That figure shoots up to 1 billion once you include cards, generally sold in packages of 25 or more, exchanged among schoolchildren, the trade group says.

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