Not sure what to say to a recently laid-off colleague? Let Hallmark say it for you with greeting cards for the unemployed.
The cards were launched in 2009 in the midst of the recession but two new cards were added this past September. With the unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent, the company says the cards have been doing well.
"These cards are not going to be a high performer, but they fit a relevant niche consumers need," says company spokeswoman Jaci Twidwell. "The sales are higher than expected though, and we will be producing more."
Hallmark Cards Inc. created the cards after shoppers began asking for ways to console those who have lost jobs. The cards range from humorous—one depicts a cat and the caption: "Is there anywhere I could hack up a hairball, like say, on a former employer's head?"—to somber: "Losing your job does not define you. What you do about it does."
"Cards for people who have lost their jobs are a reflection of the times," reads a written statement from the company. "People in time of need look for ways to connect."
Hallmark has been selling cards that reflect tough times since the early 1900s with cards honoring soldiers in World War I. There have been cards for those fighting in World War II, for draftees of the Vietnam war and for those who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001.
Most are unique to their times, but some, like those printed in 1930s during the Great Depression seem relevant today. One holiday card from that era reads: "Seasons Greetings from Some Poor but Honest Friends."
Rita Pyrillis is Workforce Management's senior writer. To comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.