American Greetings

American Greetings Corporation, LLC
Formerly called
Sapirstein Greeting Card Company
Industry Greeting card
Founded Brooklyn, Ohio, United States (1906 (1906))
Founder Jacob Sapirstein
Headquarters Westlake, Ohio, United States
Area served
Key people
  • Morry Weiss (Chairman)
  • Zev Weiss (Co-CEO)
  • Jeffrey M. Weiss (Co-CEO)
  • John W. Beeder (President and COO)
  • Erwin Weiss (Senior Vice President)
  • Gregory M. Steinberg (CFO)
Owner Weiss Family
Number of employees
27,500 (2012)[1]

American Greetings Corporation, LLC is the world’s largest greeting card company. Based in Westlake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, the company sells paper greeting cards, electronic greeting cards, party products (such as wrapping papers and decorations), and electronic expressive content (e.g., ringtones and images for cell phones). In addition, the company owns the Carlton Cards, Tender Thoughts, Just For You, and Gibson brands.[1]

American Greetings' toy design and licensing division, Those Characters From Cleveland (now American Greetings Properties), includes copyrighted properties such as Care Bears, Topsy and Tim, The Get Along Gang, Popples and Holly Hobbie. American Greetings also holds an exclusive license for Nickelodeon characters.


Founded in 1906 by Polish immigrant Jacob Sapirstein (1885–1987), who sold cards from a horse-drawn cart, American Greetings has been run by members of the family since its inception. Irving I. Stone (Sapirstein's oldest son, who changed his surname to Stone) was stuffing envelopes at age five, handling the business during his father's illness when he was nine, and worked for the company full-time upon leaving high school. He was succeeded as CEO by his son-in-law Morry Weiss in 1987, and Stone took the title "Founder-Chairman" previously held by his father, when Weiss became chairman in 1992, before dying in 2000. In 1993, American Greetings began sponsoring the Entertainment Tonight Birthdays, also in that same year, the company also introduced its new corporate mascot, the Birthday Bear, AG remained sponsor until 2000, when competitor Hallmark Cards assumed sponsorship.

In 1999, the company bought rival Gibson Greetings and united the second and third largest U.S. greeting card makers.[2]

In 2003, Morry Weiss's sons Zev and Jeffrey became CEO and President respectively; Morry Weiss remains Chairman. In early 2007, American Greetings replaced Kellogg's as the sponsor for Dragon Tales. American Greetings has also branched out onto the Internet, and owns a network of websites. October 25, 2007, it announced the purchase of Webshots from CNET for $45 million in cash.[3]

In October 2005, American Greetings recalled its Sesame Street toy sunglasses sold from December 2003 through August 2005, because the lenses can separate from the frames, posing a choking hazard to young children.[4]

In 2010, American Greetings announced plans to move its headquarters from Brooklyn, Ohio to a new facility at Crocker Park within the nearby city of Westlake.[5] However, in 2013, the company announced it would delay moving its operations to Westlake. Construction had been scheduled to start in early 2013, and American Greetings said it was only delaying the $150 to $200 million project.

In June 2012, American Greetings acquired assets from Clinton Cards PLC together with some of its subsidiaries.[6]

American Greetings went private once again in 2013, thus removing itself from all the public markets, agreeing to pay $18.20 per share, valuing the company at $878 million.[7]

In 2014, American Greetings sold its Brooklyn, Ohio headquarters to developers and began renting its current offices from the new owners until the move to Westlake.[8]

American Greetings opened their new Westlake headquarters in September 2016.[9]

American Greetings operates with four divisions:[10][11]

Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears

In July 2008, American Greetings announced the sale of its Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears properties to DIC Entertainment (now part of Cookie Jar Entertainment). However, January 9, 2009 it announced that the planned sale had been canceled.[13] As a result, the properties remain under American Greetings' ownership as the company searches for a new buyer.

March 24, 2009, MoonScoop offered to pay $95 million for the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake properties and related rights held by Cookie Jar. Under that deal, American Greetings would pocket $76 million for the animation assets while Cookie Jar would get $19 million for its own rights.[14]

March 30, 2009, Cookie Jar made a $76 million counter-bid for Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. Cookie Jar had until April 30, 2009 to complete the deal. If Cookie Jar failed to close the deal, MoonScoop had until June 7, 2009, to complete its own deal with American Greetings.[14]

In May 2009, American Greetings filed a $100 million lawsuit against Cookie Jar with Cookie Jar filing a $25 million countersuit against American Greetings over the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake deal.[15][16] In August, 2009 MoonScoop filed a lawsuit against American Greetings over the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake deal.[17][18]

In February 2015, Iconix Brand Group acquired the rights to Strawberry Shortcake from American Greetings for $105 million.[19][20]


(Note: not all licenses are original creations by American Greetings. Some were licensed from third parties, where indicated)


See also



  1. 1 2 "American Greetings, Form 10-K, Annual Report" (PDF). Securities and Exchange Commission. April 30, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  2. "American Greetings to buy rival". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. November 4, 1999. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  3. "American Greetings, Form 8-K, Current Report". Securities and Exchange Commission. December 20, 2007. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  4. "CPSC, American Greetings Corp. Announce Recall of Sesame Street Sunglasses" (Press release). U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. September 1, 2005. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  5. Cho, Janet (January 7, 2010). "American Greetings may pull its world headquarters out of Brooklyn, Ohio". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland. Retrieved January 7, 2010. BROOKLYN, Ohio -- American Greetings Corp., the nation's largest publicly held greeting card manufacturer, is exploring moving its global headquarters from Brooklyn to another community - maybe even out of state - with lower taxes.
  6. "US company American Greetings acquires Clinton Cards". The Guardian. June 7, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014.
  7. Cho, Janet H. (April 1, 2013). "American Greetings' Weiss Family Aims to Take the Company Private Again, Via an $878 Million Offer for Outstanding Shares". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  8. McFee, Michelle Jarboe (1 July 2014). "American Greetings sells Brooklyn headquarters; Lichter, Semarjian plan 150-acre industrial park". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  9. "American Greetings opens new Westlake headquarters". Crain's Cleveland Business. 2016-09-28. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  10. 1 2 "Company Overview of American Greetings Corp.". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 2014. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014.
  11. McKee, Tyler (March 30, 2011). "Higher Prices Still In The Cards For American Greetings". Forbes. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014.
  12. "Company Overview of AG Interactive, Inc.". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 2014. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014.
  13. Grant, Allison (November 26, 2012). "American Greetings wins case against MoonScoop over Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  14. 1 2 "American Greetings, Form 8-K, Current Report". Securities and Exchange Commission. March 30, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  15. "American Greetings, Form 8-K, Current Report" (PDF). Securities and Exchange Commission. May 12, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  16. "Brooklyn-based American Greetings accuses Cookie Jar Entertainment of bad faith in Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears deal". The Plain Dealer. May 12, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  17. "American Greetings, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report" (PDF). Securities and Exchange Commission. October 7, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  18. "MoonScoop sues American Greetings over Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake". The Plain Dealer. August 13, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  19. Atkinson, Claire (3 February 2015). "Strawberry Shortcake is new 'it' girl for Iconix". New York Post. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  20. Associated Press (3 February 2015). "Snoopy Owner Iconix to Buy Strawberry Shortcake for $105M". ABC News. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  21. Philpot, Robert (April 7, 2015). "Kelly Clarkson launches greeting-card line". Star-Telegram. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  22. "Studio Espinosa Illustration". Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  23. "UNKL » TEES, TEES & MORE TEES". Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  24. "UK Greetings Greeting Card Gift Wrap Social Expression Publisher". Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.

External links

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