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Bringing Little Guys Into The Loop

Business Week -- Web Smart 50 -- Streamlining

Bringing Little Guys into the Loop

No card can express the relief felt by the 20,000 retailers who use Hallmark Cards Inc.'s online marketplace to connect with suppliers. Mom-and-pop stores, the core of $4.2 billion Hallmark, didn't have the resources big retailers enjoy. That is, until the greeting card behemoth spent $30 million to create, which dishes up about 70,000 items, everything from candy to stuffed animals, for retailers to stock their shelves.

What makes a standout is easy-to-navigate design, industry news, and an A-list of suppliers that offer discounts of up to 10% to members. "We figure we can immediately improve a retailer's bottom line by 10% to 15%," says Mark Ciaramitaro, sales and marketing chief for MIX Inc., which runs By 2004, he expects to earn $200 million on revenues of $4 billion. That's a tradition Hallmark could enjoy.Return to top


Hallmark Cards

The Project: Web marketplace linking Mom-and-Pop shops with suppliers.The Payoff: Stores' bottom lines up 10% to 15%. Should generate earnings of $200 million yearly by 2004.Return to top

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