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|Sapirstein Greeting Card Company|
|Founded||Brooklyn, Ohio, United States (1906 )|
|Headquarters||Westlake, Ohio, United States|
Number of employees
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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, which is scheduled for mid-2016.
- North American Social Expression Products,
- International Social Expression Products,
- AG Interactive (Webshots was formerly part of AG Interactive)
- a non-reportable operating segment, sometimes referred to as "Retail"
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. 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.
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.
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. In August, 2009 MoonScoop filed a lawsuit against American Greetings over the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake deal.
(Note: not all licenses are original creations by American Greetings. Some were licensed from third parties, where indicated)
- Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures
- Care Bears
- The Electric Company (2009 TV series)
- The Get Along Gang
- Herself the Elf
- Holly Hobbie (original)
- Holly Hobbie & Friends
- Kelly Clarkson
- Lady Lovely Locks
- Maryoku Yummy
- My Pet Monster
- Packages from Planet X
- Paintbox Studios
- Peppermint Rose
- Pretty Freekin Scary
- Ring Raiders
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Sushi Pack (created by Studio Espinosa and Cloudco)
- TinPo (created by UNKL)
- Topsy and Tim
- Twisted Whiskers
- Carlton Cards - American Greetings' Canadian branch.
- Carlton Cards Retail - American Greetings' store management.
- John Sands (company), Australian subsidiary
- British subsidiary UK Greetings
- Clintons, formerly ‘Clinton Cards’ - UK card retailer acquired by American Greetings in 2012
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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.
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- "American Greetings, Form 8-K, Current Report". Securities and Exchange Commission. March 30, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
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- "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.
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- Atkinson, Claire (3 February 2015). "Strawberry Shortcake is new 'it' girl for Iconix". New York Post. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
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- "Studio Espinosa Illustration". studioespinosa.com. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
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