Hallmark, Shutterfly make greetings more personal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hallmark has formed a strategic alliance with Shutterfly Inc., an Internet-based photo sharing company. The alliance, which will roll out in phases, includes co-branded online and retail-based product offerings.

Initially, the agreement calls for more than 1,000 exclusive Hallmark-designed customizable cards to be featured on Shutterfly's new personalized greeting card site, Treat.com. The new site, which officially launched in April, is a destination dedicated to personalizing and sending the perfect greeting card for every occasion. The Treat site also offers an integrated scheduling and reminder service that connects directly with Facebook. This fall, a collection of Hallmark holiday designs also will be available on Shutterfly.com and tinyprints.com.

"Hallmark's goal is to make a genuine difference in every life, every day, and the more ways people can access what we offer, the better we can serve their needs," said Rob Bensman, Hallmark VP strategic alliances. "The alliance with Shutterfly elevates Hallmark's brand presence in the growing personalized greetings category and augments our distribution through Hallmark.com and other online photo service sites. The millions of consumers who already store photos on Shutterfly will now have easy access to Hallmark's creative and editorial expertise as they create their own individualized cards through a quality experience on Shutterfly."

Hallmark will continue to offer a full suite of customizable products on its own Hallmark.com site, including personalized greeting cards, invitations, announcements and paper partyware.

Future plans call for developing an assortment of photo-based gift items available next spring exclusively in Hallmark Gold Crown stores. After purchasing the products at a Hallmark Gold Crown store, consumers can go to Shutterfly.com and choose which photos they want to use to customize the item. At no additional cost, Shutterfly will print and mail the photos to fit perfectly and easily into each unique gift item.