Slowly, sometimes almost imperceptively, this company has been working itself toward toiletsville. But I hark back to when it was 22. Now what? It is sickening to see the life being sucked out of it, inch by inch.
If there is any legitimate optimism with AM, I'm all ears. Otherwise, it appears about time to stop this nightmare.
The business might be dying, but it's a slow death. And in the meantime, the real gross margin on cards is unbelievable. Think about a card that you buy at a discount store for a dollar or 2. Take anywhere from 20% to 40% off for the retailers mark up, and compare the net to maybe 5 - 10 cents cost of the card. I'm sure than AM (and Hallmark, for that matter) just recycles most of the words and designs and the cards from long ago, so the cost of design is probably very low, as well.
It's different from the newspaper business which lived on classified ads for years until the internet took most of that business away, and newspapers still haven't figured out how to make money without these ads. The card business itself can still be very profitable if you watch costs carefully. AM's problem in my view is that they watch the operating costs carefully, but they overpay for the businesses they buy. Or they buy businesses that they shouldn't buy at any price, like Carlton UK.