The Apocalypse is Upon Us: Crane & Co. for Walmart.

Hello-Hello, we hope everyone enjoyed a restful and restorative weekend. We were blessed by visiting family members for a few days and things went off without a hitch, notwithstanding the charred and blackened somewhat overcooked Pecan Pie, mandating a panicked switch to Plan B (homemade ice cream) for dessert.

The holiday season is off and running, and things are simply insane here at The Prepatorium, so today’s post is mercifully brief. Sadly, it begins with rather astonishing news. In fact, some readers may find it best to be seated before reading on.  All set?

Crane & Co. is doing paper goods for Walmart.

This is not one of our forays into la-la land, nor have we made an early dip into the eggnog. The storied stationer will be creating cards for the discount chain; for more, we go to this article:

“We recognize that although we have a very successful card line under the Crane & Co. brand, we were really selling cards only in a very small distribution channel.”

The line will be called “Perfectly Said,” and Crane is working with powerhouse American Greetings on the collection. Back to that Gifts & Decorative Accessories story, quoting Crane’s manager for new business, Ann Usher:

“… we’re missing a huge part of the greeting card market. […] We really wanted to expand the reach of our business in the greeting card category […]”

Perhaps some markets are meant to be missed.

For readers unfamiliar with American Greetings, the firm makes Papyrus, Carlton Cards and Gibson, among other wares. Here is a portion about one of the company’s newest products from a November news release:

American Greetings Introduces Whoopee Cushion Greeting Card

“Each card in the collection is an actual whoopee cushion that can be signed and sent in an accompanying envelope. As innovative as it is old-fashioned, IT’S A GAS! is the perfect way to celebrate any birthday.”

Really? The people who made our wedding invitations are in partnership with a company making cards celebrating flatulence?  (We do apologize, it is all more-than-vulgar, but how else to explain our abject despondency at the news?) Maybe Tiffany can do a line for Target, or the local Piggly-Wiggly can carry Cartier.

We first learned of the partnership last Wednesday, but found the news so dreary that waiting until after the holiday seemed in order.

Image Use not Authorized by Crane or Walmart

To quote The Consort, it appears to be a good business decision in the short term, not a wise judgment call for the long haul.

Excuse us while we procure some arsenic. “Bitter, party of one?”

If thinking about another purveyor, we can recommend Thornwillow. The company has been around forever, and we have always liked their approach to paper, as well as life. Here is a snippet from the company’s most recent blog post, just before Thanksgiving:

“…the powerful importance of saying Thank You — of saying thank you for the accidental luck into which we sometimes step for no clear reason at all, the thoughtfulness of friends, the unexpected generosity of a colleague, and the kindnesses of strangers on which most of us try very hard not to be dependent.

Showing one’s thanks for the good fortunes that have landed on us is not just a pragmatic way to make friends and influence people; it is very simply essential to being a decent member of society.  It separates the troglodytes from the civil.”


All is not lost. We remain optimistic that some traditions continue:

Tonight Rockefeller Center will be aglow.

And Rudolph returns.

Courtesy CBS

We plan to be parked in front of the television at 8pm EST on CBS.

Until next time, may Rudolph light up your corner of the globe!


  • Richard Drew/AP
  • Donna Ward/Getty


Filed under Collaborations, nautical, preppy, preppy stationery, When Preppy Goes Wrong, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

28 responses to “The Apocalypse is Upon Us: Crane & Co. for Walmart.

  1. Amy

    Wha???? *sputter*

    You should tell your readers to put down their cups of coffee and tea before reading further, my dear. ;)

  2. Andrea

    Another reason to hate American Greetings – most of their products are made in China.

  3. i am baffled by the wally world connection with cranes! only thing i can figure is theyve noticed the success of other high end companies at target perhaps?

  4. Me during the reading of this post: Gasp ….. clutch pearls … frown … shake head.

  5. TippyL

    Another nail in the coffin for luxury brands trying to mass market. Is nothing sacred? I suppose not.

  6. Amy

    Oh boy, Crane is going to regret that decision.

    Can’t wait for Rudolph tonight either! Yay!

  7. The world has gone mad, MAD I tell you! :)

  8. ACH

    Ugh. I don’t want to sound snobby, but Crane’s at Walmart certainly seems a downing of the brand. While I have never stepped foot into a Walmart in my life, perhaps we should look on the bright side: perhaps I can now rationalize sending Crane’s Christmas cards to 150 of my closest friends ;)?

  9. Cam L

    The horror. The horror.

    Wal*Mart ruins everything. Blah!

  10. kiki

    Crane & Co is smart. someone like me who loves the brand (used the co for my engagement announcements, and wedding and bridal shower invites) will most certainly go to WalMart to buy its products at more reasonable prices. i adore the Rudolph movie, too, and recently purchased the DVD set which includes Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. i also enjoy watching the lighting of the tree each year, and it has been many years since i’ve visited the tree. i hope to get my son up there to experience it at least once. thanks for sharing and take care.

  11. oh, dear sweet lord.

    hold me.

  12. The Princess. Separating the trogdolytes since what, 1975?:)

  13. BethAnn

    Just a warning that you should probably turn CBS off prior to 10pm Eastern, lest you become a victim of yet another sign of the apocalype. At that time the nice warm and fuzzy Christmas airings will turn a little naughtier with the premier of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Nothing says the holidays like skimpy underthings and wings apparently…

  14. WOW! Next thing we know “The Mart” will carry Reed & Barton:) LOL
    Have a splendid evening!

  15. To quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: The horror! The horror! and that’s really all I can say. Shock does this to one :-) xoxo

  16. MCW

    Best title for one of your posts. Love it.
    Check out my post for today! Posted a pic of me on top of the Rock Center tree!

  17. No! I don’t believe it. Uh-huh. Me thinks you had more brandy in your vanilla sauce than you are wise to. It just can’t be. Uh, what time does the Apocalypse start? Is it being televised?

  18. I saaaweeearr I’m not being dramatic, I literally had chills run up and down my spine at “Crane & Co at Walmart.”


  19. This is as bad as the time Wal-Mart decided to carry Madras (or so I have heard). Does this mean Madras is finished? I like Cape Madras and they are even sold at the Andover Shop and Island Pursuit :-)

    Maybe the quality of Crane’s products isn’t going to be reduced and they are just going to have a larger market share? Wal-Mart is infamous for its use of planned obsolescence and selling inferior grade food. Why consume excessive amounts of sugar, trans fats, and GMO when one could shop organic? Maybe Wal-Mart could start carrying stuff from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods? Maybe they could start carrying tempeh (better than tofu) and rosewater? Why not carry ostrich burgers? Maybe they already carry these items, but would be a cheap imitation if anything of them.

    In summery, so what if someone is buying Crane stationary with an Ed Hardy shirt (tacky, I know) and NASCAR stuff? Most people at Wal-Mart probably have never even heard of Crane and will just continue buying the brands they have stayed with for their entire lives.

  20. You are so funny…and so right!

  21. Oh my goodness! This is terrible! Perhaps I can go to Walmart to buy my wedding invitations now?

  22. Hey Sweetie! I am loving your blog! I am blog hopping today and came upon your site. Your writing style is awesome and I am so a follower/subscriber now!
    Um…. don’t get me started on this. Why does everything have to be made cheap? Some things are supposed to be classy and expensive not carried at wal-mart!

  23. Ummmm…………..what? Like, seriously? Just checked my calendar, it’s not April 1….

    I need to lay down a moment……

    This post should have come with a warning!!!
    “Please be seated before reading.”

  24. Crane at Wal-Mart?!?!?!? I am appalled. What was Crane thinking? Wal-Mart will carry their product for a while. Then, they will buy the company, cheapen it and send it overseas or to Mexico. I guess you can tell that I don’t like Wal-Mart.

  25. Just found your blog today thru Katie Armour. I see you referred some readers to me. Thanks ever so much!
    Love what I have seen so far and you are now on my blog roll.
    Kind regards,

  26. Little Red

    Crane & Co. has made a deal with the devil. Eventually, they will squeeze Crane to reduce costs to the point that the Crane name will become meaningless.

  27. Jen

    I will quote someone far wiser in the ways of fine shopping, when I say WalMart is hitting the “aspirational shopper” market (love that phrase of yours.) Although, I doubt most who frequent WalMart will know the Crane products.
    Maybe Target will get in on a Smythson deal. If that happens, then you know the end is near.

  28. Pingback: Ipod Nano 6th Gen | Charles

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