Like its customers, Schurman Fine Papers (dba Papyrus) strives to make the right impression. The company, which operates stores under the American Greetings, Carlton Cards, and Papyrus brands, sells specialty gift products such as greeting cards, stationary, gift wrap, and other paper products. Its retail network numbers some 500 stores throughout North America following its 2009 purchase of some 340 American Greetings retail shops. As part of the deal, Schurman sold its wholesale division, which supplies Papyrus greeting cards, to American Greetings for $18 million. Schurman Fine Papers was founded in 1950 by Marcel and Margrit Schurman; their daughter Dominique Schurman now heads the company.
The sale of its Papyrus brand to American Greetings marked a shift in the way the company does business. Through its $6-million purchase of American Greetings' retail operations, Schurman effectively transformed itself into a large, nationwide greeting card retailer. Previously, Schurman had distributed its artsy Papyrus products to retailers and specialty stores through the wholesale division. American Greetings now distributes Papyrus, Carlton, and its own products to Schurman's stores. The partnership also allows the company to expand beyond the Papyrus brand's high-end, specialty market and into the more mainstream consumer greeting card business. Following the agreement, American Greetings bought a 15% stake in the company. – less