Seeing slow shift to cyber greetings


SAN FRANCISCO -- Are Americans ready to chuck holiday greeting cards and send each other e-mail messages instead?

A new survey suggests such a shift may be coming soon, but the U.S. Postal Service and the greeting card industry say it sure hasn't happened yet.

Claris Corp., a division of Apple Computer Inc., surveyed 1,000 Americans about how many holiday greeting cards they send out and whether they're likely to use e-mail instead of the traditional stamped envelope.

Forty-three percent of respondents reported they think they will be sending holiday greetings via computer by 2000. And 24 percent said they were already using e-mail a few times a month to communicate with family and friends.

Rashena Lindsay, spokeswoman for Hallmark Cards Inc. in Kansas City, Mo., said e-mail has not taken a slice out of the 2.65 billion greeting cards Americans will exchange this holiday season.

"The average American household sends and receives about 28 cards," she said. She expects it will be a while before electronic greetings replace the paper kind.

"Cards are a keepsake," Lindsay said. "It's the tradition of having something tangible to ... display."

Pub Date: 12/20/96

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