Eriq Fields got an email from Hallmark Cards last week that wasn’t heartfelt or funny.
The 111-year-old greeting-card company was shutting down its e-card service at the end of April.
No more emails with dancing Peanuts characters to celebrate happy occasions from birthdays to Fridays. No more saxophone-playing Santa. No more animated Maxine, the wisecracking, curmudgeonly senior citizen with her own line of cards.
“I was so upset when I saw it,” said Mr. Fields, a 48-year-old global manager for a telecom company who lives in Richardson, Texas. “It threw me.
The timing seemed puzzling to some fans of the beleaguered greeting-cards industry. With physical cards in long-term decline, the virtual version once seemed to offer a lifeline. E-card sales had stagnated before the pandemic, but digital-card companies say Covid-19 has fueled a resurgence as people seek ways to celebrate and connect remotely without worrying how many hands touched the envelope en route.