No card can express the relief felt by the 20,000 retailers who use Hallmark Cards Inc.'s online marketplace to connect with suppliers. Mom-and-pop stores, the core of $4.2 billion Hallmark, didn't have the resources big retailers enjoy. That is, until the greeting card behemoth spent $30 million to create ebizmix.com, which dishes up about 70,000 items, everything from candy to stuffed animals, for retailers to stock their shelves.
What makes ebizmix.com a standout is easy-to-navigate design, industry news, and an A-list of suppliers that offer discounts of up to 10% to members. "We figure we can immediately improve a retailer's bottom line by 10% to 15%," says Mark Ciaramitaro, sales and marketing chief for MIX Inc., which runs ebizmix.com. By 2004, he expects to earn $200 million on revenues of $4 billion. That's a tradition Hallmark could enjoy.