It has cards for every occasion, but that’s just one part of why the Newtown Township-based Norman’s Hallmark store chain keeps humming along, and growing.
With the recent acquisition of eight more locations, Norman’s now has a total of 70 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland and is the nation’s largest independent owner of Gold Crown Hallmark stores, company officials said.
“Our motto from the start has been ‘your Hallmark store and so much more,’” Norman’s President and CEO Howard Henschel said of the chain started by his uncle, Dave Norman, with a single store in Trenton, N.J. in 1939.
Greeting cards make up only about 20 percent of total sales, Henschel added.
In addition to cards, Norman’s has a full line of Hallmark products. Customers at the stores can find keepsake ornaments, gift wrap, fashion accessories, books, stationery, games, home decor, specialty candy, gourmet foods and many other items.
Henschel said each Norman’s store has a distinct personality, and yet a common objective to serve as an engaging, one-stop destination where shoppers can find the perfect cards and gifts for any milestone or occasion.
“Every Norman’s Hallmark is a true neighborhood store and an integral part of that local community,” he said. “Employees are the driving force behind our success and are committed to creating an inspirational and seamless shopping environment for guests.”
There’s a feel-good vibe about shopping at Norman’s – which has seven stores in Bucks County – Marketing Director Kim Dunn said.
“I think the people who work in our stores bring the family feeling, and everyone who comes in feels at home,” she noted.
Norman’s executives and other employees are always conscious of keeping up with shopping trends, Dunn emphasized. One of this year’s hottest items is the Norm the Gnome squishmallow, which is exclusive to the chain.
“We are continually trying to improve on our stores, and always try to make them bright, cheery and welcoming,” Dunn said.
While the chain’s stores were closed for three months during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, merchandise was still available and continues to be online at normanshallmark.com.
“We switched gears during those three months,” said Dunn. “We didn’t sell as much everyday product because everyone was kind of hunkered down. We moved more toward providing our customers with an outlet to buy the masks, hand sanitizer and other personal protective essentials to keep them going. That was a huge success.”
The story of Norman’s has been one of steady sales, and steady but cautious growth, said Henschel, who has been with the company for more than 50 years. He declined to release specific sales figures, or speculate on exactly how big he’d like to see the chain eventually grow.
“The marketplace is constantly changing, influenced by the way people shop and through evolving competitive dynamics,” said Henschel.
“As a family-owned and operated company, Norman’s Hallmark has the agility to respond accordingly. As a result, we are poised for additional careful growth in the coming months and years.”
Norman’s stores in or adjacent to Bucks County are located in: Jamison, in Warwick Square; Newtown, in Village at Newtown; Warminster; Huntingdon Valley, in Huntingdon Valley Marketplace; Morrisville, in the ShopRite of Yardley; Langhorne, in The Shoppes at Flowers Mill; Langhorne, in the Oxford Valley Mall; North Wales, in the Montgomery Mall; Bensalem, in the Neshaminy Mall; Willow Grove, in the Willow Grove Mall; and Quakertown, in Richland Marketplace.