Total Retail Talks
Total Retail Talks is for retail executives who crave the knowledge and insights needed to stay successful in today's fast-paced industry. Through engaging talks and focused interviews, listeners take away useful information and practical advice from a full roster of retail experts, influencers and leaders.

In episode 424 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Darren Abbott, chief creative officer and senior vice president of global product development and innovation at Hallmark, a heritage American, family-owned greeting cards company operating a diversified portfolio of businesses. Listen in as Abbott discusses the launch of Hallmark + Venmo Cards (0:50), why the two brands are a great fit for each other (4:08), and how the cards enable seamless, secure cash gifting through Venmo (5:35). He shares why Venmo is the right digital payment partner for this initiative (9:55) and how Hallmark approaches innovation across its organization (11:30).

In addition, Abbott discusses how his team of creatives powers Hallmark's massive catalog of greeting cards (14:10), the art and science behind card design and copy (16:30), and the gifting trends he's tracking for the upcoming holiday shopping season (17:55). Lastly, he comments on the resurgence of in-person gatherings and how Hallmark is approaching celebrations holistically post-pandemic (20:40).

Darren Abbott is senior vice president of global product development, innovation and licensing and chief creative officer at Hallmark Cards, Inc. He leads one of the world’s largest and most renowned creative staffs, including more than 600 artists, designers, stylists, writers, editors and photographers. He leads efforts to strengthen the Hallmark brand by developing and building new capabilities across multiple creative studios focused on design, digital content, illustration, lettering, photography, writing, trend forecasting, marketing creative services and visual merchandising.

Since joining the company in 1996, Abbott has been an influential leader at Hallmark, from founding creative director of Hallmark’s award-winning Creative Marketing Studio to vice president for creative marketing and digital. He was promoted to his current role in 2021. Abbott has made significant contributions to the local, regional and national creative community. He was recently recognized for these efforts by AIGA, the professional association for design, and was named an AIGA Fellow in 2015 by the Kansas City chapter.

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