Still clinging to the ancient notion that it's the thought that counts? Maybe you need to talk to Jim Futterman, the inventor of Greetings Express. Futterman's machine is currently being tested at 60 locations in Washington, D.C. One model enables consumers to choose a gift from a catalog, type in delivery information, tap in a special message, and pay with a major credit card. Although all of the machines are in convenience stores, the selection is hardly standard 7-11 fare: gourmet food baskets, Mont Blanc pen sets, and Gund teddy bears, to name a few. The machines are also equipped with cash-and-carry items, such as balloons and flower arrangements. The busiest bodies can even preschedule delivery of a whole year's worth of gifts. "Our customers are somewhat harried people," says the 27-year-old Futterman, who expects his two-year-old company to post profits this year.
Jul 1, 1988