Business & Tech
6:15 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Hallmark Consolidates Kansas Facilities, Cuts 300 Jobs

Hallmark Cards, Inc. today announced the consolidation of its manufacturing operations in Kansas to two locations: Lawrence and Leavenworth.

Card and envelope production will move from Topeka to Lawrence; the Topeka production facility will close. Stickers, ribbons and bows will be produced in Leavenworth, rather than Lawrence.

The three Kansas plants currently employ 1300 people, including 500 in Topeka. The company estimates it will need 1000 positions to staff its Lawrence and Leavenworth locations, so 300 jobs would be eliminated.

According to a statement released by Hallmark:

The transition will occur in phases, beginning immediately. As a result of this move, the Topeka Production Center will close by the end of 2013.

Hallmark has taken this step to address excess capacity at its Kansas manufacturing facilities and reduce the company’s cost structure.

Hallmark held a press conference today in Topeka. The Lawrence-Journal World reports that the company's senior vice president for supply chain and business enablement, Pete Burney, cited higher transportation and insurance costs in Topeka due to the location of the Hallmark facility in a flood plain.

Burney said the consolidation was needed to better manage operating costs. He said greeting card sales have decreased from six billion cards sold annually to five billion over the last 10 years, but he said the industry is still sound.

The production facility in Topeka opened in 1943. It's expected to be sold.

Also, according to the Journal-World: "When the consolidation is complete, the Lawrence plant will be Hallmark's only U.S. facility making greeting cards and envelopes. The Lawrence plant already made about two-thirds of the company's U.S. greeting cards, with the other third produced in Topeka."