Hallmark Cards Inc. is bringing more work to Lawrence - but not necessarily any additional jobs - at the expense of other company operations outside of Kansas.
The Kansas City, Mo.-based company said Wednesday that as part of its consolidation of manufacturing operations for greeting cards, company plants in Lawrence and Topeka would be getting equipment and operations that are set to close elsewhere.
But don't expect any new faces to come along with the equipment, unless some of the 335 displaced employees successfully apply for and secure existing jobs that might become open in Lawrence or Topeka.
The Lawrence plant, covering 650,000 square feet at 101 McDonald Drive, will continue with 800 employees, said Julie O'Dell, a Hallmark spokeswoman. The 711,000-square-foot Topeka plant will run with 720.
"We have capacity to handle that work," O'Dell said. "We anticipate an increase of about 10 to 15 percent in production volume, on average, which we can easily handle in both places because we've implemented process improvements over the past few months."
Moves announced Wednesday call for:
¢ Ceasing card manufacturing at a plant in Toronto. That change took effect Wednesday, eliminating 195 jobs, but another 500 full-time and 900 part-time workers will remain employed in Toronto and elsewhere, handling distribution, marketing, accounting and other tasks.
¢ Ending card manufacturing at Hallmark's DaySpring Cards plant in Siloam Springs, Ark., beginning in September. The plant is set to lose 80 jobs by the end of October; another 325 employees will remain, handling sales, marketing, finance, distribution and other tasks.
¢ Ending manufacturing at Hallmark's Sunrise Greetings plant in Bloomington, Ind., beginning in January. Plans call for 60 jobs to be eliminated by the end of March, while 160 people will remain on the job for distribution, sales and other responsibilities.
DaySpring remains a popular line of Christian-themed cards, typically sold in Christian bookstores, O'Dell said. Sunrise Greetings cards often are sold at large retailers, including Barnes and Noble.
Having acquired those card companies in the late 1990s, O'Dell said, Hallmark now is looking to focus its overall card production in Lawrence and Topeka.
"It's all because we're trying to be as efficient and productive as possible, and save costs," O'Dell said.
Some of the displaced manufacturing operations from Toronto, Arkansas and Indiana will be outsourced to other plants in Mexico and China, O'Dell said, where Hallmark's cards with sound and other especially labor-intensive items are manufactured.
Hallmark reported total net revenue of $4.4 billion worldwide in 2007, up 8 percent from a year earlier. Hallmark North America and the company's Crayola division each had increases of 7 percent.