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Hallmark plant employees to get mandatory days off at end of year

Plants to close between Christmas, New Year in cost-saving move

March 23, 2009

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Soon after Americans have cared enough to send the very best greeting cards for the winter holidays, employees at Hallmark Cards Inc. will be taking a mandatory rest.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company plans to close its corporate headquarters and all its production and distribution centers — including a plant at 101 McDonald Drive in Lawrence — for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, part of a cost-cutting move announced to employees in January.

Hallmark stores will remain open.

Virtually all of Hallmark’s 9,200 employees in the company’s North American Personal Expressions Group will be affected by the move, which is intended to save on operational expenses, said Linda Odell, a Hallmark spokeswoman.

Employees can schedule vacation days for the shutdown, she said, or otherwise won’t be paid while away from work.

By moving up production schedules, Hallmark still will fill all its orders and meet all needs despite being closed for a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — all days that many employees want to take off, anyway, Odell said.

By announcing the move early in the year, she said, the company is giving employees a chance to accommodate the arrangement into their vacation plans.

“It’s a cost-management strategy, or tactic, but it’s also changing our point of view and being more flexible — allowing people to do what they want to do anyway,” Odell said. “It’s the most popular time of year for everybody to take vacation.”

Among production centers to be closed temporarily for the holidays:

• Lawrence, which has 700 employees making Shoebox and other greeting cards, plus ribbons and other products.

• Topeka, which has 680 employees making cards and envelopes.

• Leavenworth, which has 405 employees making giftwrap, paper plates and cups, and a variety of Crayola products.

Hallmark revenues decreased 2 percent in 2008, the company announced last week, and President and CEO Donald J. Hall Jr. said that “pressure on revenues will likely continue in 2009, requiring us to intensify our efforts to reshape our cost structure.”

Closing headquarters and other operations for the holidays — a first for the company — could become a tradition.

“If this seems to be successful … it might be something we do every year,” Odell said.

Comments

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 1 month ago

Concidering what the average cost is of their cards now, I'd think they'd be giving their employees that week off paid AND a raise. Their business was down a whole 2%? Oh, boo hoo! Most businesses wish they had seen a decrease in business of just 2%!

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toe 5 years, 1 month ago

Hallmark is in decline in so many ways.

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upcydwn 5 years, 1 month ago

Hey, I'm one of those ppl who got hurt on the job and then told my position was no longer needed. Thx Hallmark, after 19 yrs of service to you, I then get serviced!! When you care enough to send the very best...LOL! You obviously don't care enough to treat your employees worth a darn!! "Family oriented business" my rear!!

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aholtw2 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, and another way they are cutting costs is to eliminate workers who have been hurt on the job, despite workmans comp laws!!

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 1 month ago

If Maxine owned Hallmark, I'd buy stock!

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wysiwyg69 5 years, 1 month ago

kseagle---- maybe machiavelli thinks maxine owns Hallmark.

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kseagle 5 years, 1 month ago

Machiavelli_mania you crazy loon. Who do you think owns Hallmark? Who is this "her"? Once again you are completely uninformed.

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Machiavelli_mania 5 years, 1 month ago

Public Release: 23-Mar-2009 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Inflation 'felt' to be not so bad as a wage cut Many people view a rise in their income as a good thing, even when the increase is completely negated again by inflation. Researchers at Bonn University and the California Institute of Technology have discovered the cerebro-physiological cause underlying this so-called "money illusion." This effect is of great practical relevance in that it explains, for instance, why financial policy and inflation can have a beneficial effect on employment and economic growth. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/uob-it031909.php

Eurekalert is a research embargo site which allows news agencies as well as the public to access their info as a means to pass on knowledge. This is not plagerism. I am merely doing LJWorld's job of picking and choosing what you can and cannot know. I don't allow others to decide what interests me, and you shouldn't either. http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php Find your own knews!!!

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Machiavelli_mania 5 years, 1 month ago

Maybe that Hallmark witch that owns the company should just ask Bush for her money back from his campaigns. I am sorry for the employees but I don't care for the company. I don't buy their services or products, successfully avoiding them totally.

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Steve Jacob 5 years, 1 month ago

I hope it's not the beginning of the end. They might go the way of the newspaper.

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cowboy 5 years, 1 month ago

will the asian plant producing work from Topeka be shut down also ?

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