Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Hallmark to offer buyouts to long-term employees, including those in Lawrence plant

April 10, 2012


Kansas City, Mo.-based Hallmark is taking steps to reduce its workforce, possibly including lower employment totals at its Lawrence manufacturing plant.

Hallmark on Tuesday initiated a voluntary program to buyout longtime employees of the greeting card manufacturer. About 1,500 employees are eligible for the program, which involves providing employees with a severance package to voluntarily leave the company.

Hallmark spokeswoman Julie O’Dell said she anticipates 300 to 400 employees will apply to receive the buyouts.

Hallmark operates a greeting card manufacturing facility at 101 McDonald Drive in Lawrence. O’Dell said 486 people are employed at the Lawrence plant. She estimated about 5 percent of the plant’s workforce would be eligible to apply for the buyout program.

O’Dell said the company decided to reduce its workforce as consumers remain cautious in their spending on greeting cards and related items. The privately-held company posted revenues of $4.1 billion in 2011, which were flat compared to 2010. O’Dell said the company expected 2012 to be another difficult year, and decided to take steps now to reduce its costs and improve competitiveness.

Hallmark — which has bout 7,500 employees total and 3,700 at its Kansas City headquarters — expects employees who take the buyout offer to leave the company by the end of July.

— City reporter Chad Lawhorn can be reached at 832-6362. Follow him at


Jayhawk1958 6 years, 1 month ago

And Wall Street and the government tells us that the economy is getting better?

cowboy 6 years, 1 month ago

how much work has hallmark off shored ?

Keith 6 years, 1 month ago

Check the back, many now say made in China. This is the 2nd round of buyouts, the first was a couple of years ago and may not have been publicized.

commonsenselawrence 6 years, 1 month ago

Revenues of $4.1 BILLION and they expect another difficult year!!! Corporate greed at its best.

optimist 6 years, 1 month ago

If you are going to call yourself "commonsenselawrence" shouldn't you demonstrate common sense? First of all revenue is not profit as you obviously assume. The company is not obliged to provide a single job except in the event of actual need. They employ as many people as are required to do the job, they purchase materials and services from the local community, around the country and the world to produce their products. They price their products based on the cost to manufacture and the market in mind. People buy those products or not. I don't understand why anyone cares how much they make as long as they earn it legally. They provide jobs and a sense if security for many if their employees even if that aren't able to do it for all of them. Rather than just lay people off they are offering financial incentives to employees near retirement. They contribute money and other resources in the community that benefit the community. Something they are not at all obligated to do. And what do you do but make the point to call them greedy. Get a grip and try to dispense with the uninformed attacks.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

If you dispute what he says, state your case. Otherwise, innuendo is not a legitimate argument.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 1 month ago

"The company is not obliged to provide a single job except in the event of actual need."

Thank you. You just summed up why capitalism is wrong and undemocratic.

SinoHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

So it is more democratic to force people to hire employees that they don't need?

Armored_One 6 years, 1 month ago

just shaking my head and laughing softly

Undemocratic? I'm almost scared to ask how you relate one to the other, so I won't.

Capitalism is wrong? I started to ask an entire laundry list of questions, but I think a summary would be better.

Can you give a coherent example of a market style that has been used by humankind that is as self correcting and self sustaining as capitalism?

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 1 month ago

Not to mention the billions of dollars of unpaid income taxes by corporations.

Rebecca Valburg 6 years, 1 month ago

Foreign labor, the economy . . . pretty sure the advent of the internet was what really made life difficult for Hallmark. I'm sure other factors don't help, but I think the glory days have been over for awhile.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

It sounds like a prudent step, offering early or buy out retirement, might save jobs for people with families. I hope the leaner approach helps them keep solvent. They have provided a lot of jobs over the years and they have a valuable work force. They need to find ways to keep their products current. Good luck to them.

Brian Hall 6 years, 1 month ago

USPS is not having problems with the lack of people using snail mail. The USPS is having problems with Congress telling them that they need to pay into a pension plan no one will use until 50 years from now. The Post Office was doing fine until Congress got involved. Surprise, surprise.

SinoHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

To be fair, they are also having troubles with the lack of people using snail mail. Volumes are through the floor, and junk mail isn't enough to make up the difference.

James Minor 6 years, 1 month ago

Getting a card in the mail is always a pleasant surprise. Getting an email card sometimes doesn't feel the same as the one delivered to your mailbox. Hallmark offering a buyout to old timers is alot better than finding out the plant is closing and everyone goes home.

wdl 6 years, 1 month ago

A prudent, responsible, and classy approach to their situation. A lot of companies would have had a blood letting and have been done with it. They have a responsibility to their company to run it profitably. Requires running it to scale.

camper 6 years, 1 month ago

Very true. I worked for a company that was in bankruptcy. They did not offer a buyout. So they laid-off many good employees, retained many of the worthless ones, and slipped further into bankruptcy. A buy-out option used to be more commonplace. Not so these days.

buffalo63 6 years, 1 month ago

It worked for me. Was better to walk out the door than get shoved out!

kansasredlegs 6 years, 1 month ago

Hallmark Card, Inc., a privately owned company goes out of its way to make sure that its employees are treated fairly. Has shared its profits with those employees for well over 50 years. Pays its employees "living wages", provides health care, vision plan, education reimbursement assistance, etc. You get the picture.

That being said, where are our City and County leaders who regularly and frequently use our taxpayer money for "12" warehouse nonlivng wage jobs at Berry Plastics or whatever its called, the handout to Compton and Company for Fire Sprinklers, the Fritzel Feast at the Oread where the taxpayer buys fire ladder truck to service a building for which they don't pay full tax freight.

Where's Gaughan and Thelman with their economic analysis to determine whether these jobs are worth saving with some Gov'ment money? Heck, them 2 are always ready to reach into the taxpayer's pocket, but I guess since Hallmark is a "foreign" company, you know, the Halls reside in KC, no money for them during its struggles to remain viable in the present economic downturn and unstable business climate in which it finds itself.

Our so-called City / County Leaders are pathetic and I for one would never mistake any one of them for a Leader. Followers, hypocrites, panderers and opportunists, yes, but Leaders never.

No crying from our Lawrence "Leaders" when Hallmark packs up and moves all its printing operations (American Jobs) to China.

gatekeeper 6 years, 1 month ago

I know someone at headquarters in KC that could take this buy out. There are a lot of employees in their 50's and 60's there that might want to take advantage of this. Some have saved well for retirement and will gets months of pay for leaving.

Hallmark has been hurting because card sales have drastically declined over the years. And yes, they now have lots of cards made in China. You can partially thank Walmart for that. They had Hallmark come up with their own line of cards only sold at Walmart and everything there has to be cheap, cheap, cheap and from China.

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