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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

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

April 10, 2012

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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 Twitter.com/clawhorn_ljw

Comments

gatekeeper 2 years 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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kansasredlegs 2 years 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.

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buffalo63 2 years ago

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

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Gootsie 2 years ago

I wish I was one of them...

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blue73harley 2 years ago

"A lot of companies would have had a blood letting and have been done with it."

Amen to that! Getting a buy-out near retirement age is often a good deal for both the company and the employee.

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wdl 2 years 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.

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James Minor 2 years 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.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

Not enough people using "snail mail". USPS is having problems with the lack of people using "snail mail" as well.

When has anyone seen a mob of people in the gift card isle during "Mothers Day" or "Valentines Day".

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pace 2 years 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.

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RichardCory 2 years 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.

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commonsenselawrence 2 years ago

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

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cowboy 2 years ago

how much work has hallmark off shored ?

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Jayhawk1958 2 years ago

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

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