Hallmark to close Kan. plant

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Hallmark Cards Inc. announced plans Tuesday to close its Topeka facility and shed about 300 jobs as it consolidates its Kansas operations at its remaining plants in Lawrence and Leavenworth.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based greeting card company said the number of people working at its Kansas plants will fall from about 1,300 to about 1,000 when consolidation is finished by the end of next year.

About 500 people work at the Topeka plant. Hallmark will move greeting card and envelope production to its Lawrence plant. It will move the production of specialty items such as stickers, ribbons and bows to the Leavenworth plant.

Hallmark said in a news release that its workers will be offered buyouts as part of its efforts to "address excess capacity" and "reduce the company's cost structure." The transition will occur in phases and begin immediately.

Hallmark's Topeka plant opened in 1943, and the current 711,000-square-foot building was completed in 1966.

The job loss announcement was the second for Topeka in recent months. Memorabilia maker Jostens announced in May that 372 jobs would be phased out as the company moved its production work from its Topeka plant to Clarksville, Tenn. The Topeka plant mainly produced Jostens' line of memory books.

The company planned to keep 87 employees in Topeka, mainly in customer service, art, marketing and technical support. Jostens has been steadily cutting jobs and production in Kansas' capital city over the past several years.

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