Hallmark Cards Tuesday announced plans to shift jobs from its soon-to-be closed Topeka production center to the two remaining facilities, in Leavenworth and Lawrence.
The Kansas City, Mo., based greeting card company announced at an afternoon news conference plans to shutter the Topeka facility, which as it now stands opened in 1966 and employs about 500 people. The closure of the Topeka plant will occur in phases, according to information from the company, and will begin immediately. The center will be completely closed by the end of the 2013.
The three current Kansas production facilities together employ about 1,300 people, Hallmark said. According to a news release about the Topeka plant closure, about 1,000 positions will be needed between the Leavenworth and Lawrence locations at the conclusion of the consolidation.
The Leavenworth factory, located on Eisenhower Road, will adopt the production of specialty items like stickers, ribbon and bows. The Lawrence Production Center will begin manufacturing greeting cards and envelopes.
Company officials cited excess capacity at the three Kansas sites and an intent to reduce costs as the reason for the consolidation efforts.
“Hallmark has a long history in Topeka and any action that impacts employees, and in this case a community, is taken only after a thorough evaluation and careful consideration,” said Donald Hall Jr., Hallmark president and chief executive officer. “The work we are now doing in three facilities can be accomplished in two. This decision allows us to streamline our operations and improve our cost structure so we can remain competitive in today’s marketplace.”
None of the work now being performed across the Kansas facilities is being moved out of the state, officials said. Hourly employees at all three sites are reportedly being offered a financial incentive to “assist them in voluntarily transitioning out of the company.”