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Hallmark Cuts 400 East Coast Jobs, Moves Them To Liberty


Hallmark Cards Inc. announced plans on Tuesday to transfer 400 jobs to Liberty, Missouri, from a distribution center in Enfield, Connecticut.

The East Coast site, open since 1952, currently employs 570 people. 

"Liberty was selected because it is the larger of the two facilities and its central location provides shipment advantages for a vast majority of Hallmark's retailers and customers," said Dave Hall, president of Hallmark North America, in a release.

Hall stated that consolidation was an option due to "significant improvements in distribution and inventory management practices."

The Liberty Distribution Center, a 1.7 million square-foot facility, opened in 1972. Staff levels will increase in phases at the Liberty location during the transition, from the current staffing level of 712 to 1,100 and 1,200 full-time employees. The Enfield facility, at 1 million square feet, is scheduled to close at the end of June 2016. 

According to a report in the Kansas City Star, as of 1997, Hallmark's employment was at a peak with 13,500 employees across the United States. Now, it's about half that. The Kansas City-based company has also been cutting staff at its headquarters, including 165 recent layoffs in the creative department. There are now about 3,000 full-time employees in Kansas City. 

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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