Hallmark cutting up to 8 percent of US work force:
"Hallmark Cards Inc. on Tuesday said it will cut its U.S. work force by up to 8 percent as the nation's largest greeting card-maker struggles with falling sales.
The Kansas City-based company told employees it will lay off between 550 and 750 of its 9,200 full-time U.S. employees over the next six months.
The cuts don't include Hallmark's overseas operations or its U.S. subsidiaries DaySpring, Sunrise Greetings, Crayola, William Arthur or Crown Center, a shopping center and hotel complex in Kansas City. Some of those companies already have trimmed their ranks, said Hallmark spokeswoman Julie O'Dell.
"Reducing our work force by this many jobs is something we wish we did not have to do," said Chief Executive Officer Donald Hall Jr. "Despite all the steps we have taken to date to avoid eliminating additional jobs, the state of the economy and its impact on our business require us to take further action."
The company plans to cut between 350 and 450 jobs from its manufacturing and distribution operations in Liberty, Mo.; Enfield, Conn.; Center, Texas; Metamora, Ill.; and the Kansas towns of Lawrence, Leavenworth and Topeka. Hallmark is offering a voluntary severance program for eligible workers in those locations, which could push the number of eliminated positions higher.
An additional 200 to 250 positions will be cut from the company's Kansas City headquarters, which currently employs 4,000 people. Those workers will also receive severance packages, the company said.
Hallmark, which is privately held, reported last month that 2008 revenues fell 2 percent to $4.3 billion as the recession has cut into consumer spending.
"We did have excess capacity and it's from the economy," O'Dell said. "We do expect continued pressure on revenue and earnings and we have to adjust our cost structure for the long term."
Source: Google AP