Hallmark Sending Pink Slips Rather Than Smiles

Instead of sending smiles in a paper card, Hallmark Cards Inc. is creating frowns with pink slips --  up to 750 of them. 

The greeting card giant will cut between 550 and 750 of its 9,200 full-time U.S. employees over the next six months, including in Enfield, as the company struggles with falling sales.

Between 350 and 450 jobs will be cut in manufacturing and distribution and includes operations in Enfield; Liberty, Mo.; 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.

"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."

Americans are apparently wishing people happy birthdays electronically or in person because the company’s 2008 revenues fell 2 percent to $4.3 billion as the recession has cut into consumer spending.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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