Hallmark to close 2 Kansas factories for at least 2 weeks
Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards will temporarily close factories in Kansas and Texas and reduce shifts at distribution centers as it grapples with the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The privately held company on Friday afternoon announced plans to close a greeting card plant in Lawrence and a gift wrap production facility in Leavenworth.
Additionally, a plant in Center, Texas, that makes store fixtures and displays and a plant that makes store fixtures in Metamora, Illinois will temporarily close.
In total, about 2,700 employees will be affected.
Hallmark expects the closures to last until April 6, but a spokeswoman said the company continues to monitor the everevolving landscape as COVID-19 spreads across the world.
In a news release, the company said employees would receive the equivalent of two weeks of pay in additional personal time off.
Hallmark’s distribution center in Liberty, Missouri, which ships products across North America, will remain open, but with reduced staff schedules.
That facility has implemented enhanced cleaning routines and social distancing strategies.
On Monday, Hallmark temporarily closed its headquarters at Crown
Center after an employee was potentially exposed to the virus. Officials said that exposure occurred in a social setting outside of work.
The company in January cut about 400 corporate jobs as part of a wider transformation of one of Kansas City’s best-known companies.
Aside from its marquee greeting card business, Hallmark owns the Crayola brand of art supplies, cable television’s Hallmark Channel and the real estate development company that oversees the 85-acre Crown Center complex in Kansas City.
It also boasts more than 2,000 company and independently owned Hallmark Gold Crown stores, which sell cards, gift wrap, holiday ornaments and home decor.