Hall­mark to close 2 Kansas fac­to­ries for at least 2 weeks

The Kansas City Star - - Business - BY KEVIN HARDY [email protected]­star.com Kevin Hardy: 816-234-4337, @kev­in­mhardy

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.

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