ENFIELD, Connecticut (WWLP/AP)- Hallmark plans to close it’s distribution center in Enfield, Connecticut affecting 570 employees.
Hallmark Cards has distribution Centers in Kansas-where it’s based out of- Missouri, Illinois and Connecticut– where workers come throughout the region including western Massachusetts.
Hallmark- the company known for it’s greeting cards– has operated its East Coast distribution in Enfield, Connecticut since 1952. The current 1 million-square foot facility opened in 1980.
Hallmark will close the Enfield Distribution Center by the end of June 2016 affecting 570 employees. The company says it is consolidating with the center in Liberty, Missouri where it will be hiring 400 more employees. Hallmark announced that workers will be able to apply for open positions at their other facilities in Kansas City and Liberty, Missouri with some relocation benefits to be provided. For workers that will not be able to make the move they will be offered some severance benefits.
David Hall, the President of Hallmark North America said the decision to close, “in no way reflects on the hardworking Hallmarkers at Enfield.”
Enfield Asst. Town Manager, Courtney Hendricson told 22News, “They did speak with our town manager and made it very clear that there wasn’t anything they would be able to do to reverse the decision.”
The company said consolidating will help the company streamline operations and money.
“Unfortunate to hear that but we will be working aggressively with other real estate interests and developers to hopefully get another tenant into that facility,” Hendricson said.
Local business owners say it will be hard to replace what Hallmark did for the community.
Joseph Ravalese, the owner of the Country Diner said, “It’s going to be a hit. I mean we have a lot of customers that are Hallmark employees, and now that they are going to be out pounding the pavement looking for another job it’s going to affect all the small businesses.”
The consolidation is expected to begin in January.
Hallmark has over 6,000 full time employees and over 17,000 part timers.