On Tuesday, Hallmark announced it will be closing its distribution center located in Enfield by the end of June 2016.
The company said it has plans to consolidate and manage distribution operations through its Liberty Distribution Center in Liberty, Mo.
The distribution center in Enfield has been in operation for 62 years.
In a letter, the company said the 570 employees at the Enfield center may apply for open positions at Hallmark in Kansas City and in Liberty, with some relocation assistance provided.
“Those unable to make the move will be offered severance benefits,” the letter said.
“Hallmark has a long history in Enfield and any action that impacts employees, and in this case a community, is taken only after a thorough evaluation and careful consideration,” said Dave Hall, president of Hallmark North America. “This decision in no way reflects on the hardworking Hallmarkers at Enfield or the tremendously-supportive community where Hallmark has operated for the past 62 years.”
The company said consolidating will allow Hallmark to continue to “streamline operations and enable substantial, ongoing savings.”
“In recent years, we have made significant improvements in distribution and inventory management practices,” Hall said. “As a result, we can fulfill and ship the required product volume in a timely manner from a single location.”
He added that Liberty was selected because it is larger than the other two facilities and is centrally located.
"Not a good day for Enfield," said Richard Bragg, who is a former employee of Hallmark. "That's going to have a great impact on the folks here."
The company said about 400 full-time positions will be added to the Liberty Distribution Center next year.
Once the consolidation is complete, staff levels at the Liberty center will be between 1,100 and 1,200 full-time employees.
"I thinks it's awful. Almost everyday people are buying Hallmark cards," said Felicya Moran, who is a Hallmark customer.
State Sen. John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) said the loss of 570 jobs is “heartbreaking.”
“This closure will send a tremor throughout our community that will be felt by many. My heart goes out to the families who will be impacted and the hundreds who will be unemployed as a result. Hallmark has been an integral part of our community for over 60 years. This is a huge loss for Enfield,” Kissel said in a statement on Tuesday.
State Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano called the planned closure said “sad, but not surprising.”
“I’m sure Governor [Dannel] Malloy will be quick to jump to excuses for Hallmark’s departure, but the fact remains that there are no excuses for the governor’s failed policies. Unfortunately, this may be the beginning of a mass exodus of Connecticut jobs. Connecticut’s business environment cannot compete with other states. So when a company is deciding between two locations, it’s sadly not surprising that CT would lose that battle. When will this governor and the Democrat majority wake up and see reality,” Fasano said in a statement on Tuesday.
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