Jobs fears as Hallmark Cards unveils shake-up

BRADFORD-based Hallmark Cards UK today announced a “strategic business realignment” amid fears of job losses.

The American-owned greetings card giant, which has 3,100 UK employees and is headquartered at Hallmark House in Bradford, said it had “begun a consultation process” with employees “to assess the future needs of the business”.

The firm said it had undergone a “comprehensive review of all areas” of its business and would be establishing a new structure.

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Hallmark said in a statement: “All employees across the organisation have been made aware of the process and will be involved, and kept up to date every step of the way, through elected representation.

A spokeswoman for the firm told the Yorkshire Post: “As the consultation process has only just begun today, it’s impossible to say how many jobs are at risk or not. This will become clearer as the consultation progresses over the coming weeks.”

Earlier this month, Hallmark said its international division faced “difficult economic conditions in a number of its key markets, but finished the year only slightly below 2009”, although the family-owned parent company saw revenues increase 3 per cent to $4.1 billion.

Steve Wright, Hallmark Cards UK, Managing Director said, “We believe the changes we are making will give greater insight into our customers’ needs and challenges, create a superior approach to developing and delivering exciting products and guarantee more efficient processes throughout the entire organisation to ensure a competitive and successful business for our customers, employees and stakeholders alike.

“We need to ensure the organisation is in great shape to continue that tradition into an exciting future and we believe the steps we are taking now are crucial to delivering that outcome.”

Hallmark has a 200,000 sq ft warehousing and distribution facility in Dawson Lane, Bradford, having consolidated its manufacturing base in the city in the Nineties. The UK represents the firm’s biggest overseas market and has a turnover of around £200m