Hallmark ‘Transformation’ Includes Laying off 400

Hallmark Cards is laying off about 400 employees in its greeting-card, retail and corporate-support divisions as part of what management is calling a transformation in an attempt to adapt to changing consumer preferences.

“The way people shop and the competitive dynamics in the marketplace are changing at a pace and at a degree that is having a significant impact on our businesses,” said Mike Perry, president and chief executive officer, in a press release. “As we open 2020, we have a clear line of sight to the transformational work that needs to be accomplished and these efforts will lead us on a path that will enable us to realize the longer-term vision and mission we have for our business.”

The layoffs will help Hallmark “invest in new growth strategies,” Perry said. Many of the employees being let go will be able to apply for new positions in the company.

Last month the company came under criticism for pulling an advertisement for wedding-registry company Zola from its Hallmark Channel that featured a same-sex marriage. The backlash prompted the company to publicly apologize, saying it would reinstate the ads.

Meanwhile, on January 16, Hallmark affiliate Crayola’s new chief executive officer, Rich Wuerthele, starts his new position. He was formerly an executive at Newell Rubbermaid.