Hallmark’s Enfield Closure Becomes Political Football [NBC]

July 10, 2015

NBC CT

Republicans in Connecticut say the announced closure of Hallmark’s longtime distribution center in Enfield is a sign of things to come since Democrats approved a $40 billion two year spending plan last week.

“I wasn’t surprised and I think we’re going to see more of these” said Sen. Len Fasano, (R – North Haven), the top Republican in the Connecticut State Senate.

Hallmark executives announced Tuesday that they would shutter the the doors of its 570 employee distribution facility by June 2016. The decision was motivated by a corporate mission to simplify and consolidate distribution efforts, according to a company statement. Some of the jobs will be offered at the company’s Liberty, MO facility and current employees in Enfield could apply for them with some relocation assistance from the company.

The company’s corporate headquarters is in the Kansas City, MO area, just minutes from Liberty.

Executives with Hallmark did not cite recent state budget decisions for the move and even was complimentary of the company’s working relationship with state and local governments.

That’s a fact that Gov. Dannel Malloy says is key.

He argued Tuesday that the decision had more to do with Hallmark and its business model more than it had to do with Connecticut as a place for doing business.

“They decided to consolidate their facilities back in their home state as opposed to having this large facility” Malloy said. “And quite frankly the card business isn’t what it used to be either so there are lots of things that enter into decisions.”

Fasano disagrees and predicts that other companies will make similar decisions in the not-too-distant future.
“They’re not going to consolidate in Connecticut” Fasano said.

“They’re going to consolidate in another state that cares about businesses, respects businesses, and shows an affinity that says we’re going to work with businesses to keep them here.”