Hallmark job losses on the cards

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 17:36 30/05/2014

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The jobs of an unknown number of Hallmark workers hang in the balance, as the greeting card firm considers outsourcing its distribution arm.

The international company has announced plans to try to partner with a local distributor in New Zealand, breaking up its fully integrated model.

Hallmark's Australasian managing director Russell Parker said in a statement that "local market factors" and cost controls were behind the decision.

In a particularly small market like New Zealand, forming a partnership could prove to be a "sustainable" move, he said.

The firm hoped there would be some opportunities for staff to transfer to any new distributor partner, Parker said.

"However, we are being completely open that this cannot be guaranteed," he said.

With Parker on a flight to Melbourne and no-one else from Hallmark available for comment, it is unclear how many jobs could be at risk.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union said it was not aware that any Hallmark staff were union members.

Parker said staff would have the opportunity to receive counselling and assistance throughout the consultation period.

A final decision of the future of Hallmark New Zealand would be made in about two to three weeks.

Parker today also announced his departure from the firm after 13 years.

The company said he would become chief executive of a "large Australian retailer", while chief operating officer Shane Bonello would take over his role.

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