Hallmark Flowers ditching direct

Hallmark Flowers, a subsidiary of Kansas City, MO-based Hallmark Cards, plans to shut down its direct-to-consumer flowers and gifts business by the end of April.

Launched nationally in 2001, Hallmark Flowers mailed its first catalog in 2005. The company decided to fold the unit after an analysis of the business and marketplace determined “investments required to keep the business operational and competitive could not guarantee the financial results the company expects from its operating businesses,” according to a release.

Nearly 100 employees will be affected, including about 35 in the Southaven, MS-based facility for distribution operations.

Since Hallmark Flowers is privately held, spokeswoman Julie O’Dell would not provide sales figures for the direct business.

“I don’t think our statement suggests the business was unprofitable,” O’Dell says.

“I can say that we didn’t believe that, in the future, we would realize the return on investment that we expect from our operating businesses,” she adds.

Hallmark.com will continue sell premium e-cards, paper cards, print-on-demand cards, digital greetings, and stationery products. The site also offers free e-cards, company details, and information about products and services available at Hallmark Gold Crown stores.

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