American Greetings reported that it's considering moving its Brooklyn, Ohio, corporate headquarters and is focusing on seven sites.

American Greetings, headquarters, Brooklyn, Ohio, Brian McGrath, greeting card

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American Greetings mulls headquarters move

November 22nd, 2010

CLEVELAND – American Greetings reported that it's considering moving its Brooklyn, Ohio, corporate headquarters and is focusing on seven sites.

The greeting card company said Friday that no decision has been made to relocate the 2,000-employee headquarters and noted that the current location is among the potential sites.

"We are an evolving company in a changing industry, and we must adapt our headquarters building — whether it remains in Brooklyn or is relocated — to most efficiently accommodate us today and in the future," Brian McGrath, senior vice president of human resources at American Greetings, said in a statement. "Competitive businesses that wish to remain successful must adjust and position themselves for the future, and that's what American Greetings is doing by conducting an exhaustive examination of our workplace needs."

"Our business, and the way we conduct it, has changed significantly in recent years and will continue to change," he added. "We continue to grow our interactive online business while incorporating more innovative technology into our core greeting card business."

McGrath noted that many factors are being considered, including operating costs associated with a new or renovated facility, costs associated with any move or relocation, employee recruitment considerations, and the enhancement of the company's creative environment and culture.

"Whether we upgrade our existing facility or relocate, American Greetings looks forward to providing a stimulating environment designed to inspire and encourage creative thinking," McGrath stated."The company's continued success depends in large part upon the ability to keep and attract highly skilled, creative talent. Improving our office space will help us in recruitment efforts."

American Greetings said it began to assess the location of its headquarters after the city of Brooklyn hiked its income tax rate while lowering the residential property tax rate — a move that the company described as "effectively shifting taxes from the voting residents to the nonvoting associates of American Greetings and other Brooklyn employers."  The tax increase prompted a broader study of American Greetings' operations and its future facility needs, the company added.

Besides the current headquarters, the other locations under consideration include sites in Beachwood, Brecksville, Independence and Westlake, Ohio, as well as two site in greater Chicago.

American Greetings said it has hired real estate, finance and architecture experts to assist with the site assessments. The company added that it hopes to make a decision by or near the end of February, when its fiscal year closes.


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