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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Russell Stover Chocolates plans to close some facilities and stores nationwide but the expected loss of about 400 jobs will be offset by new jobs resulting from expansion in other areas, the company announced Tuesday.

The company will close distribution and fulfillment centers in Butler, Missouri, and Cookeville, Tennessee, with work from the Tennessee plant moving to a plant in Corsicana, Texas.

The candy maker plans to add a total of 300 jobs at plants in Corsicana, as well as in Iola and Abilene, Kansas.

A plant in Montrose, Colorado, will be closed in 2021, which will increase the workload at the two Kansas plants, according to a company statement. Russell Stover also plans to close some low-traffic stores during the next year but it did not specify where those stores were located.

The changes are part of a consolidation effort begun in 2018, four years after the Kansas City-based company was purchased by Lindt & Sprungli of Switzerland.

Russell Stover had a "strong" fiscal year in 2019 but must adapt to changing tastes and preferences, CEO Andy Deister said.

"Just as consumers change their preferred flavor or package, they're changing the way they shop for our products, and we're making sure we have the infrastructure to deliver on their expectations," Deister said.

 

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