Quad/Graphics closing Loveland facility, eliminating 137 jobs

LOVELAND — Officials for Sussex, Wis.-based publishing company Quad Graphics Inc., confirmed on Monday that the firm will close its Loveland facility by the end of October, resulting in the loss of 137 jobs locally.

Quad/Graphics (NYSE: QUAD) informed employees of the plan on Thursday. On Friday, the city of Loveland’s utilities department received notice from the company that it planned to cease operations Oct. 30.

Claire Ho, a spokesperson for Quad/Graphics, said in an email Monday that the company would immediately begin stepping down operations at its 170,000-square-foot facility at 380 W. 37th St.

Ho said there would be no changes for Quad/Graphics’ small office in Boulder, which houses mostly information-technology functions.

“Decisions like this are never easy,” Ho wrote. “This is a straightforward business decision necessary to the company’s ongoing efforts to create the strongest, most competitive platform for serving customers long into the future.

“It is important to note that the plant is not closing because of performance or quality issues. Our Loveland employees have served our clients well.”

Ho said the Loveland printing facility specialized primarily in printing telephone directories and that remaining work in Loveland will eventually be moved to other Quad/Graphics locations. She said the company will hold a career fair at the local facility in late September for employees to explore transfer opportunities. She added that Loveland employees who do not relocate to other Quad/Graphics facilities will receive severance packages.

Quad/Graphics acquired the Loveland facility in 2010 with the purchase of competitor Worldcolor. But the local operations had been through many iterations and ownership groups before that, dating back to its days as Johnson Publishing in the 1950s, Loveland economic-development director Betsey Hale said.

Hale said it would be difficult to see a company that has been a good member of the community go, even if the 137 jobs are only a small slice of the city’s roughly 37,000 jobs that it boasted at the end of 2014. Hale noted that affected employees could seek assistance at the Larimer County Workforce Center locations in Loveland and Fort Collins.

“It is a big loss in Loveland, not from maybe the standpoint of the number of jobs,” Hale said. “But I think it’s a big loss of an employer that’s been an employer of choice for a long time.”

As the printing industry continues to struggle, Quad/Graphics earlier this month posted a net loss of $45.1 million for its second fiscal quarter, roughly double that of a year earlier as sales ticked downward. The company’s shares climbed 24 cents to close at $14.44 Monday, but have fallen steadily since early in the year when they closed at $23.90 on Feb. 26.