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Jersey Gift Maker to Close Warehouse and Cut 40 Jobs

The company expects annual savings of about $1.6 million as a result of the closure.Russ Berrie and Co. (NYSE: RUS), an Oakland-based gift maker in financial turmoil, is closing another warehouse and eliminating some 40 jobs. The company had previously said it planned to close warehouses and consolidate business due to a decline in revenue. The warehouse, a company distribution center, is located in Petaluma, Calif., and will close on June 30. The company expects annual savings of about $1.6 million as a result of the closure. Before the closure, the company had some 1,300 employees.

This comes after four straight quarterly losses and the death of company founder Russ Berrie in December 2002. For the third quarter of 2005, the company posted an $8.6 million loss on revenue of $83.2 million, as compared with earnings of $2.3 million on $79.3 million in revenue for the same period last year.

Russ Berrie executives blame the slide on slow sales of specialty gifts and note that they are not the only company affected. Boyds Collections, a Pennsylvania-based competitor, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 20. Russ Berrie stock fell $0.09 to $11.76 in morning trading.

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