BY JENNIFER BAILEY
DANVILLE — There is good news for Hallmark fans.
A new Kirlin’s Hallmark is scheduled to open in Towne Centre on March 8.
Laura Sievert, marketing director for the Quincy-based Kirlin’s Hallmark, said the store will open just in time for Easter and Mother’s Day. Sievert said the store will be different from Dena’s Hallmark.
Dena’s has been closed since the first of the year, according to Joe Smiley, physical plant manager at Towne Centre, 2 E. Main St.
The Dena’s Hallmark in the Village Mall also closed in October.
Smiley said the Towne Centre store will be remodeled for the new Kirlin’s Hallmark Gold Crown store that carries cards, party items, photo frames, keepsake ornaments and other gifts and collectibles.
“Of course everybody is excited,” Smiley said of Kirlin’s coming.
The Towne Centre Hallmark, which has been there for about 26 years, changed hands in 2006 when Karen’s Kottage became Dena’s Hallmark. The store was sold to Dena Gaudio and her husband, Eric.
Dena Gaudio owned six Hallmark stores in Danville, Urbana, Champaign, Rantoul and Bradley.
Sievert said the central Illinois market is the core of its business.
“We’re different. All chains are independent,” Sievert said. “We all carry different things.”
Kirlin’s also is re-opening a store in Champaign.
Sievert said the Kirlin’s Hallmark store will have similar Hallmark-brand items as Dena’s had, but there will be non-Hallmark products that will be new for Danville.
These items will include: Tervis Tumblers cups; Willow Tree figures and angels; Lolita Glass (hand-painted wine and martini glasses); Yankee Candle; WoodWick candles; Precious Moments; and build-your-own bracelets with DaVinci beads and charms. Sievert said the DaVinci beads cost less than some other brands.
There also are new Hallmark items too, such as the Blooming Expressions where a flower blooms at the push of a button.
“We’re excited (about opening in Danville and Champaign),” Sievert said.
She said the store in Danville will open with the “Mother’s Day set.”
A grand opening for the store should be in late March.
The store will employ 10-15 full- and part-time employees. Sievert said it was up to former employees if they wanted to interview and stay on.
“The entire team is excited to be in the (Danville) market,” she added.
Sievert adds all valid Crown Rewards coupons and certificates will be accepted at Kirlin’s.
The Kirlin’s chain is family-owned and operated. It has grown to become Hallmark’s largest independent distributor in the United States.
Kirlin’s will operate 93 stores in 10 states — Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma.
The company, founded in 1948, will celebrate its 65th anniversary in 2013.