St. Cloud direct mail and telemarketing company Aria Communication Corp. might lay off 215 employees from its headquarters and its card-making facility in Waite Park before the end of the year.
The leadership of Aria, which makes calls and sends handwritten cards for companies and also assists in fundraising drives for nonprofits, has decided to sell the business, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter the company sent earlier this month to the state Department of Employment and Economic Development.
It's possible that Aria or a future buyer could eliminate employee positions, Chief Executive and President Charles Lucas said in the letter.
"Aria's ability to remain economically viable as a stand-alone business has been challenged in recent years by shifting industry trends on the revenue end and by escalating labor and technology costs on the expense end, most notably by the increase in the minimum wage and the generally tight labor market," Lucas wrote.
Staff changes could occur as soon as Dec. 15.
According to its website, Aria was founded in 1985 by two St. Cloud State University graduates.
Direct marketing, like other advertising strategies, has faced mounting challenges as consumers are bombarded with marketing from numerous communication channels that can make it hard for brands to stand out.