The JohnsonGroup Shuts Down Wisconsin Based Marathon Press, 70 Employees

Press release from the issuing company

May 28, 2002 -- (WhatTheyThink.com) -- The JohnsonGroup sent a letter to employees of their Marathon Press location saying the printing company was not meeting the goals of The JohnsonGroup. The JohnsonGroup, based in Rockford, Illinois, is seeking a buyer for the location - but the decision will apparently affect some 70 employees according to the Wausau Daily Herald. The Herald obtained a copy of the letter sent to employees by Gene Toepfer, chief operating officer. "Several million dollars were invested in Marathon Press Inc. over the last few years but we believe it no longer is a viable fit." Because of the American holiday on Monday, we were unable to reach Mr. Toepfer or other company executives. Last year, in an interview conducted with Mr. Toepfer, he told us that the company’s sales volume was around $50 million. He also predicted smaller budgets from top print buyers. “We think budgets are going to be tight, as our clients margins are squeezed and emerging channels of communications bite into our traditional dollars for print. Like most commercial firms we rely heavily on one to one selling. This is augmented by a disciplined direct mail and targeted marketing program. We are targeting national type accounts for growth and do this through team selling.” The JohnsonGroup owns three other printing plants in Illinois and Kentucky. The paper said that Wisconsin law requires businesses with 50 or more employees to give written notice to workers 60 days before closing or implementing a mass layoff. Toepfer said he didn't know the exact number of workers at Marathon Press, but he believed the company complied with state law because it plans to offer jobs to more than 20 Wausau employees at its other plants. Further information about The JohnsonGroup can be found by typing Gene Toepfer into our site archive located at www.whattheythink.com. It will display a link to an interview conducted last year where he discusses their workflow, primary markets, web based solutions and equipment list.