Jobs, gifts, products: Shakopee's Shutterfly is Santa's newest helper

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When Shutterfly broke ground in a Shakopee business park earlier this year, the California-based business promised there would be lots of new Minnesota jobs, especially of a seasonal sort, in its massive $60 million south metro facility. The push was on to get it up and running for the 2014 holiday season.

So what, exactly, is going on in that brand new 217,000-square-foot building?

The Pioneer Press reports that we are in the midst of the company's craziest week of the year. Sutterfly's 150 full-time and 650 seasonal employees are busily processing, printing and packaging millions of holiday cards, photo books, 2015 calendars and other gifts.

How much they make is confidential, but the research firm InfoTrends estimates Shutterfly holds 57 percent of the market for personalized cards ordered online, then mailed out.

"Shutterfly makes close to 50 percent of its revenue during the holiday season, to give you a sense of the scale of operations that are happening now," Gretchen Sloan, senior director of communications, told the newspaper.

Heading into the holidays, FoxBusiness noted that the company was well-positioned for the fourth quarter.

"We’ve added more designs than any year in the past,” CEO Jeff Housenbold said. “We’re excited about the merchandising assortment that we have.”

He added that Shutterfly helps customers create personalized products and has found a way to monetize digital photos on a scale he believes no other company is capable of doing.

“People are taking more pictures than ever before, hundreds of millions a day," Housenbold added. "They want to do more with it than just simply have it stuck in their cell phone," he said.

Shutterfly was founded in 1999. Its annual sales now are about $900 million a year.

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