Nearly half of Maidenform Brands 1,330 staff will be laid off over the next 12 months

Nearly half of Maidenform Brands' 1,330 staff will be laid off over the next 12 months

Basic apparel manufacturer Hanesbrands will lay off nearly half of Maidenform Brands' 1,330 staff worldwide as part of its US$583m merger with the rival intimate apparel maker.

Among the changes, Maidenform's New Jersey corporate operations will be consolidated into Hanesbrands' headquarters in Winston-Salem and its Manhattan offices by the end of 2014.

Most of the 300 positions at Maidenform's headquarters will be phased out over the next year, but Hanesbrands said many of the sales, design and merchandising personnel will remain with the company.

Maidenform's distribution centre in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which employs 280 people, will be absorbed into Hanesbrands' distribution network, which is primarily located in Forsyth and Cleveland counties in North Carolina.

The phase-out process will start in the first quarter of next year and end in the third quarter with the closure to follow.

Hanesbrands chief operating officer Gerald Evans said there are many positions and functions that are duplicative and will be terminated over the next 12 months.

"We regret the job reductions as a result of the integration of the two companies. The decision is not reflective of the skills and commitment of the employees affected, and we will assist employees in the transition," added Evans.

However, the T-shirt maker, which employs 1,500 people at its corporate headquarters, said it has more than 130 open positions that need to be filled to run the combined company.

Hanesbrands, which completed its acquisition of Maidenform earlier this month, added the Maidenform, Flexees and Lilyette intimate apparel and shapewear brands to its existing portfolio, which includes Playtex, Bali and Just My Size, as well as Hanes, Barely There, Wonderbra, Champion and L'eggs.

The two companies both produce Donna Karan and DKNY under license.

Hanesbrands started notifying Maidenform employees of the changes yesterday (16 October), and will provide severance and separation benefits consistent with Maidenform policies and collective bargaining obligations.