NORTHERN IRELAND: Manufacturer To Close Factory
Northern Ireland-based clothing manufacturer, Desmonds and Sons, is closing one of its factories, with the loss of 135 jobs. The company, which has a turnover of around £118m, has blamed the depressed UK high street market for the closure of its Enniskillen factory. Under proposals announced today, the Enniskillen site will cease production but will remain in use to provide divisional support services until this is transferred to the firm's factory in Irvinestown. The decision will mean the loss of 118 full-time and 17 part-time jobs. The Irvinestown factory will become the headquarters of the company's lightwear division. A spokesman said: "Desmonds has manufactured garments in Enniskillen for the past 17 years and we deeply regret having to take this step."The decision to cut capacity in no way reflects on the commitment and dedication of those employees involved. It is necessary because the company is not immune from the effects of the very significant changes in shopping patterns that have impacted on UK demand. "By remaining competitive and investing in technology, we can take advantage of our proximity to our marketplace and our ability to respond to rapid changes in consumer preferences, and thus preserve as many jobs as possible in Northern Ireland." The company is also looking at a programme of voluntary redeployment and voluntary redundancy to balance production capacities between its factories in the Northwest of Ireland. Desmond and Sons currently has nine factories and two warehouses employing about 2,600 people. The company has manufacturing capabilities in Sir Lanka and Turkey and despatches more than 12 million garments a year from Northern Ireland.
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