Blog: Leonie BarriePringle heads for the hills

Leonie Barrie | 1 July 2008

200-year-old luxury knitwear firm Pringle is so entrenched in the Scottish Border town of Hawick that its garments carry the ‘Pringle of Scotland’ label. But now it has decided to sever all but the most tenuous of links with the region and transfer production to Italy where, ironically, costs are said to be around 30% lower.

About 80 jobs are expected go, with a skeleton team of around 30 being retained to staff the head office, finance and customer service departments. The company, though, denies its head office is being kept in Scotland just so it can continue to refer to its heritage in its brand name – but can there really be any other reason?

SC Fang & Sons, the company’s Hong Kong based owner, says it is stopping production in Hawick because knitwear now accounts for just a small percentage of Pringle’s overall turnover.

The Fangs have so far it invested up to GBP45m driving the company’s expansion into an all-encompassing ready-to-wear fashion brand. But they are still struggling to reverse its losses, which stood at a reported GBP9m last year.

UK: Closure threat looms over Pringle plant


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