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Springs To Close Three Plants

Springs Industries Inc., Fort Mill, S.C., will close two bedding plants and one rug plant on February 1. The affected plants include the Lyman Fabrication Plant, Lyman, S.C.; the Wamsutta Plant, Anderson, S.C.; and the Ellijay Plant, Ellijay, Ga. Approximately 730 employees will lose their jobs.

The Lyman and Wamsutta operations have been shifting to other Springs facilities over the past year. The company manufactures its Regal® line of accent rugs at the Ellijay Plant, and will continue their production at its Calhoun, Ga., and Nashville, Tenn., rug plants.

In statements announcing the closings to Springs employees and provided to Textile World by the company, Springs Chairman and CEO Crandall Close Bowles said the elimination of quotas has accelerated imports of certain products that compete with Springs products.

"You are all aware that we source some products from China, Brazil, Mexico and other countries," Bowles said. "Our policy is to make things here unless pricing gets so low that we are not competitive. Then, we must look for other ways to supply the product to our customers or we will lose the business.To those of you wondering about the future, I can say with confidence that our long-term outlook is positive," she said. "We will continue to manufacture in the [United States], though at a reduced size, based on flexible capacity, fast turnaround, short lead times, and lower required levels of inventory. Our company will compete based on our strong retail relationships, a broad product offering, well-known brands, and design and product development expertise. These strategies will enable us to emerge from the current challenging industry transition as a strong and growing company."

January 2005