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Several Textile Manufacturers Announce Consolidations

Excess manufacturing and warehouse capacities are among the reasons why three textile manufacturers have decided to consolidate operations and close facilities.

In Alabama, industrial, decorative, napery and workwear textile manufacturer Johnston Textiles Inc., Phenix City, will move weaving operations from the Southern Phenix Plant in Phenix City to the Micolas Plant in Opp, and  will move its headquarters to Valley. The move will eliminate 170 jobs in Phenix City, and will add 30 jobs and increase capacity at Micolas. Finishing operations at Southern Phenix will continue.

Gene Cone, president and CEO, cited too much capacity as the reason for the consolidation. "We feel this new alignment will allow us to be more competitive in the world market and better serve our customers," he said.

In North Carolina, Greensboro-based Unifi Inc. announced it will close its Mayodan central distribution center and move that operation to its Yadkinville-based warehouse and logistics center, eliminating 19 jobs and transferring the remaining 60 jobs to Yadkinville.

"Our recent success in reducing inventories allows us to centralize and maximize the overall efficiency of our warehousing and logistics operations, which will be accomplished with little cost to the organization," said Bill Lowe, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Yet another capacity-related consolidation in North Carolina involves the closure of High Point-based HDM Furniture Industries Inc.'s Henredon upholstery plant in High Point and the transfer of most of that production to Drexel Heritage Plant 37, also in High Point, with the remainder to be transferred to the Henredon facility in Mount Airy. Forty-five jobs will be eliminated, and 185 will be transferred to the Drexel Heritage plant.

HDM was formed earlier this year to combine three high-end furniture lines - Henredon, Drexel Heritage and Maitland-Smith - all subsidiaries of St. Louis-based Furniture Brands International.

"The consolidation ... will allow us to utilize our larger Drexel Heritage facility more efficiently, reduce our redundant costs, and enable HDM to continue to provide our customer base with premium upholstered products.The upholstery products that will be manufactured in Plant 37 feature similar construction and tailoring specifications ...," said Jeff Young, president and CEO, HDM.

September 2005