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Hanesbrands To Close Puerto Rican Plant Move Production To Caribbean Basin

Hanesbrands Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C., announced it will close its textile manufacturing plant in Ponce, Puerto Rico, by the end of January 2007 and move that production to existing lower-cost production facilities in the Caribbean basin. Approximately 500 employees at the Ponce facility, which makes fabric for T-shirts and underwear briefs, will lose their jobs.
The move is part of the company’s supply chain strategy to transfer manufacturing operations to lower-cost regions in the Western Hemisphere and ultimately to balance those operations with manufacturing in Asia.

“Moving production from Ponce to the Caribbean basin is necessary to improve Hanesbrands’ efficiency and competitiveness,” said Gerald Evans, executive vice president and chief global supply chain officer, Hanesbrands. “As part of our multiyear supply chain improvement strategy, Hanesbrands is ramping up high-volume, lower-cost production in new textile manufacturing facilities in Central America and the Caribbean basin.”

Evans expressed regret for the loss of jobs in Ponce, adding, "We have a good workforce in Ponce, but this move is an economic necessity for our organization overall in today’s competitive global market and does not reflect the quality and dedication of the Ponce workforce."

The planned closure of the Ponce facility follows previously announced plans to close two plants in the Carolinas and one in Mexico and move most of that production to Central America and the Caribbean basin, and to consolidate three US-based distribution centers. The company also announced recently it has signed an agreement to purchase its first manufacturing facility in Asia - a sewing plant in Thailand.