Hanesbrands Inc., which owns the Hanes and Champion brands, plans to close its textile manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, N.C., and eliminate the plant's 610 jobs.
The production at the facility, which makes underwear fabric, will be relocated to existing lower-cost plants in the Caribbean basin and Central America.

Production at the Winston-Salem plant is expected to cease by the end of June, 2007; the plant's print fabric operation, which has fewer than 20 employees, is scheduled to discontinue production by the end of 2007.

“Determining that we need to close our hometown Stratford Road textile manufacturing plant to remain competitive was a very difficult decision, although the closure is absolutely necessary,” said Gerald Evans, Hanesbrands Inc. executive vice president and chief global supply chain officer. “We have great employees at the Stratford Road plant, and this decision is not reflective of their skill, dedication and capabilities. We will work to help these employees find placement within the community. We are proud to call Winston-Salem and Forsyth County home where we have more than 4,000 employees.”

Moving the Stratford Road textile production to the company's existing manufacturing facilities in the lower-cost Caribbean basin and Central America regions is part of the company's continuing long-term global supply chain strategy.

“Over the past several years, we have developed our textile manufacturing capability in the Caribbean and Central America in order to improve the competitiveness, effectiveness and value of our supply chain operations,” Evans said. “We now have enough production capacity to absorb our Stratford Road production into these newer, lower-cost textile operations, which also helps us align the flow of textiles into our sewing network. This move is an economic necessity in today's competitive global market and gives us the opportunity to generate growth that allows our overall organization to thrive.”

Hanesbrands expects to take gross restructuring and related charges of approximately $16 million for the plant closure, including severance costs and accelerated depreciation of fixed assets. The majority of the charge will be noncash. The restructuring and related charges are expected to be partially reduced by the eventual sale of the plant property. Hanesbrands plans to sell the 27-acre plant property, 700 S. Stratford Road, after production ceases and equipment is removed.

Hanesbrands, headquartered in Winston-Salem, has about 50,000 employees in 24 countries, including 4,000 employees in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, N.C. It makes innerwear, outerwear and hosiery apparel under Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, Just My Size, barely there and Wonderbra.