Woolrich said it will close their Jersey Shore sewing facility by October of this year. The plant closing will result in the elimination of 49 jobs, primarily in garment assembly.
The Jersey Shore sewing plant is the manufacturing plant for garments being sold in Europe-primarily the Woolrich Arctic Parka. The parka was originally designed for workers on the Alaska pipeline in the 1970s, but became a fashion item in Europe in the 90s. Reduction in the demand for the Arctic Parkas in Europe is the reason for the plant closing. Woolrich expects to complete the last of the orders currently in production by October of this year.
“These decisions are never easy, stated Jim Griggs, Woolrich president, “We decided to let the employees know now so that they can make the decision that is right for them: to stay through October or to look at other employment options that might become available now.
“We live in a rapidly changing global economy, said Griggs, “Woolrich has strong and growing businesses in other areas, including direct retail sales through catalog, internet and company-owed stores, licensing, wholesale apparel and woolen fabrics, and government contracts. But in this case, the demand for the arctic parka is no longer significant enough to keep this plant in operation.”
An informational meeting with the employees at the sewing facility was held earlier today. Woolrich will attempt to find alternative jobs within the company for some employees affected by the closing and will offer severance packages for those who choose to remain through the closing process. Job counseling assistance will also be available.