(Filed Under Textiles News). By the end of March 2010, nonwovens producer Polymer Group, Inc. will phase out operations and close its North Little Rock, Arkansas plant, while also consolidating certain manufacturing operations in its Benson, North Carolina plant “to maintain competitiveness in response to major global downturns in industrial markets.”
“Despite efforts to continually improve operations at the North Little Rock plant, the current level and mix of business and future outlook do not support the costs structure of multiple facilities serving these markets,” said Veronica Hagen, CEO. “This decision is extremely difficult and we regret the impact this action will have on our employees, but it is a necessary step to maintain our competitive position and effectively serve the needs of our global customer base.
During Polymer’s first quarter ended April 4, 2009, the company cited net sales in the nonwovens segment were negatively impacted by lower selling prices of $11.9 million primarily due to price decreases resulting form the passthrough of lower raw material costs.
Once the operations have been fully consolidated, Polymer expects to see reduced manufacturing costs of approximately $10 million to $11 million, partially offset by $3 million to $4 million of lower contribution from the exited business.
Built in 1956, the plant became a part of Polymer in 1995 when the company acquired the Chicopee business from Johnson & Johnson. With this closing, Polymer will operate a total of seven plants in the U.S., including locations North Carolina, Viriginia, Utah, Kansas, Mississippi and Oregon.
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