Woolrich Inc. closing historic mill

WOOLRICH – In an announcement many had speculated would come, Woolrich Inc. announced today that it’s closing its woolen mill in the iconic village here.

Woolrich, founded in 1830, still operates an outlet store here, but its fate remains to be seen.

Woolrich was recently purchased by L-GAM Advisers, a Luxembourg-based, long-term oriented investment company that also owns an interest in Roberto Cavalli, a high-end Italian fashion house that sells luxury clothing, perfume and leather accessories.

In announcing the mill closing, the company said in lengthy prepared statement:

Woolrich, Inc. will be closing the Woolen Mill in Woolrich. It is anticipated that fabric manufacturing operations will cease by the end of the year and will affect up to 40 employees in the Mill.

Nick Brayton, President of Woolrich, Inc. said “the decision to close the Mill was made following a comprehensive review of our overall woven fabric business and the considerable capital improvements needed to modernize and maintain viable operations. Unfortunately, due to higher manufacturing costs, eroding margins and continued unprofitability within the Mill, it is no longer economically feasible to continue our Pennsylvania based Woolen Mill operation.

Woolrich, Inc. will provide career transitional services for affected employees. These services include severance pay based on years of service, outplacement assistance including resume preparation, and interviewing skills, and job placement assistance with local employers. Retirement and pension planning services will also be provided for those employees not seeking re-employment. The company plans to work with state and federal dislocated worker agencies to provide additional benefits and services that may be available to employees.

Brayton added “We are eternally grateful to all our employees for their years of dedication and loyalty to the Company and our number one priority right now is to help affected employees through this transition.”

Brayton concluded by stating, “While this was a very difficult decision, our strategic approach to align our collections globally remains our primary focus and we are continuing the next stage of the globalization of the Woolrich brand.”

The Company will maintain its wholesale, retail and e-commerce apparel businesses.

The L-GAM purchase, meanwhile, was the second time in two years the firm has been sold.