Clarks factory at Street, Somerset UK
Footwear group Clarks is likely to close a production facility it set up only two years ago in Street, Somerset, close to corporate headquarters.
It opened the factory in 2017, saying it would make up to 300,000 pairs per year of its desert boots there, ‘reshoring’ products it had been been sourcing for many years from outsource manufacturing partners in Vietnam and India.
Then chief executive, Mike Shearwood, said at the time that Clarks was delighted to bring some manufacturing back to the UK. He went on to say having production in Street again would be “transformative to the process of how we design and develop shoes”.
The dream, however, appears to have been short-lived. The 80 workers employed at the new factory received word in mid-January that the company intends to close it down. Clarks has entered into a compulsory 30-day consultation process with the workforce.
It will come as a surprise if these consultations prove to be more than a formality because the company has said in a statement: “Despite best efforts, we have determined that the levels of production and cost targets we hoped for will not be reached in the short to medium term.”
Report courtesy of Leatherbiz