Byline: R.F.

NEW YORK--As part of its ongoing plan to streamline operations, Kayser-Roth Corp. has announced plans to close two of its North Carolina facilities and transfer most employees to three modernized facilities in the state. About 55 employees will lose their jobs.
Both sites, a sock knitting facility in Kernersville and a reprocessing center in Burlington on Main Street, should be closed by the end of January, according to Gary Malloch, president and chief executive officer of K-R.
The majority of the 270 employees at the two locations will be offered positions at one of three other facilities in North Carolina, which were recently renovated, Malloch said.
As a result of the closings, 150 positions will be created at Kayser-Roth's Asheboro sock knitting and finishing facility; 35 positions will be created at the sock knitting facility in Burlington on Interstate 85, and 30 positions added to the Lumberton sheer hosiery facility. The company plans to begin transferring employees at the end of December, Malloch said. To improve production and product quality, Kayser-Roth has invested $6 million in new equipment at the three sites. The Burlington plant on Interstate 85 and the Asheboro facility received the bulk of the investment, said Malloch, adding 44 percent of the company's total volume is produced in Asheboro. While the company has improved the production capacity at a few of the newly renovated sites, Malloch declined to reveal the specifics.
"We wanted to integrate the facilities to improve customer response," Malloch said. "We've reduced the amount of time it takes to make the products and we'll be making them more efficiently."
Employees who are laid off and those who do not accept transfers will receive severance packages and outplacement assistance, Malloch said. Employees in Kayser-Roth's human resources department will contact area businesses to assist with placement, Malloch said. He declined to comment on the company's severance package.
At this point, Kayser-Roth does not plan to close or renovate additional sites, he said. Other consolidation moves at Kayser-Roth this year include the plans announced in March to eliminate 100 administrative and sales positions across the country through March of next year.
In April, the company announced plans to close 29 of its No Nonsense factory outlets, which placed 180 employees in 18 states out of work. No Nonsense is the company's primary brand of pantyhose. Under license, Kayser-Roth also produces Calvin Klein, Hue, Burlington and Easy Spirit legwear.
Kayser-Roth is a subsidiary of Legwear Holdings Corp., controlled by a group of Mexican investors that include Grupo Synkro SA de CV, a large Mexican hosiery producer. The investor group acquired Kayser-Roth early this year.

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