MILLS PLANNING SHORTER IDLES FOR HOLIDAYS

Byline: Scott Malone

NEW YORK — A number of mills said they don’t plan to extend their regular holiday idle periods this year.
This marks a change from last year, when many companies did stretch their break periods — which typically extend through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays — by a week or more because of weak demand for fabrics.
Most plants operated by Guilford Mills Corp. of Greensboro, N.C., will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan 3, said Terry Geremski, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
The exception is its printed apparel-fabrics plant in Schenectady, N.Y., which will “probably be working three of those days,” he noted. Geremski confirmed that Guilford extended the idle period at some of its plants last year.
Avondale Fabrics facilities will “not be taking any unusual downtime,” said Keith Hull, president of marketing and sales.
Typical idle periods at the Graniteville, S.C.-based company’s plants range from “as much as a week to just a long weekend,” he said.
He said the company is not taking substantially less downtime this year than last.
“We may have taken a little more last year, but not dramatically so,” he said.
Dan River Inc., with headquarters in Danville, Va., will be taking “a couple of days” at its apparel plants, closing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, said Jim Martin, president of apparel fabrics.
The company has no set amount of idle time it takes annually, he continued, adding that “it all just depends on our business conditions.”
Martin said that last year, the company took more downtime in its apparel plants.
“Things were slow,” he explained. “I wouldn’t say things are robust now, but the order activity is a little better than it was last year.”
A spokesman for Burlington Industries Inc. said that the bulk of the Greensboro-based company’s plants will shut down Dec. 23 and reopen Jan. 3, which represents that company’s “standard” holiday idle period.
The one exception is the mill’s denim plant in Stonewall, Miss., which will close on Dec. 18 and also reopen Jan. 3.

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