SARA LEE PLANS TO CONSOLIDATE BODYWEAR UNIT

Byline: Karyn Monget

NEW YORK — Sara Lee Corp. said Tuesday it plans to consolidate its Sara Lee Bodywear division into a newly created division: Sara Lee Casualwear.
The restructuring will take place over several months, said a Sara Lee spokeswoman.
Over 60 to 90 days, Sara Lee will close its Sara Lee Bodywear showroom and offices here at 16 East 34th Street, as well as a manufacturing facility in Fogelsville, Pa., and a distribution base in Jacksonville, Fla.
Four bodywear labels were produced, marketed and distributed by the unit: Scotchmaid, Hanes Her Way, Body Force and the licensed Spalding name.
The Champion Jogbra name in sports bras was a part of the bodywear unit until 1996, when it was incorporated into the Champion division.
The bodywear unit has approximately 100 employees, and they “will have the opportunity to apply for any job that exists within Sara Lee,” said the spokeswoman. “But in all likelihood, they may not want to relocate,” the spokeswoman added.
The new division is in Winston-Salem, N.C. She noted, though, that severance pay, benefits packages and outplacement services will be provided.
Sara Lee Casualwear, which operated as part of the Sara Lee Knit Products operation, will take over management of basic bodywear and related activewear separates under the Hanes Her Way mass brand. Hanes Her Way entered bodywear in early 1994, when Sara Lee acquired Scotchmaid Inc., a $100 million maker of branded and private label bodywear.
The spokeswoman said Sara Lee plans to exit its department store business under the Body Force label but will keep the brand “on hold.”
Future use of the Scotchmaid name has not been decided.
The licensed Spalding name will continue to be sold to mass channels and specialty outlets, she said.

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