Byline: David Grant Caplan

NEW YORK — DuPont will merge its apparel, home textiles and related businesses into a single marketing unit starting Jan. 1, the Wilmington, Del.-based chemical giant said Monday.
DuPont’s Lycra, nylon textile and Dacron branded specialties and fiberfill divisions will be combined into a new division called Apparel and Textile Sciences. The current combined revenue of these businesses is $3 billion.
The new unit, with a combined global workforce of 10,000 employees, will have dedicated marketing, technical and manufacturing operations worldwide. The consolidation “will bring the sciences of DuPont together,” said Ria Stern, the New York-based marketing and brand manager for the nylon apparel unit of the nylon textile division.
Steve McCracken, currently DuPont’s group vice president and the general manager of DuPont Lycra, will head the Apparel and Textile Sciences unit.
McCracken said many customers who had business dealings with more than one of DuPont’s units had expressed an interest in dealing with a single division.
“Customers wanted to deal with DuPont — not three separate companies — and when you have customers telling you that, you should be listening and do that,” McCracken said.
Stern added: “Customers found it complicated because they had to call two or three people, especially retailers who don’t have a lot of time. So, if we can make it easier for them to work with us, it’s a bonus.”
McCracken said many customers had also grown weary of the firm’s bureaucracy, furthering the push to merge the units.
“We’re going to take out some of the corporate politics DuPont is known for,” he said, “so it should make working with DuPont simpler.”
McCracken said he has already heard positive feedback about the consolidation from his customers.
“The reaction has been very positive so far,” he said. “We’ve always been a great ally to the textile industry, and a healthy and well-coordinated DuPont does good things for the industry.”
While McCracken said customers are excited about the company’s latest move, he said employees are also looking forward to the change.
“You’ve always got your ego/turf issue, but for the most part, [people]…get energized when you’re on the offense and trying to be creative,” he added.

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