Clothing maker Gleneagles Inc. closing by June

March 04, 1992|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

Gleneagles Inc., an 80-year-old clothing manufacturer, plans to close its doors by June, resulting in a loss of 300 jobs at its Towson and Bel Air operations, the company confirmed yesterday.

However, company officials said they are working with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers, which represents employees, to find a buyer for the operation, which primarily makes men's rainwear.

Union officials were not available for comment.

If no buyer is found, the company will begin dismissing workers May 1 said Richard L. Biegel, president of Gleneagles. The company will start closing in May, he said.

Under federal law, workers must receive 60 days' notice before a plant closing.

About 200 people work at the company's sewing factory at 314 Williams St. in Bel Air, Mr. Biegel said. About 100 work at 808 Gleneagles Court in Towson, which is used for cutting operations, administrative offices and a warehouse.

Gleneagles' parent company, Chicago-based Hartmarx Inc., decided to close the operation and leave the rainwear business because of the economic downturn and problems in the rainwear business, Mr. Biegel said. "The economy is tough, and the rainwear business has been a very difficult business in the last few years," he said.

Foreign competition might have been a small factor, Mr. Biegel said, but he played down its importance. "The No. 1 factor is the economy today," he said.

Hartmarx will continue to produce suits, sports coats and slacks at its plants across the country, Mr. Biegel said. Hartmarx has about 23,000 workers nationwide.

A severance package is being developed, and the company is working with government agencies to help find jobs for the workers, he said.

The rainwear produced by Gleneagles is primarily sold under the brand names Gleneagles, Hart Shaffner & Marx, Christian Dior and Austin Reed. A Hartmarx spokesman in Chicago, Kenneth A. Hoffman, said the company plans to continue to use the Gleneagles brand after the company closes.

Gleneagles was founded as Lamm Brothers in 1912 at 301 N. Exeter St. in Baltimore. It was sold in 1967 to Hartmarx Shaffner, the predecessor of Hartmarx.

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