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.
The chances of selling the plant are about 50-50, said Carmen S. Papale, international vice president in the Baltimore region for the Amalgamated Clothing union. He said there have been some discussions with possible buyers and the facilities are in good shape. "It's a very modern plant," Mr. Papale said.
The union will also be trying to line up jobs at other area clothing manufacturers, but it may be difficult because of the current poor market, he said.
If no buyer is found, the company will begin dismissing workers May 1 and they will continue until June 1 as operations wind down, said Richard L. Biegel, president of Gleneagles.
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.
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.
The rainwear produced by Gleneagles is primarily sold under the brand names Gleneagles, Hart Shaffner & Marx, Christian Dior and Austin Reed.
Gleneagles was founded as Lamm Brothers in 1912 at 301 N. Exeter St. in Baltimore, Mr. Biegel said. It was sold in 1967 to Hartmarx Shaffner, the predecessor of Hartmarx.