Garland Shirt Factory finds potential buyer – Sampson Independent

Company says Brooks Brothers ‘putting profit over people’ by searching for higher bidder, extending closing date
By Chase Jordan [email protected]
Company says Brooks Brothers ‘putting profit over people’ by searching for higher bidder, extending closing date
With Brooks Brothers planning to leave an empty factory in Garland after filing for bankruptcy, Health Supply US wants to fill the space and make Sampson County home to their premier manufacturing facility.
But according to FTI Consulting Strategic Communication, a consulting firm representing the medical supplies manufacturer, an extension of a closing date for Brooks Brothers is delaying the move-in date for the business. After a signed purchase and sale agreement since July 23, the New York-based company extended its closing date from Aug. 17 through Sept. 1. Officials said the move is an effort to attract a higher bidder for the sale of the facility known locally as the Garland Shirt Factory.
“Brooks Brothers showed their true colors when they closed their Haverhill, Massachusetts facility and forced layoffs of their workers to maximize their profits; now they are preparing to do the same in Garland,” officials stated.
HSUS makes Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) registered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Their plans are to invest in Garland to make the facility a state-of-the art domestic manufacturing campus. HSUS plans to keep all of the jobs at the facility. Brooks Brothers sent a letter to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Solutions about permanently closing the factory on South Church Avenue because of the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
HSUS CEO Christopher A. Garcia said the company wants to be a beacon of light to the rest of the country that American manufacturing is not dead.
“Garland employees want to know when they can go back to work,” Garcia said referring to about 150 people. “HSUS has agreed to get you back to work right now. HSUS is committed to a long-term investment in Garland and we have demonstrated this commitment by making an offer that is clearly the best overall offer for all parties involved, including Brooks Brothers, Garland workers, Brooks Brothers creditors, Garland community leaders, and Garland families.”
Local officials are also showing support to HSUS coming to the community. Executive Director Stephen Barrington of North Carolina’s Sampson County Economic Development Commission said the county is delighted to work with Health Supply US on the acquisition of the Brooks Brothers property.
“Your company’s plan to add additional verticals to that of cut and sew will be significant to this community,” Barrington wrote in a letter to Garcia. “As well, your projected facility growth in that of space and jobs will make your company the largest in the Town of Garland, N.C. Your presence will make a significant and immediate impact on the community, and we are grateful for your interest.”
It was also noted that HSUS demonstrated a commitment to the local workforce with a signed agreement with the Garland facility union on Aug. 3. That was followed with a ratification through a unanimous vote of the union on Aug. 13. Garland Mayor Winifred Murphy also showed her support and said the future of Garland will be bright with HSUS involvement and investment of the community.
“We are pleased that their presence in Garland will continue the local tradition of manufacturing excellence we have enjoyed since 1954,” Winifred Murphy stated July 31 in a letter showing support.
She continued and thanked HSUS for selecting Garland and the contributions of Brooks Brothers.
“We thank Health Supply US for their leadership in the effort to restore American jobs and invest in America’s factory workers to build a robust and resilient manufacturing base for our economy,” Murphy said. “We are also thankful to Brooks Brothers for their 19-year investment in Garland and for reaching an agreement in the best interest of Garland employees and our community. We know that our future holds great promise in partnership with Health Supply US.”
Officials from Brook Brothers declined to provide a comment Friday.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.
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