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Hartmarx, Coppley, Royal Shirts and the Aftermath of Factory Closures

August 14, 2009
Coppley Shirt Factory In Toronto Is Now Closed

Coppley Shirt Factory In Toronto Is Now Closed

Hartmarx, Emerisque‘s recent collaborative project, is undergoing their first major shift under new management: factory closures and downsizing. The company has done this in a way that will minimize their liabilities. While few people have been able to get a real sense of what the company strategy may be, we have found some further information today that is both interesting and revealing. Coppley Apparel, the Hamilton suit manufacturer which was a division of Hartmarx, is being downsized but not closed. However, the Coppley shirt factory, previously Royal Shirt on Adesso Drive in Toronto, is being closed (or, to be more technical, is not having its lease renewed). In addition to the factory closure, a number of the key Coppley employees, including senior executives, were terminated as of Friday without compensation or severance packages and without recourse.

According to MR Magazine:

The Seaford Clothing Co. factory in Rock Island employed 350 people. Emerisque purchased that factory’s real estate, machinery, raw materials and all finished and unfinished inventory. The lease for the Anniston, Alabama factory, which made Hart Schaffner Marx trousers and employed 175 people, was not renewed. Its machinery and inventory were purchased by Emerisque…

Toronto is a small town; we know a number of the people who were let go and have heard a few things regarding how the entire situation was handled.  The following are a few points worth knowing:

  • Everyone at Hartmarx was terminated as of Friday and all assets were sold to a new company with a very similar name, leaving Heartmarx as a shell with few assets. Many of the factories that were “closed” or are halting production weren’t purchased as part of the deal; instead they were leased out and are not having their own leases renewed.
  • The new Hartmarx entity has re-hired some staff that will be needed to keep the company working. The group that is being down-sized without severance or compensation of any kind are without recourse since the company they worked for will be bankrupt and the new entity is not obligated to pay them.
  • While three factories will be closed down others will be streamlined and downsized, which accounts for the Hartmarx layoffs in places where factories will remain operational. As the old company is bankrupt and its assets are in a new company name, the old debts cannot be chased, which means that the assets can continue to function in a more streamlined way.

As we learn more, we will post the information here and, as always, media inquiries about our contacts or interview requests are welcome.

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