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Buhler - The Eschler Group had indicated it is considering the closure of its sites in B?hler and M?nchwilen and instead will shift production of its significantly reduced product range to its existing subsidiary companies in Germany and Thailand.

The B?hler site will not be totally unused however with a technology and innovation centre set up for specialist textiles.

The planned restructuring of the knitted fabric specialist seems to be a consequence of the substantial worsening of economic conditions in Switzerland. Once production is discontinued at B?hler and M?nchwilen, the plants in Thailand and Germany will focus on the manufacture of niche products in the fields of sport, workwear, technical textiles and lingerie.

The headquarters of the group will remain in B?hler with the technology and innovation centre continuing to employ around 15 people engaged in development and research work for future new products.

"The planned measures by the Eschler Group are a reaction to developments on which the company has no influence,? the company said in a statement. ?For some time, the textile industry has seen quality products replaced by cheap goods from the Far East, leading to enormous pressure on prices and crumbling margins. These developments have also left their mark on Eschler. The continuing trend now affects not only the mass production of low-cost textiles, but also products in the medium to high-end segment.?

Eschler also blamed the strengthening of the Swiss currency which has squeezed margins even further and has hugely compromised the competitive position of Eschler Switzerland with exports accounting for almost 80% of its business.

?The planned optimization of production sites and the focus on highly innovative products is designed to safeguard the continued success of the company that is so steeped in tradition,? the statement said. ?The management firmly believes the planned restructuring can preserve the competitiveness and hence the know-how of the company.?


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