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St Gallen ? The acquisition of Eschler Textil by Schoeller Textil AG should help the knitted fabric specialist compete against the growing number of medium to high-end products being imported from South-East Asia.

The two companies have worked in close collaboration for several years with Christian Eschler specialising in knitted fabrics for sportwear, lingerie, workwear and technical textiles. With a certain amount of synergy already in place across these sectors, Schoeller mainly produces stretch woven fabrics and smart textile technologies for activewear and workwear.

The merger may well bring a welcome fillip for Eschler Group who indicated in 2011 that it was considering the closure of its sites in B?hler and M?nchwilen and instead would shift production of its significantly reduced product range to its existing subsidiary companies in Germany and Thailand.

Eschler?s planned restructuring was a consequence of the substantial worsening of economic conditions in Switzerland with the company blaming the replacement of quality products by cheap goods from the Far East, leading to enormous pressure on prices and crumbling margins.

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.

Now, it is hoped that the planned optimization of production sites and a focus on highly innovative products will safeguard the continued success of the company with a ?synergy of woven and knitted fabrics exploited to create a range that is the only one of its kind in the textile sector?.

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