JOBS are set to be axed at Brintons Carpets in Kidderminster, less than a year after it invested £5 million into its operations in the town.
The Shuttle has learned an unspecified number of redundancies, described by chiefs as “isolated” and a “handful”, are being planned for Kidderminster by the Stourport Road-based company as part of a streamlining process but no timetable has yet been fixed.
Bosses said most of the redundancies would be made in Kidderminster, where 370 staff out of a total of 560 in the UK are currently employed.
Community Union campaign manager Gavin Miller said the news was “disappointing” but last year’s major investment, which saw jobs created in Kidderminster, meant it was likely to be “just a blip” rather than the beginning of a trend.
Don Coates, managing director, said: “We are in the process of streamlining our UK operations, consolidating the residential and commercial divisions, so we can minimise duplication and bring our business closer in line with how we operate around the world.
“As part of this, unfortunately, we need to make a handful of redundancies but these are isolated and part of ensuring we run the business in the most sensible way. More broadly, the business is in good shape and we are confident about the future.
“Although order conversions have been slow recently, our project pipelines are stronger than they have been for years and we are seeing exciting opportunities to grow, especially in the United States, which is our largest market and the Middle East, where our carpets are in demand.”
Mr Miller said: “It is disappointing to hear redundancies are happening. The business has done well over the last 12 months, hopefully, this is a temporary setback and we would be looking to support our members.”
He added: “It does not sound like it is the beginning of a trend to me. There was great news last year in terms of investment in Kidderminster so, fingers crossed, this is just a blip.”
It is a year since the company shed 20 jobs at Kidderminster following changes to the shift patterns. There was better news, last April and August, when £5 million was pumped into the town, which saw new weaving looms installed and apprentices taken on.
The 230-year-old business, the world’s largest manufacturer of Axminster carpets, moved to Stourport Road in 2012.
The move followed a £40 million investment in 2011 by American private equity giant The Carlyle Group, axing 150 jobs soon after the take over.