Bloomsburg Mills to Cease Operations

Downward Economy Claims 120-Year-Old Manufacturer

Suffering from the effects of a downward economy and the influx of imports, Bloomsburg Mills Inc. is closing its doors after 120 years of domestically manufacturing fabrics.

Bloomsburg will officially exit the textiles business, closing its two manufacturing mills, one here at headquarters and the other in Monroe, N.C. The action will affect 226 employees.

"The domestic textile manufacturer has been fighting a battle of attrition for many years due to the flood of cheap imported textiles into this country," said James P. Marion III, president and ceo.

Bloomsburg Mills has lost more than 60% of its sales volume over the past decade, and as a result, Marion continued, "We have undergone numerous downsizings to adjust for this loss. We had made considerable progress in our efforts to restore ourselves to profitability and continue as a domestic manufacturer."

But the second hit that spurned the company's demise has been "the dramatic drop in business that we experienced at the end of calendar 2008."

The first three months of 2009 have proven "very poor," Marion said, "and based on the current economic outlook, we cannot envision any scenario in the foreseeable future that would enable us to return to being a profitable company on an ongoing basis."

When Bloomsburg was founded in 1889, it was originally as a silk weaver.

Since then, it added a yarn processing and weaving plant here, adding in 1979 a dyeing and finishing plant in Monroe.

Over the course of its long history, the mill was known as a manufacturer of high fashion dress fabrics as well as a producer of high quality specialized fabrics for end-uses in a variety of markets, including home furnishings and linens, industrial, medical, military and filtration.

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