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Springs to shut bedding plants, lay off workers

FORT MILL, S.C. — In the latest phase of the rolling retrenchment of an American textiles industry croweded by imports, Springs Industries Inc., the nation's single-largest home fashions supplier, said it will shut down two bedding plants, laying off about 540 workers.

The company said it will close its Lyman Fabrication Plant in Lyman , S.C. , which employs about 400, and the Wamsutta Plant in Anderson , S.C. , which employs another 140. Both are scheduled to close on Feb. 1.

Crandall Bowles, chairman and CEO, commented, "The increasing import trend affecting some of our products has accelerated this year, due in part to the elimination of quotas at year end. This has caused even more overseas shopping by our customers. There are products that we can no longer manufacture competitively here in the United States ."

Springs, she added, continues to carry out strategies to remain competitive, such as supply chain efficiency, cost reduction, branding, design expertise and partnerships with global producers. The company, she said, will continue to both import and manufacture products by maintaining a smaller, more flexible base of domestic operations.

"Our customers value excellent service," said Bowles. "Fast turnaround capacity in the U.S. will enable us to provide superior service versus a competitor from China ."

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