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Dan River to shut two more facilities

DANVILLE, Va. — Looking to cut costs and pare its losses as it works it way through bankruptcy and a painful restructuring, Dan River Inc. has launched a further overhaul of its U.S. manufacturing operations and will close a finishing and sheet sewing facility in Danville and a warehouse in Portsmouth, Va., operated by its Import Specialists division.

The diversified textiles producer said the closings will take place during the fourth quarter of this year and result in the loss of about 275 jobs.

The company said most of the finishing production at the Danville facility will be shifted to the Harris and Brookneal plants. Most of the sheet sewing will be transferred to the Brookneal and Glenn plants. Warehousing for the Import Specialists business, acquired by Dan River in March 2000, will be absorbed into distribution facilities in Danville, Va.

"This was a difficult decision made only after careful consideration," said Joseph L. Lanier Jr., chairman and CEO, in a letter to Dan River workers. "These closures were made necessary by the low rate of home fashions order activity. Consumer demand for bedding products has continued weak. Retailers have reacted by reducing inventories, increasing promotional activity and increasing importation of low cost products."

Lanier said the recent cost-cutting moves "are as unpleasant as any I've been associated with in my 48 years in the textile business. I am committed, however, to do whatever is necessary to insure that the company will successfully emerge form bankruptcy as a viable enterprise."

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