Boohoo, a well-known fashion retailer, is currently considering closing its state-of-the-art garment factory located in Leicester. This factory, which was once hailed as a “centre of excellence” and a symbol of Boohoo’s dedication to Leicester’s textile industry, is potentially facing closure due to concerns regarding efficiency and productivity. Although the closure may impact fewer than 100 employees, there is a possibility that some roles could be relocated.

A spokesperson for Boohoo has shed some light on the decision, explaining that the company’s sites continuously evolve over time. Investments have been made in other distribution centers in Sheffield and the United States, leading to the need for greater efficiency and productivity to strengthen their business. Despite how difficult this decision is, Boohoo is actively working closely with affected staff members to provide support during the consultation process.

The Leicester factory, which encompassed an impressive 23,000 square feet and even included a training center, was initially established to reintroduce garment manufacturing skills that had been lost in the UK over time. At the beginning, the factory employed 100 workers and produced an impressive 6,000 garments each week. Its operations were showcased as a model in a review conducted by retired judge Sir Brian Leveson, part of Boohoo’s Agenda for Change roadmap aiming to enhance conditions within the company’s supply chain. This initiative was launched following revelations about poor pay and working conditions, particularly in Leicester where Boohoo sourced 40% of its products.

Unfortunately, Boohoo has encountered various challenges in recent times. In October, the company announced an anticipated decline in annual sales ranging from 12% to 17%, not meeting initial forecasts. Analysts attribute this decrease to a loss of market share, despite implementing price cuts. Sales dropped by a significant 17% to £729 million in the six months leading up to August 31, and losses increased to £26.4 million.

The potential closure of the Leicester factory reflects the dynamic nature of the retail industry and the constant need for businesses to adapt. Boohoo’s focus on efficiency and productivity underscores their commitment to remaining a strong and sustainable player within the fashion market. While this decision may have an impact on the affected employees, Boohoo is actively working towards ensuring they receive the necessary support during this transitional period.

Useful Links:
BBC Article on Boohoo’s Potential Closure of Leicester Factory
Retail Gazette Article on Boohoo’s Potential Closure of Leicester Factory