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Upmarket move fails to take off

Knitwear jobs axed at Borders firm Peter Scott

Peter ScottVenerable Borders knitwear firm Peter Scott is looking to cut a third of its workforce after its attempts to move upmarket met with a slower-than-expected uptake.

The company has been making sweaters and other knitwear in the Borders town of Hawick since 1878.

It had been undergoing a revival since falling into administration in 2010 with the loss of 150 jobs. New owner E-land Group, a South Korean multi-national, had rebuilt the workforce to around 60 but a consultation has now been announced plans to scale that figure back by 20.

Spokesman David Ridell said: “It’s been quite a difficult trading year. Peter Scott is moving from being a high volume-low value producer, to a low volume-high value one, but that transition isn’t happening as quickly as we had anticipated.

“We see it as a temporary glitch, but at the moment it is a necessary evil to look at cutting staff numbers.”

Ridell said the firm’s order pipeline for next year looked “positive” and as well as initially seeking voluntary redundancies, it was considering the possibility of moving to a shorter working week in order to minimise the number of job losses.

There may be a possibility that some staff can find alternative employment at Locharron of Scotland, another garment firm owned by E-land.

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