More jobs to go at Axminster Carpets

Company calls for volunteers to take early retirement following continuing decline in residential sales

AXMINSTER Carpets is looking to shed more staff and reduce its operating hours as sales in the residential market continue to decline.

The company announced this week that it is taking “pro-active” steps to safeguard jobs following the on-going downturn.

It is requesting volunteers for early retirement and potentially reducing working hours over the short-term at its Axminster manufacturing plant. It has already moved to short-working at its Buckfast plant and factory in Curragh, Ireland.

A spokeswoman told The Herald: “Demand in the commercial and custom markets continues in line with expectation and the company remain positive about the ongoing future of the business.”

She said the total number of jobs they were looking to shed at Axminster was flexible – dependent upon the number of people who volunteered to go early.

“It will affect different departments differently,” she added.

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Axminster Carpets employs around 500 across all it operating sites.

Last month it announced that, following plans to scale down its sales office, it was now looking to reduce numbers in its operations department. A small number of redundancies was expected. The current crisis over the Euro and diminishing confidence in both the consumer and business markets were blamed.

The factory’s move to streamline its operations follows its return to profit last year.

The firm was recently granted a royal warrant enabling it to advertise its floor coverings as “by appointment to Her Majesty The Queen”.