Aquascutum factory tries on new owner

Posted on 3 Aug 2012

The former luxury clothing factory of Aquascutum in Corby, Northamptonshire, has been sold to a company pledging to recruit up to 30 staff.

Administrators were called in to Aquascutum in April earlier this year after operating at a loss, with the brand eventually being sold to Hong Kong-based apparel retailer YGM Trading.

New owner Swaine Adeney Brigg, which is appointed as “Whip and Glovemakers” to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, says that manufacturing will soon restart. The Norfolk-based company plans to take on former Aquascutum workers made redundant shortly after its previous owner entered administration.

With the luxury goods market experiencing growth despite the double-dip recession, Swaine Adeney Brigg will make 1,500 coats which remain in the factory for YGM Trading, the new Chinese owners of Aquascutum.

There are tentative plans for Swaine Adeney Brigg to manufacture its own products, which includes luxury clothes, umbrellas and luggage, in Corby.

It is hopeful that there will be new orders arriving from YGM Trading, which acquired the Aquascutum brand for £15m in May but did not want to reopen the factory where all 115 employees were made redundant. YGM Trading has opened more than 300 Aquascutum shops in Asia since 1998 and considers the 160 year-old brand as its jewel in the crown.

Swaine Adeney Brigg, which has been in existence for 250 years, stated that the opportunity to take on traditional luxury clothes-making skills was a big draw.

Roger Gawn, chairman of Swaine Adeney Brigg, said: “To be able to get some very skilled workers in Corby that make high quality clothing is a real joy.”

Brigg added: “The thing we value most is our skilled workforce. It is really positive to be able to get these skilled workers.”

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