More than 120 jobs have been lost at Hawick Knitwear after the historic firm called in administrators.
The Borders company, which traces its roots back to 1874, had suffered “difficult trading conditions” in recent years due to increasing production costs and reducing margins, said joint administrators Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar of KPMG.
Recent mild winters have also led to reduced demand for heavier winter garments, they said.
Despite trading losses, Hawick Knitwear had been building its own-brand sales, which account for about £2.5 million of annual sales totalling £8.5m.
“Recent attempts to secure new investment into Hawick Knitwear to support further development of the brand and provide much needed working capital ultimately proved unsuccessful leaving the director with no option but to place the company into administration,” KPMG said.
At the time of the joint administrators’ appointment, 179 staff were employed by the company, all but two of whom are based in Hawick. However, 123 employees have been made redundant with immediate effect, with 56 staff retained.
Nimmo said: “Hawick Knitwear has an excellent reputation in the industry. The company benefits from its heritage and established infrastructure together with a developing brand and a highly-skilled workforce, which we believe will be an asset to prospective purchasers.
“Unfortunately, extremely difficult market conditions have led to the current position. It is regrettable that a high level of redundancies has been necessary at this stage and we will be working with employees and the relevant government agencies to ensure that the full range of support is available to those who are affected.”
He added: “In the meantime, we would encourage any party who has an interest in the company’s business and assets to contact us as soon as possible.”