Escolys to Close Mill, Yet Some Business Activities Continue

New projects with sample yardage affected

October 14, 2018

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Escolys Owner and Manging Director Jean-Paul Depraetere.
Escolys Owner and Manging Director Jean-Paul Depraetere.

ANZEGEM, Belgium—Escolys, a mid- to high-level upholstery and drapery fabric weaver, and wallcovering manufacturer founded in 1958, will close its mill at the end of October, yet also plans to weave running items for existing customers.

Some industry insiders say Escolys is causing confusion with its seemingly contradictory statements. It appears that Escolys wants to curtail production of new-project-sample yardage in favor of longer production runs.

While Escolys officials say they do not plan to take on any new customers, they are careful to say there is no bankruptcy proceedings.

“The company has the intention to stop its activities at the end of this month,” according to Myriam Priels, sales manager and daughter of the owner, Jean-Paul Depraetere, managing director.

In preparation for reduced activities, Escolys has already laid off 60 weavers this month, according to a local Flemish language business website: De Rijkste Belgen.

In a widely circulated memo to customers, Escolys officials stated the reasons for their actions: important customers have disappeared from the market; the uncertainty in the very important UK market due to the Brexit situation: and countries outside of Europe that are under pressure, markets that were historically a stronghold for Escolys. Further, company officials say the supply of articles from outside the European Community are at very competitive and/or at dumping prices.

However, Escolys officials told some customers the company would continue production of all running items, without accepting any further new programs, trials or developments.

“We want to avoid customers getting into trouble not being able to place repeat orders,” Priels says.

She told some customers: “Due to internal reorganization, production of trial lengths/developments/samples has been put on hold until further notice.”

For other customers, Escolys’ actions are not so clear. Officials say they may deliver goods to companies who owe Escolys substantial money.

“They are telling some big clients to pay past invoices and pending orders will be shipped,” one source close to the company, who wanted to remain anonymous, says. “Different stories are being told to different people.”
 


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