Colorado’s Ouray Sportswear to Close, Laying All Employees – Sourcing Journal

Ouray Sportswear LLC of Colorado will be closing its doors after more than 50 years in business.

The Englewood-based custom apparel provider filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment on Aug. 18.

Ouray will begin laying off all 154 employees from October 17. It expects the company to fully close by the end of the year, but could retain some positions in early 2024.

In the WARN letter, Ouray President Connor Knutson blamed changing business needs for the closure.

The facility, which will be closed, has machines that produce custom-made casual wear and headwear. The Company manufactures products for retail customers in the destination/resort, college, golf and corporate markets. Founded in 1965 as Ski Country Imports, the company has grown from a leading supplier of high-quality ski and outdoor accessories to a B2B sportswear and headwear brand with over 4,000 wholesale customers. The company has on-site embroidery and screen printing staff who apply logos and specialty graphics to t-shirts, fleece, outerwear and headwear such as hats.

L2 Brands, also a manufacturer of custom apparel and headwear, acquired Ouray from S&S Activewear earlier this year and plans to expand the Englewood-based company into new product categories, geographies and end markets. Included in the purchase was outdoor-inspired headwear and accessories brand Locale, which Ouray acquired in 2021. S&S acquired Ouray in 2021 when it bought TSC Apparel.

Ouray is the latest company in the industry to conduct mass layoffs after David’s Bridal, Forman Mills, Bed Bath & Beyond, Gap Inc. and others all laid off workers.

Knutson noted in his WARN letter that Ouray has complied with its legal requirements by complying with a 60-day notice period, a rule that appears to stumble other retailers.

A lawsuit has been filed against Bed Bath & Beyond, which has since closed stores as a result of its bankruptcy, alleging that the company failed to provide the required notice period for mass layoffs. And Gap, which is cutting 1,800 jobs, has been identified as a named defendant in a lawsuit that alleges the company only gave 15 days’ notice.

This month, Express Inc. announced plans to cut 150 jobs to cut costs. And Hanesbrands is also cutting office and cut-and-sew jobs in the US. According to government data, the retail sector lost 11,000 jobs in June after adding 23,000 the previous month. Colorado’s Ouray Sportswear to Close, Laying All Employees – Sourcing Journal

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