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Hosiery export meeting set for Thursday

Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 4:05 pm

A workshop designed for hosiery business leaders is coming to Fort Payne.

Export Opportunities for Alabama's Hosiery Industry will be Thursday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Little River Canyon Center.

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  • River_Rat posted at 12:46 pm on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    River_Rat Posts: 216

    That might be correct, my friends who went down there no longer work in the textile business and I have no idea if there trip was a success. I only know they went down there for several weeks to look for locations and from what I recall hated the place.

    I agree, it's sad this is happening to the mom and pop stores. As we have discussed before, it is impossible for an American manufacture to compete with countries who do not have the same laws regarding wages, safety and the environment. In my opinion the price of fuel may become the great equalizer. As the cost of shipping the goods half way around the world increases there will be a point where making things locally is cost effective again. My uneducated is that will happen when gas is around $8-12 a gallon. It will just depend on when the added cost of transportation outweighs the cost of producing locally.
    Do you understand my confusion on the matter of price? If these out of country mills are underpricing the local businesses the price to the consumer should reflect that. However, the price break might be happening up the supply chain and the middle man distributors are marking the goods up to point where the socks are the same price, or higher, than they would be locally.
    The theory of globalization is supposed to be that countries with a comparative advantage in an area can make the goods cheaper than the someone else. If everyone does what they do the best and export the goods the consumer will win and the standard of living for everyone will go as they are profiting in the area they are strong and buying goods from someone else that are too expensive for them to make. The theory looks OK on paper but I just don't see it happening like this.

    I agree with your comments on education and jobs. That issue is hot potato in these parts and I think best suited to be had in a different news story :-)

  • The Critic posted at 8:38 am on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    The Critic Posts: 127


    We could both be right and wrong about a few accounts. I know that some of the larger, corporate-owned mills tinkered with moving some operations to Mehico in the late 90's/early 2000's and found out it was failure. I also know that some mills opened operations in Guatemala and maybe Costa Rica, if I remember correctly in the early to mid 2000's. I know that people from the Dekalb area were traveling down that way to help setup/work in the mills in that region.

    What I was saying is that the mom-n-pop mills, the mid-size mills that supplied to Cooper and Prewitt were not the ones looking at that, as far as what I heard.

    The bottom line is that textile production is not brain surgery. It is not my nor your responsibility to worry about the Americans that choose to not educate themselves, that choose to live as they do, that choose to worry more about cigarettes, Oprah, and why the government won't lower gas prices, versus getting the best education they can, learning engineering, technology, medicine or other business and being successful.

    There's similar areas in North Carolina to the Fort Payne area where hosiery production was king and now it isn't. The leaders in some of these areas chose not to sit back and make comments in the local paper, but to get off their butts and go recruit business. Businesses like Apple, Google, etc.

    Here are some links you can copy and paste:




    It's too bad this hasn't happened in the Fort Payne area. it could have.

  • River_Rat posted at 5:16 pm on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    River_Rat Posts: 216

    Critic, I thought the Fort Payne mills were moving some/all of their production to Central America and other places. I have friends who worked at one mill who were on the team to visit Costa Rica (could have been Honduras) several years ago. Their job was to look for places to setup the new shops so the plant could move. I have not kept up with the details of the mergers, acquisitions and corporate closings/restructurings of the local industry but my understanding has been at least some of the mills moved their manufacturing out of the country while retaining at least some local ownership.

    However, if I stand corrected and no local mill has moved out of the country, in name or ownership, and the closings have happened due to the competitive advantage of foreign companies now doing business here, shouldn't the price of socks still be that much cheaper? If these foreign companies are undercutting local business the price should reflect the savings offered by the foreign manufactures. I cannot understand how the local mills are losing business if the imports they are competing against are not more competitive on price.

  • The Critic posted at 11:25 am on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    The Critic Posts: 127

    I'm not following you, River Rat. As far as I know, there aren't any locally owned (Fort Payne business people) sock mills operating in South/Central America, Pahk-i-stahn or China. These are all large companies that went to these countries and started up hosiery production. Gildan is probably one of them, but they aren't locally owned. They came in and offered the Prewitt families evidently an acceptable offer and swiftly moved the Fort Payne operations to other countries.

    No where have I read that the local mill owners were choosing to relocate their facilities to other countries to produce cheaper (to the consumer) goods. They said that hosiery production was moving (from the US) to other countries due to competition (cheaper, 3rd-world country labor).

    I don't any of them were standing up saying "we're going to take these jobs from Fort Payne to Guatemala so that folks in Fort Payne can buy socks at Wal-Mart for half of what they are now."

    As usual, it is extremely difficult to gather from this article exactly what is going to be the subjects discussed at this seminar. I can't figure out if it is aimed at some of the sock mill owners who are now out of business and encouraging them to locate some factories off-shore or if there is some crazy market out there for exporting hosiery goods. Again, these writers have failed.

  • River_Rat posted at 4:00 pm on Tue, Apr 5, 2011.

    River_Rat Posts: 216

    I still have an issue with the fact if exporting these jobs makes business sense by saving these companies money, why hasn't the price of socks decreased? If some of the savings are not being passed onto to the end comsumer these companies are saving money in production while charging the same prices. Unless they were in the red before moving, which is doubtful considering how old some of the mills were, they must be making some serious cash now.

  • The Critic posted at 2:29 pm on Tue, Apr 5, 2011.

    The Critic Posts: 127

    Good grief. So this Pam Clay with the EDA is going to waste more tax payer dollars by holding some useless seminar? Are you serious? Do the "Hosiery Industry Leaders" of Dekalb County really need some "Export Seminar" ??

    When are you people in Dekalb county going to wake up and revolt against these fools that are STEALING your tax dollars? These people that you have put in charge of government operations are robbing you blind and laughing at you.

    Someone has got to make Ms. Clay explain this meeting. This is hilarious.

  • Keepitreal posted at 11:32 am on Tue, Apr 5, 2011.

    Keepitreal Posts: 64

    All of you keep complaining as you drive to Wal-Mart and buy Chinese goods. How much of the stuff you buy there could you get at a local store for a few pennies more? At least half, but then you would not have that extra $5 for a cheeseburger at Jack's.
    Walmart S**cks.

  • elligray2010 posted at 9:40 am on Tue, Apr 5, 2011.

    elligray2010 Posts: 5

    I'm confused, I didn't realize there were any hosiery leaders left in Fort Payne. Maybe we could have used this two or three years ago. Or better yet, five years? I'm not sure, I can't remember when the sellout occurred.

  • porko posted at 9:32 pm on Mon, Apr 4, 2011.

    porko Posts: 18

    just for ol times sake can we get congressman aderholt to join in to tell us how his support of cafta has been good for dekalb co?

  • OldScout posted at 4:55 pm on Mon, Apr 4, 2011.

    OldScout Posts: 23

    Is OTEXA going to bill a hoisery mill and hire people? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ask your senator with a little "s" how he is going to vote on this. LOL. We need to not allow this meeting. Just more heartache. [sad]

  • granfp posted at 4:45 pm on Mon, Apr 4, 2011.

    granfp Posts: 4

    Way to go DeKalb County!!! Let's get rid of all the rest of the textile jobs in Fort Payne! You should be setting up workshops on how to keep jobs here - not sending more off shore! I agree with Proud Mom - MAKE HERE BUY HERE!

  • Proud Mom posted at 4:39 pm on Mon, Apr 4, 2011.

    Proud Mom Posts: 13

    What hosiery business? Almost all of the mills have exported their goods and everything else but the kitchen sink. So what do you think will happen to the rest of the people in the area? I was in Fort Payne today (04/04/11) and I notice that other businesses have closed since I left 09/29/10. It was like driving through a ghost town. I looked at the town from one end to the other. Fort Payne can not hold on if we export anything else.


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