Claytons relocate Samuel Sharp production

24 March 2006

During the past several years it has become increasingly difficult for Claytons of Chesterfield to operate profitably from their site in Cosgrove, Milton Keynes, where subsidiary company Samuel Sharp (Curriers) Ltd have a history of serving the equestrian sector for more than 400 years. While Claytons remain totally committed to providing premium bridle and other leathers for existing and new customers, rising overheads, massive fuel price increases and the cost of production on the small factory site mean that they have had to consider how effective economies can be made to allow business to continue and customers remain serviced. To that end, production of Samuel Sharp products will be transferred over a period of time to their main site in Chesterfield. The full nature of the re-structuring of the team at Chesterfield is currently under discussion but they expect that when adequately bedded-in, the quality and consistency of the Samuel Sharp product will improve, as the currying operation becomes one part of the total leather finishing activities. All of these operations will then exist under the technical and managerial influence of the Chesterfield team. Their acquisition of contract finishing company SVR in January was a strategic move to broaden capabilities within the group. This plant and business will, during the course of the year also be re-located to Chesterfield and provide both finishing expertise and volume capabilities where previously the company had faced challenges in product consistency. The addition of all of the Samuel Sharp activities to this mix is expected to provide them with a healthy mixed economy of capabilities, expertise and strengthen our future prospects.

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