No plans to change Barrie location, says Chanel chief

Barrie Knitwear managing director Jim Carrie, left, and Chanel president Bruno Pavlosky
Barrie Knitwear managing director Jim Carrie, left, and Chanel president Bruno Pavlosky
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THE President of Chanel has emphasised his company’s commmitment to Hawick.

Just days after sealing a takeover deal for the troubled Burnfoot business, Bruno Pavlosky has assured the 176-strong workforce that the French fashion giants are here to stay.

He told the Hawick News: “We don’t have any current plans to make any changes to how the business operates. There are no plans for restructuring or redundancies. We will be reviewing the business, and are hopeful that it can continue to run as it does now and with the existing workforce.

“We respect that Hawick is a leading centre for cashmere knitwear. We don’t have any plans to change the location of Barrie Knitwear.”

Managing director Jim Carrie and sales director Clive Brown will continue to run the business, which has been supplying Chanel for more than 25 years.

And Mr Pavlosky, who was in Hawick yesterday, admitted it was that relationship that helped forge this week’s historic deal. “We’ve always been very impressed with the quality of workmanship at Barrie,” he said. “Expertise and craftsmanship is something we have great respect for at Chanel.

“It really made sense for us to invest in them, to continue to work with them, safeguard their future and support their development.”

Barrie Knitwear is a trading division of Dawson International Trading Ltd which was placed in administration in August due to crippling pension debts of around £129million.

Mr Pavlosky revealed the Dawson pension schemes would remain the responsibility of Dawson and administrators KPMG.

However, he added: “Whilst Chanel will not be assuming any past service pension liabilities, it will be offering all the transferring Barrie employees a new pension scheme identical to the one applicable to all new Chanel employees in the UK.”

Barrie will continue to supply other luxury brands and retailers on a non-exclusive basis.