TRIUMPH is pulling the plug on its distribution centre in Swindon four years after setting up a new arrangement with logistics firm Menlo.
In 2010, Menlo came in at the lingerie firm’s Groundwell Industrial Estate base and operated the distribution side of the business on behalf of the lingerie firm.
Yesterday, in an announcement to more than 70 staff at the Blunsdon House Hotel, bosses at Menlo had to tell employees their jobs would cease to exist as of June 9.
A spokesman for Triumph said: “Triumph UK has announced its decision to shift distribution services from its distribution partner Menlo in Swindon to Triumph’s distribution centre in Obernai, France.
“It is anticipated the transitional process will begin in June 2014. This decision to in-source and streamline our corporate DC activities are in line with the company’s global objectives regarding cost and efficiency.
“The company’s sales and operating functions are not affected.”
A worker at the Swindon warehouse, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Our HR department phoned me this afternoon to say Triumph International will be leaving Swindon from June 9.
“This came completely out of the blue. We were summoned to the Blunsdon House Hotel where they received the information.
“We have not really had any suspicions about this but when you work somewhere for as long as some of us have you start to spot the signs and think there is something funny going on.
“I think the HR department were just as shocked as us. It certainly came as a surprise to come half way through the day to be summoned to a meeting like that.
“At the last quarterly meeting there was no indication of any problems at all.
“Because they are going back to Europe, where they have got their main offices, they are offering us the option to relocate, but that is not something I am planning on taking up at all.
“They have given us eight weeks in total, which is not enough time.
“What is most shocking is that we were getting all the work out that we needed to and going over and above what was expected of us.”
Another warehouse operative, who also chose to remain anonymous, said: “Although we were doing well, keeping costs down, Triumph decided to take it all across to Obernai.
“They did mention the word redundancies, but there is nothing yet known on packages. There were some agency workers, but the majority were contracted.
“We had lots of orders and we were doing well. They’ve just pulled the plug.
“We are now going to get together and form a committee of workers from the shop floor, so we are well represented over the next few weeks.”
Sheila Hamilton, managing director at Triumph, said: “Triumph UK is committed to its business in the UK as well as continuous product innovation, and intends to maintain its market leadership through our superior product portfolio, world-class marketing and excellent customer service.
“We very much value the relationship with our wholesale partners, and this will in no way disrupt our service to our wholesale or retail channels.”
Triumph International was established in Heubach, Württemberg, Germany in 1896 and its bras were first sold in Britain eight years later.
It opened its first Swindon factory in Cheney Manor in the late 1950s.
Later it acquired a second factory at Stratton and at one time employed hundreds of Swindon women as sewing machinists.