Dr Martens axes 1,000 jobs

Dr Martens axes 1,000 jobs

Footwear firm Dr Martens is closing its British factories and moving production to China, with the loss of more than 1,000 jobs.

The jobs will go at the firm’s factories in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Somerset, the company confirmed.

The firm has announced a 90-day consultation process with its staff, a legal requirement, before any job losses.

But it has already confirmed that the jobs will go.

David Suddens, managing director of the firm’s family-owned parent company, R Griggs Ltd, said he regretted the “proposed closures”.

Staff were today said to be stunned.

The firm’s union, the Knitwear and Foot Apparel Trade Union is opposed to the move.

The Doc Martens footwear brand, with its air-cushion soles, has become a fashion staple since production began in Northampton in 1960.

The boots have been worn by everyone from Madonna to skinheads to Pope John Paul II, who ordered customised white boots.

Production is being moved out of the UK is because the boots are cheaper to make in China.

The firm says all its competitors “outsourced” years ago.

Despite selling five million pairs of boots each year the company is lost about £20 million last year.

Some 700 jobs will go at three factories in Northampton, at Wollaston, Rushden and at the company headquarters in Nene Park. The headquarters will remain in Britain.

About 80 jobs will go at Shepton Mallet, Somerset, and 300 at Whetstone, Leicestershire.

Mr Suddens said; “We regret very much the loss of jobs resulting from these proposed closures, but we will make every effort to help staff find alternative employment.