Clarksville HanesBrands plant to shut

Former HanesBrands Inc. executives, are applauded as they ring the New York Stock Exchange opening bell, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. The company's brands include Hanes underwear, Champion sweats and L'eggs pantyhose. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Clarksville will lose 200 jobs next month with the announced closing of a HanesBrands Inc. hosiery manufacturing plant in the Johnson County city.

Shuttering the factory is part of a yearlong initiative to shed domestic manufacturing of sheer hosiery, the company said Wednesday.

"In early 2022, we announced plans to sell our U.S. Sheer Hosiery business," spokesperson Nicole Ducouer said. "As part of that ongoing process, we will be discontinuing production at our manufacturing facility in Clarksville at the end of September."

HanesBrands began reducing operations at the Clarksville plant after an expansion in 2015, when the company strengthened production by adding 120 jobs. At the time, the factory was one one of the largest hosiery facilities in the world and was projected to have 570 employees when the expansion was completed.

The Clarksville plant expansion began after HanesBrands closed a plant in Honduras, a strategic move the company touted as an effort to locate all finishing and packing work in the United States.

Clarksville officials, who cited the company's "sudden decision to close the facility," say they already are coordinating with state agencies to find new jobs for the laid-off workers.

"Measures will be taken to provide support in securing new job opportunities for the impacted workforce," the city's economic development official, Stephen Houserman, said in a statement. "The city's economic development office has already initiated communication with state and local agencies to engage with resources and new opportunities for the displaced employees and their families."

The Arkansas Department of Commerce will work with Hanes and Clarksdale leaders to minimize the impact of the job losses and plant closure, Secretary Hugh McDonald said Wednesday. Laid-off workers will get assistance with job-training and job-placement services "for affected Arkansans that return them to the workforce as soon as possible," he said in a statement.

Hanes, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., has been shedding its hosiery manufacturing to invest in areas with greater growth potential. The Clarksville facility was the sole remaining U.S. plant in the company's portfolio and produced shear leg garments and seamless bras.

The facility at 1904 Clark Road opened in 1988. Hanes has 51,000 employees in 32 countries.

Shares of HanesBrands Inc. fell 22 cents, or 4.15%, to close Wednesday at $5.11. The shares have traded between $3.85 and $11.77 in the past 52 weeks.