March 20, 2019 at 12.30 (EET)
Wedgwood announces plans to reduce complexity across operations and continue investments in craftsmanship, design and product development
- As consumer behaviour and the operating environment changes, Wedgwood needs to improve competitiveness to provide the right platform for future growth
- Proposals include reductions to UK production capacity – high-end products including Jasperware will continue to be handmade in England, strengthening craftsmanship and the core of the brand
- The design, product development and global marketing of products will continue to be based in the UK
- A period of consultation with employees potentially affected will commence today. This proposal is expected to result in a reduction of up to 145 jobs at Barlaston in Staffordshire
Wedgwood has today announced plans to reduce complexity across its operations. The proposals are a necessary step to strengthen the business and improve its competitiveness.
Under the proposals, manufacturing operations in Barlaston will focus on hand crafted, high-end products that are core to the brand. A review of other product lines will be undertaken, and in the event the proposals are implemented following that review, it is expected that the production of some tableware products will be consolidated to other existing manufacturing sites. All restaurant operations at Barlaston will also be reviewed in line with these proposed changes.
The proposed changes will aim to protect and support the core of the Wedgwood business. A team of highly-skilled craftspeople will continue to produce our high-end handcrafted products at Barlaston. The design, product development and global marketing of products – which are core to the brand – will continue to be based in Barlaston.
In total, the proposed changes are expected to result in a reduction of up to 145 employees in the UK. Such reductions will be subject to local consultation requirements with employee representatives, and Wedgwood will be working closely with its workforce and trade unions over the months ahead.
Ulla Lettijeff, President, Living business, Fiskars Group said: “Our Barlaston site will continue to be an important centre for British craftsmanship and we are committed to developing it - both as a strong home for Wedgwood and as a visitor attraction. However, as the market evolves we must look at how we can manage our business in a sustainable way and strengthen our competitive position.”
“While the plans announced today are right for the long-term health of our business, these are very difficult decisions to make and we do not take them lightly. We will do our utmost to provide the right transition support for those who may be affected by these plans.”
These proposals are part of the Living Transformation program, launched in October 2018, and aimed at increasing efficiency, reducing complexity and accelerating long-term strategic development.
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Wedgwood, the iconic premium British lifestyle brand, was founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood. Founded on the principles of design, quality and innovation Wedgwood makes the highest quality fine bone china dinnerware, tea ware, iconic Jasperware as well as beautifully crafted ornamental pieces.
About Fiskars Group
Fiskars serves consumers and customers around the world with globally recognized brands including Fiskars, Gerber, Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Waterford, and Wedgwood. Our products are available in more than 100 countries and we employ around 7,600 people in over 30 countries. Please visit www.fiskarsgroup.com for more information.