THE UNITED KINGDOM: Gillette Co. executives said the company will close two UK-based blade and razor facilities during the next three years and will move production to a new plant to cut costs. A packaging and distribution center in Hemel Hempstead will close in 2005, and a plant in Isleworth will be closed in 2007.
Gillette will transfer production of its Sensor shaving products to the new plant, which will be located in Eastern Europe. Currently, the products are manufactured in Berlin. The exact location of the new plant will be decided early this year, executives said. The company will also move manufacturing of stainless steel double-edge and some disposable razors from Jevicko, Czech Republic to St. Petersburg, FL.
Eric Kraus, a Gillette spokesperson, said the changes will affect between 1,200 and 1,500 jobs.