Area clothing manufacturer closes abruptly, lays off 125

jmurawski@newsobserver.comNovember 21, 2011 

A local uniform manufacturer ceased operations on short notice and laid off 125 employees this month.

Royal Park Uniforms notified the N.C. Commerce Department that the financial institution backing the uniform company cut off funding and forced the local manufacturer to shut its doors.

The letter said the financing entity "would not longer fund payroll or any other expenses past November 10, 2011 at 5 p.m."

"This was a complete shock and surprise to RPU ownership and management," the company said in its letter to the N.C. Commerce Department. "There was no indication that the financial entity that RPU was dealing with would take such a strong stand."

Royal Park, formed in 1986, is based in Prospect Hill, about 55 miles northwest of Raleigh.

The company said that some of the laid off employees are expected to find work with a new company that assumes operations at the RPU plant.

According to its web site, Royal Park had more than 1,000 employees at one point, including staff at five plants in El Salvador, working in various stages of production.

Royal Park sold uniforms to retailers in the U.S. Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Murawski: 919-829-8932

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