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Geiger trims Midd workforce to three

MIDDLEBURY — Clothing maker Geiger of Austria earlier this month cut five positions at its Middlebury facility at 38 Pond Lane, bringing its total workforce — which once numbered 70 — down to three.
“We had to downsize,” said Wolfgang Miska, executive vice president of Geiger. “With such a seasonal business, it was not feasible to continue with the staff we had here.”
Geiger, headquartered in Austria, manufactures upscale women’s clothing. The company opened its Middlebury branch in 1981 and employed as many as 70 workers at its height of operations during the late 1980s.
But a shifting economy and other factors has forced Geiger, and the clothing industry in general, to streamline operations in order to remain competitive. Geiger in 2005 phased out manufacturing in Middlebury, transferring those remaining jobs to Slovakia in Eastern Europe.
Since 2005, Geiger has maintained a small workforce in Middlebury to handle customer service and wholesale distribution of its products in the U.S. and Canada. The location is also open for retail sales on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Meanwhile, Geiger’s 51,000-square-foot building continues to be for sale and currently has more than 8,000 square feet available for lease. In 2009 Durasol Awnings Inc. moved from an Exchange Street spot into 27,600 square feet in the Geiger structure.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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