RALEIGH – North Carolina’s rebounding economy meant no significant layoffs across the state for the last two months. But new layoff reports filed with the state’s Department of Commerce show some cuts are returning.

Global Brands Group (GBG) has laid off 78 workers, effective July 1, 2021, from its Greensboro facility, and more could be coming, including the possible closure of the entire facility, according to a letter the company sent to the state.

Emerson Electric’s Emerson Automation Solutions group will lay off 67 workers and close its facility in Black Mountain, according to the most recent North Carolina Department of Commerce Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (NC WARN) report .

The news comes as new employment data shows North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in June from May.

Among layoffs earlier this year were moves disclosed by SAS in Cary and CommScope at a facility in Greensboro.

CommScope closing a Greensboro facility, starting layoffs in June

“GBG has been exploring several strategic options that would enable the Company to continue go-forward operations. Unfortunately, the Company has recently determined that it is unable to secure adequate financing or consummate an alternative transaction in order to address its liquidity needs and continue full operations as it seeks a buyer or buyers for all or a portion of its business,” the company’s letter to the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions reads.  “This result has given rise to liquidity issues and jeopardized the Company’s ability to pay suppliers and vendors, causing such suppliers and vendors to cease conducting business with the Company.”

Global Brands Group, itself a member of the Fung Group, is publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and has been in the news in recent weeks for being “technically insolvent” and for pursuing opportunities to sell its assets, according to Inside Retail, a publication that follows the retail industry globally.

The company was created as a division of Li & Fung to manage private-label brands in 2005, then spun off and listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2014, later forming a joint venture with David Beckham, the soccer player.  A similar partnership emerged in 2016 with singer Katy Perry.  The company recently sold off the Sypder brand.  Among the brands under ownership, licensing, or management includes Epic Games’ Fortnite apparel brand, according to the company’s website.

SAS making layoffs in some work groups but continues to hire in others

“At this time, it is not possible to determine how successful the Company will be in its efforts to sell all or a portion of its business,” the letter from the company, which was dated July 1, 2021, read.  “Over the course of yesterday and today, the NC Facility took the difficult step of sending WARN notices via email to employees at the NC Facility who are being laid off effective July 1, 2021.”

According to the NC WARN report, 78 workers were laid off on or before July 1, 2021.  “The Company also sent conditional WARN notices to all other employees at the NC Facility,” the letter from the company read.

“If the Company is not successful in finding a buyer or buyers, it is likely that the NC Facility will experience a plant closing in which case all employees will be terminated,” the letter stated.  “There may also be layoffs if the Company finds a buyer or buyers, but the buyer does not take on all of the Company’s remaining workforce, or if the Company does accomplish a sale but discovers that financial constraints prevent it from continuing to employ all of the remaining workforce up to the effective date of such a sale.”

Emerson Electric to lay off 67 workers, close Black Mountain facility

Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) will lay off 67 workers and close its Black Mountain facility along Old US Highway 70, between September 7 and September 30, 2021, the company noted in a letter sent to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions.  The facility and the workers were a part of the company’s Emerson Automation Solutions group, and the company noted that all activities occurring at this facility will be moved to other company facilities.

“Emerson Automation Solutions North American business has declined and the strategic direction to reduce overhead costs through ‘rooftop’ consolidation warrants the difficult decision to close this site,” the company stated in a letter, signed by plant manager Jason Stone.  “We hope you understand that this action is being taken strictly due to business economics.”

Stone noted in the letter that employees have been told of the plant closure and the pending layoffs, and that a severance plan has been constructed, based on each employee’s length of service.

The Ferguson, MO based Fortune 500 company recently agreed to sell its Daniel Measurement and Control Business to a private equity group in deal with an undisclosed sum or terms, with the deal anticipated to close during the third quarter.

The company’s stock is trading around $100 per share.