MOHNTON, Pa. — Stitch Fix, a clothing company that operates online, is closing its Berks County operations.

The company has a plant in Mohnton and in Shillington, which operate together under the name Mohnton Mills.

"As we focus on the strategies that support our return to profitable growth, notably increasing our active clients and optimizing our cost base, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to close our operations at Mohnton Mills," a Stitch Fix spokeswoman said in a statement. "While this is the right decision for our business, it is a hard day for our team."

The closing will cost 56 jobs total, with 52 workers out as of Dec. 2, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The remaining four employees will be done by Dec. 30.

Workers will receive severance payments based on years of service, extended healthcare coverage, help in finding new work and other benefits, the spokeswoman said.

The company did not comment on what may happen to the facilities.

The closing comes after Stitch Fix announced on Sept. 20 a loss of $96.3 million for its fourth fiscal quarter.

"Today's macroeconomic environment and its impact on retail spending has been a challenge to navigate," Elizabeth Spaulding, the company's chief executive officer, said as earnings were reported.

Stitch Fix said on its website that it bought Mohnton Mills in 2017. It said Mohnton, a sewing factory and knitting mill, had been producing knit garments for more than 100 years.

The company later introduced Mohnton Made, "a more sustainable and size-inclusive line of modern essentials that are knit, cut and sewn in the USA, and available exclusively at Stitch Fix."

Dennis Stricker lives near the Shillington plant, and said he talks to a couple of the employees in passing.

"There was an older gentleman that walked every day to there, and we always said, 'Hi, good morning,'" Stricker said.

David Lykens also lives near the Shillington plant. While there is no word on what will happen to the location, he said he would like to see it remain a factory.
 
"Stitch Fix has been very good, and the factory before that was very good here," Lykens said, "so I don't know what would happen."

Many of the Mohnton Mills employees had more than 20 years of experience, Stitch Fix said.

"Stitch Fix is the world's leading online personal styling service," according to the company's website. "We combine data science and human judgment to deliver apparel, shoes, and accessories personalized to our clients' unique tastes, lifestyles, and budgets."

The company was founded in 2011 and in 2017 went public on the NASDAQ market, where it is traded under the ticker symbol SFIX. Shares have fallen hard this year and last traded at $3.91. The high for the last 52 weeks was $39.44, with a low of $3.72.

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