Bootmaker R.M. Williams is seeking to manufacture all of its products in
Australia, with the intention of expanding its Adelaide factory in order to
facilitate the move.
At the moment, about two per cent of the company’s products are made
offshore, according to the ABC.
New owners Andrew and Nicola Forrest, who purchased the business from L
Catterton in late 2020, said there has been a backlog of orders since Christmas
and factory staff have been asking for more space..
“We’re very new to this, so … the most important thing is to listen to
the people that are here,” Ms Forrest said, according to the ABC.
“They’re the ones that have worked here, they know where the
opportunities are and where they’ve been held back in the past, so there’s all
sorts of ideas floating and I’m really looking forward to being able to spend
more time back here to discuss that and make a strategic plan.”
Mr Forrest has said the business will make the change “as soon as
possible” in a speech to workers, but said “only an idiot” would specify a
timeframe on something where you aren’t in control of all the moving parts.
When the Forrest’s investment business Tatterang purchased R.M. Williams last October, Mr Forrest said their plan was to bring the business back into Australian hands and to share Aussie craftmanship with the rest of the world.
This story first appeared on our sister publication Inside Retail