10:11 am October 11, 2022
Factory staff were left in tears after learning their business, which supplies feather pillows to Harrods and other retailers, was closing.
The Norfolk Feather Company workforce – believed to number more than 40 – gathered for a meeting only to be told they were out of work and there was no money to pay them.
The Diss-based company has not yet responded to requests for comment.
The family business, which has been around for over 90 years, manufactures luxury feather and hollow fiber pillows and duvets for a range of retailers including Harrods.
A worker – who asked to remain anonymous – said a number of staff, including her, had worked at the Diss site for decades and were shocked and appalled by the news when it was announced on Monday October 3.
“We were owed the money from the previous week and they didn’t pay us at all,” she said. “It was awful. Everyone was crying and hugging. It was awful.”
As an older worker, she said the news had been a blow and she feared for the future.
“I’m a little weak,” she admitted. “I don’t sleep well. My stomach hurts and I have a headache. I am over 50 years old. I say to myself: ‘Am I still going to work? »
The workers “felt like mushrooms” about what was going on, she added. But she praised a company human resources manager who had been very helpful and had worked heroically even after the shutdown to offer advice and support.
In a letter to employees, director Jo Landy said the directors had made the decision to cease operations and place the company in voluntary liquidation from creditors, and therefore had to terminate their employment with effect from October 3.
Any workers’ claims for back wages and other amounts owed would be paid from the Severance Fund through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the letter said. But employees would have the right to reclaim from the company any amounts not paid by BEIS.
According to an article published on the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce website from April 2021, the company was looking to relocate its then 47 employees to a new ‘state of the art’ head office in Snetterton after 50 years to Diss. The Diss site had been sold to Michael Howard Homes, he said.
Managing Director Peter Crellen reportedly said they would be sorry to leave town after so many years, but the company’s long-term vision and strategy had changed and it wanted to “streamline manufacturing to meet the demand for high quality and durable products”. textile products”.