Dielmar clothing company insolvent after 56 years; 300 jobs at risk

  • Lusa
  • 2 August 2021

In a statement, the board says that "after having overcome several crises over 56 years" the company succumbed to the pandemic, as a result of "a set of situations that were lethal" for its business.

Dielmar, a clothing company based in Alcains, in Portugal’s Castelo Branco district, with about 300 employees, has filed for insolvency after 56 years of the business, in a move that its board said was made necessary by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the board states that “after having overcome several crises over 56 years” the company succumbed to the pandemic, as a result of “a set of situations that were lethal” for its business.

“This crisis globally attacked what best supported its activity: social interaction, events and weddings, with the elegance, glamour of bespoke tailoring and customisation in which we specialise, and professional office work, which were the fundamental basis of Dielmar’s business,” the statement reads.

It goes on to say that the past 16 months have been “long and hard” and that management had made “an immense and lonely effort” to try to ensure the firm’s survival and to maintain the current 300 or so jobs.

“Therefore, we cannot fail to give a word of gratitude to our workers, who have always stood by the company and on our side, fighting with us every day for the survival of the company, with immense commitment and dedication,” the board states.

It stresses that the business created by the company’s founders 56 years ago “has created thousands of jobs, trained thousands of people, generated immense wealth for the region and the country and carried Portugal’s name around the world.

“We honour the history of Dielmar and the memory of its founders, because Dielmar has paid the salaries of its workers punctually and maintained, for more than five decades, the prosperity and tranquillity of many families in Alcains and the surrounding lands,” it recalls.

The company laments being forced to make the decision, stressing that it has even “greater concern” because it knows “how much desertification” affects the Castelo Branco region, “which is facing a new and strong population reduction, as shown in recent censuses.

“Perhaps the insolvency of Dielmar is a warning and a beacon for an urgent rethink of the interior and support for the industries that still exist here and that have supported, for decades, the settling of people and the economy and social balance of the region,” it says, adding that these businesses “provide, above all, work opportunities for women.”

It calls for “real measures and initiatives to be taken in favour of the interior” so that Dielmar workers can stay in the regin.

“The Dielmar brand and know-how, the premises and the manufacturing equipment and the will to work of these people will remain,” the statement says. “Perhaps with the ‘bazooka’ [of EU post-pandemic recovery funds] that will one day arrive in the interior economy to promote recovery, they may have a second chance and give this business project another 50 years.

“Insolvency will open new opportunities that will certainly have the … support of the state and the municipality, and may provide the resurgence of the company and the maintenance of its current jobs,” it concludes.