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Bose to shutter Blythewood plant, eliminate 300 jobs

Manufacturing
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Bose Corp., which has been a fixture of the Midlands manufacturing scene for two decades, announced Thursday it plans to close its Blythewood plant in September, putting 300 employees out of work.

Privately held Bose said it is shuttering the north Richland County facility, which opened in 1996, and a plant in Carrickmacross, Ireland, to consolidate manufacturing operations and streamline its supply chain.

Operations in South Carolina will continue until September; operations in Ireland will continue until April, Bose said. During that time, both workforces will be reduced, and work will transfer to other Bose facilities with duplicative capabilities.

The Blythewood facility houses a North American distribution and repair center, and does subassembly and final assembly for some headsets, and some remanufacturing for the region.

A final decision on a new location for distribution and repair has not yet been made; other operations will transfer to Bose facilities in Arizona and Mexico. All jobs at the Bose S.C. campus will be eliminated, the company said.

The Bose plant, which covers 465,000 square feet of space, previously laid off 200 employees in 2012.

The Ireland facility opened in 1978 and currently has approximately 140 employees. It provides final assembly for select home theater systems and Wave radios for the European market, and some remanufacturing for the region. Operations will transfer to Bose facilities in Malaysia and Mexico. All work will cease at the Bose Ireland facility.

All employees who lose their jobs based on the company’s plans to close the facilities will receive outplacement services and severance pay, Bose said.

“Our rapid global growth requires us to keep pace with our customers, dealers, distributors, resellers and stores, and serve them as efficiently as possible,” said Bryan Fontaine, executive vice president of global operations and corporate development engineering.

“But these are still difficult decisions because they impact our very capable teams in South Carolina and Ireland. We thank all of them for their dedication, and we thank the communities of Columbia and Carrickmacross for their years of support.”

Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., Bose was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, then a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bose Corp. is a global, privately held company with $3.3 billion in annual sales, approximately 10,500 employees, and 25 subsidiaries and branches.

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