Jimmy White, owner of MidSouth Footwear, has announced that the company will cease production at the Manila facility on May 30. Distribution operations will continue at the building on West Lake Street.
Mr. White said, "I regret that it has become necessary to cease production but materials and labor cost have reached the point that price resistance has pushed operations to, and in some cases above, the break even point. Out of country production imported to the U.S. has forced most of the footwear production in the U.S. to shut down. The latest market report on footwear revealed that 97 percent of all footwear sold in the U.S. is made out of country."
Mr. White is pleased that there are some jobs available in the area for his employees. Woverine Worldwide, which operates the former Frolic Footwear plant in Monette, has asked that all employees of MidSouth Footwear who wish to stay in footwear contact them.
Over the past 12 years MidSouth Footwear has contributed several million dollars to the local economy through the company payroll and local supply purchases. While there will continue to be two or three workers at the Lake Street location, the owners regret they will no longer be in a position to continue with a full production workforce.