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Fruit of the Loom relocating jobs to Ky.270 apparel jobs to leave Alabama for Kentucky

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. — Fruit of the Loom has announced it will relocate more than 270 apparel industry jobs from Alexander City and Monroeville, Ala., to its headquarters in Kentucky.

John Shivel, an executive at company headquarters in Bowling Green, confirmed that 58 Russell Corporation employees in Monroeville and 218 Vanity Fair Brands workers in Alexander City were notified of the consolidation Wednesday.

The company said the move was necessary to "streamline processes and control costs."

The transition is expected to start within the next two months and be completed by December. The company plans to meet with employees to determine if they are interested in relocating to Bowling Green.

Russell Corporation and Vanity Fair were once economic powerhouses in their communities.

Russell, founded in 1902 by Benjamin Russell, once employed more than 7,000 people in the Alexander City area and gained renown as a manufacturer of athletic uniforms. Local economic development officials say the number now is fewer than 1,500.

Vanity Fair also was a mainstay in Monroeville, where it was founded in 1937 and had 2,500 workers in the 1990s. Its workforce is now reportedly around 360 at a distribution center and division offices.

Fruit of the Loom acquired Russell in 2006 and Vanity Fair in 2007.