The company was founded in the English village of Axminster in 1755. Early Axminsters were like tapestries formed by creating hand made knots of wool. I visited their American cousin, U.S. Axminster in Mississippi, a few years ago. They made beautiful carpets.
Axminster Carpets is fighting for its life now. The company has called in administrators (the English version of bankruptcy proceedings), blaming a tough economy and resulting financial problems. Carpet sales in England have fallen 24% in the past few years.
Up to 400 jobs will be lost if the company goes defunct but they have pledged that they are "committed to working to achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned and most importantly for the staff and suppliers." Time will tell.
The UK has been suffering through a deep recession and a sluggish recovery in recent years along with on-going problems of social unrest. The pound lost 10 cents against the US dollar in just a few weeks recently and Moody's downgraded their credit from AAA to AA1.
Back in the prosperous 1980s, Maggie Thatcher said, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." That day may have arrived in England. Mrs. Thatcher was one smart lady. Do you think there's a lesson to be learned here?
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