Mayor James J. Fiorentini; City Councilors Joseph J. Bevilacqua and Andy Vargas; Dennis Marcelo, aide to Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives; and Nam Pham, assistant secretary of business development and international trade for the Baker administration. (WHAV News photograph.)
In time for holiday shopping, Southwick, manufacturer of Brooks Brothers suits, formally dedicated its new Haverhill outlet store Friday.
The company was hailed by local and state officials for becoming the city’s second largest employer, bringing back both manufacturing and retail, and offering discounted prices. Nam Pham, assistant secretary of business development and international trade for the Baker administration, explained Southwick’s appeal from the state’s perspective.
“Every job is important and Southwick has been a very good company for our community here. It has hired more than 20 people (for the new outlet) and it will hire more.”
Mayor James J. Fiorentini agreed, saying the company is now one of the city’s major employers.
“Southwick is now our second biggest employer. I think either a little bit behind Cedar Foods and they’re wonderful people to have. We’re glad to have them,” the mayor said. He explained how the company decided to move to Haverhill 11 years ago.
“My proudest day as mayor was when I was driving to Boston and I got a call from the head of Southwick, saying they worked with us, worked with the state—Gov. Romney was governor at the time—and they were not going to Thailand. They were coming here to Haverhill.”
City Councilor Joseph Bevilacqua, president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, served as master of ceremonies. He said Southwick is dispelling some myths.
“This tells everyone you can manufacture the finest products in the world right here in the Merrimack Valley, right here in the city of Haverhill. Brooks Brothers clothing is known by everyone as the best and this is the statement that the old adage that you can no longer manufacture in America, the old adage that you can’t manufacture in Massachusetts is untrue. And this proves that you can make the finest product in the world right here in Haverhill.”
The new factory store manager, Joseph Colby, who recently became a new Haverhill resident, said he is proud to open the outlet store.
“To build this store from the ground up has been such a rewarding experience for me, and to now have the opportunity to sell such a great product—such an unbelievable tradition—to people at such a value.”
Curt Clark, head of manufacturing for Southwick, said Southwick long offered an outlet store in Lawrence, but didn’t have the room in Haverhill until it acquired the former Lowes hardware store. Jeff Spellman, Southwick’s director of finance, said residents will benefit from outlet store discounts.
“Providing value to the community for some of the best product in the world for men’s tailored clothing,” Spellman said.
The store, at 25 Computer Drive, Haverhill, off route 97, is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.