Hours reduced at Devon pine company

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A north Devon company has put its 180 employees on a four-day week.

The management at Devonshire Pine in Bideford said the last six to eight months had been extremely tough for retailers.

The company hopes the changes in working hours will prevent any redundancies.

Andy Waddell, commercial director of Devonshire Pine, said: "It's a result of a drop in consumer spending on furniture."

Mr Waddell added: "We rely on the outlets nationwide to sell our products but they're not getting the consumers through the door."

'Toughest times'

He said staff at the company were consulted about the four-day week.

"These are the toughest times without a doubt," he said. "We thought we were weathering the recession. It's only hit us in the last six months."

Last month, electronics manufacturer TE Connectivity, also based in Bideford, announced it was closing with the loss of 250 jobs.

The company has been based in Bideford for nearly 50 years.

Simon Inch, the mayor of Bideford, described the closure as "a severe blow to the town".

Mr Waddell said the Devonshire Pine company was determined to continue.

"We feel a commitment to Bideford. We feel we've got a duty and that's what we'll continue to do," he said.

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