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The North Face To Move Headquarters

December 10, 1999

CARBONDALE, Colo. (AP) _ The North Face Inc. has decided to close its facility in Carbondale and move its headquarters back to California by February to cut costs.

The sportswear and outdoor gear company plans to consolidate its corporate headquarters in San Leandro, Calif., it announced late Thursday.

Some 70 works at the Colorado office will be affected. About 10 will lose their jobs, the company said.

The move will come less than two years after The North Face shifted its executive, marketing, research and design, and sales departments to Carbondale, where it said it could field test its designs in the nearby mountains and rivers while expanding at a lower cost than in California.

The company’s chief executive at the time, James Fifield, owned a home a half-hour drive away from Carbondale in Aspen. Fifield resigned as president and CEO about three months ago after an agreement to sell the company fell through.

The California office currently houses customer service, accounting, human resources and other departments.

``We have examined the location of our corporate headquarters very closely, and it is clear this consolidation is in the best interests of the company,″ chief executive officer Geoffrey Lurie said in a statement.

Lurie said that maintaining two operating facilities was too costly and hurt efficiency.

``I believe this is an important first step to returning our company to profitability,″ he added.

Sales at The North Face dropped 24 percent in the third quarter of 1999, and the company posted a loss of $10.7 million, or 84 cents per share, including one-time charges. That compared with a profit of $7.2 million, or 57 cents per share, for the third quarter of 1998.

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