Make your home page

Vera Bradley to close New Haven plant with 250 workers

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) – Vera Bradley Inc. has announced plans to close its New Haven factory, idling about 250 workers.

The Fort Wayne-based maker of handbags, luggage and accessories said Tuesday it will close the factory May 9 unless business conditions require earlier action.

CEO Robert Wallstrom said in a news release that the company’s U.S. production costs are nearly double of those overseas. He says the company will provide severance packages to the affected workers unable to transfer to other positions within the company.

Vera Bradley is scheduled to report annual and fourth quarter 2014 earnings Wednesday morning before markets open.

The company will still employ about 2,300 U.S. workers, including 630 in the Fort Wayne area. Company co-founder Patricia Miller is a former Indiana secretary of commence under former Gov. Mitch Daniels.