Jana Casteel performs a final inspection on a sport coat at Hardwick Clothes in Cleveland. Times Free Press photo
CLEVELAND, TN (Times Free Press) -
Cleveland millionaire Alan Jones, who has made a fortune from his
Check Into Cash business, is ready to write his own $2 million check and
pump million more into reviving America's oldest privately held
clothing manufacturer, also based in Cleveland.
Jones said Monday he thinks there is still a market for American-made
tailored clothing and is eager to help preserve and grow back the
bankrupt Hardwick Clothes Inc.
"I've watched this business over the years go down and down and I
think I can bring in the talent necessary to turn this company around,"
Jones said in an interview from his office in Palm Beach, Fla. "I'll be
the first to tell you I don't know anything about the clothing business.
But I've hired a recruiting company to help bring in new talent and I
know there are already a lot of good, experienced employees who work at
Hardwick was founded in 1880 by C.K. Hardwick and has remained in the
same family ever since. But in December, the 134-year-old business
filed for protection in federal bankruptcy court after it was unable to
pay debts due on its employee pension program, which actuaries estimate
was at least $7 million underfunded.