The exclusive water bottler Voss of Norway has catered to celebrities from Madonna to Bono over the years, but weak sales are drying up profits. Voss confirmed Thursday that it was laying off 65 employees at its production plant in Agder.
“This is an uncomfortable situation,” Olav Grimsmo, plant manager at Voss Production AS, told state broadcaster NRK. “We had built up capacity and hired many new workers. It’s too bad they have to be let go right afterwards.”
Voss held a meeting for all workers at its headquarters at Vatnestrøm in Iveland, Agder County on Thursday afternoon. Voss’ roughly 100 employees were told that 65 would be furloughed as of January 2. Sales simply haven’t materialized as expected, even though 4.5 million bottles of Voss water were sold just last year.
Grimsmo admitted that Voss should have cut production earlier. The water bottler has been an important source of jobs in the small community with just 1,300 residents, and it’s hoped that many of the laid-off workers will be called back later in the year.