South Los Angeles-based United Denim Inc. will shut its doors in December and lay off more than 160 employees, according to an Aug. 29 filing with the state’s Employment Development Department.

The shutdown of the factory at 1202 E. 58th St. will affect 164 employees, including machine operators, trimmers, pressers and office administrators, according to a Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification, which the state requires for large layoffs.

The company did not explain in the notice why it was closing, and did not return calls for comment.

Apparel retailers have been hard hit over the past year, with several large chains declaring bankruptcy, including L.A.-based American Apparel Inc., and BCBG Max Azria Group in Vernon.

Much of the difficulty has come as online sales take market share from brick-and-mortar stores. That trend might disrupt longstanding relations between manufacturers and retailers but doesn’t diminish the overall potential wholesale market for clothing brands.

Frank Kaufman, an analyst in the accounting and consulting firm of Moss Adams, which has a long-established presence in the local apparel trade, said that the denim sector was doing well.

“We don’t see any particular trend of manufacturers moving out of L.A.,” he said.

– Shwanika Narayan

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