WASHINGTON — Peds Legwear opened a $16 million facility in Hildebran, N.C., on Wednesday, an investment the company said could create more than 200 jobs in the state.
The Canada-based sock and legwear manufacturer reshored production with the investment in the facility and has plans to expand by investing an additional $8 million, which will bring the company’s total U.S. investment to $24 million.
“Today’s ribbon-cutting highlights the importance of foreign direct investment into the U.S. economy, the significance of FDI in manufacturing and textiles, and the competitiveness of this country’s economy,” said Stefan Selig, undersecretary of international trade at the Commerce Department, who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Creating jobs benefits the local community, the state of North Carolina and our nation. SelectUSA [a government program dedicated to attracting and facilitating more investment in the U.S.] and our U.S. Commercial Service Canada teams were proud to provide their services to help facilitate this investment.”
The investment by Peds, formerly the Richelieu Group, stems from a multiyear purchase order contract the company secured with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has pledged to invest $50 billion in Made in USA products over 10 years that the retail giant has said will ultimately amount to $250 billion.
Michael Penner, president of Peds, told WWD in August during a tour of the facility undergoing re-engineering that key to the decision was the revival of Made in America, brought on by rising labor and operational costs in Asia, the desire of stores and brands for tighter inventory control and fast-turn capabilities, and a movement to create jobs by industry and government.
Ped also benefited from SelectUSA, which has brought together U.S. companies and foreign investors at several summits in Washington.
“The opening of this modern new facility is testimony to the benefits of the SelectUSA program, the competitiveness of state support initiatives and the commitment of Wal-Mart to buying American,” Penner said. “But more importantly, it reflects the talent and professionalism of the women and men who work for Peds. They are what brought us to this region of the country [North Carolina] and are behind our growing success.”