WestPoint Stevens opens new plant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 6, 2001

WestPoint Stevens, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and plant tour, officially celebrated the opening of its new Greenville Basic Bedding plant in Greenville's Industrial Park.

The formal opening of the new facility, located at 300 John D. Murphy Memorial Parkway in the building formerly occupied by Boss Manufacturing Co., was held on Thursday, with more than 50 invited guests on hand to tour the facility, now in full operation, producing garneted bed pillows.

Community and civic leaders and governmental representatives were at the facility to get a first-hand look at the new state-of-the-art production equipment in a modern work environment.

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Greenville Basic Bedding

is housed in an 86,000 square-foot building leased from the City of Greenville.

The plant, with more than 100 associates, as the employees are referred to, operates on a three-shift schedule, joining the already established Greenville Blanket Plant, located on Glendale Avenue in the former Rheem Manufacturing facility.

The blanket plant was established in 2000 for production of the company's best-selling Vellux blanket, as a part of Greenville's growing industrial community.

"We continue to be pleased with and appreciative of the spirit of cooperation and helpfulness that the entire Greenville community has extended to WestPoint Stevens since we first began the establishment of our Greenville Blanket Plant in 1999," said Rob Wyatt, plant manager of the Basic Bedding Plant. "We strive to be a good corporate citizen wherever our manufacturing and distribution facilities are located, and we have fit in well in the Greenville industrial group."

David England, vice president of Accessories and Basic Bedding manufacturing said the company's famous Vellux blanket continues to grow in sales, and that a major marketing program is currently under way for WestPoint Stevens' entire range of basic bedding products.

"There is a tremendous sales opportunity here and we're leveraging our famous brands and well-known licenses to offer total bedding packages across all channels of distribution for the ease and convenience of our consumers," England said.

WestPoint Stevens, Inc., the nation's leading home fashions consumer products marketing company with a wide range of bed lines, towels, blankets, comforters and accessories has a history nearly 200 years old.

Beginning in 1813, J.P. Stevens was established at North Andover, Mass., manufacturing woolen broadcloth.

Then in 1851 Pepperell Manufacturing Company began manufacturing bed sheeting in Biddeford, Maine.

In 1866 Riverdale Mill opened at what would become the River View community of Valley, Ala., and became the core of WestPoint Manufacturing Company, which was incorporated in 1880.

It was these three companies that eventually became WestPoint Stevens, which in 2000 enjoyed 27-percent of the market share in sheets and pillow cases and towels, with sales totaling more than $1.8 billion, easily marking it as the industry's leader in sales growth and also the industry's low-cost producer.