More industry coming to town

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 29, 2003

Another company is making plans to call the city of Greenville &uot;home.&uot;

Chad McGriff, owner of Elegant Designs Importers, a company currently based in Evergreen, plans to open a distribution warehouse in Greenville for his furniture wholesale business.

Elegant Designs Importers supplies high-end furniture to area furniture retail operations, such as Rucker’s, McLendon’s and Barrows.

Lili Huang, the overseas operations manager of the Chinese factory that supplies his business with furniture, came last week with McGriff to &uot;check out&uot; the town.

Huang, whose company Xingli Arts and Crafts is located in the GuangDong province in China, said her visit’s purpose was to enhance her company’s relationship with McGriff.

&uot;We would like to form a better relationship with Chad because he is such a good customer for us,&uot; Huang said.

&uot;Our factory ships product out, but we don’t always know what happens to it once it arrives here in the states,&uot; she said.

McGriff said that by the same token, his company didn’t have anyone in China full-time doing quality control checks.

&uot;So Lili comes here, and we show her some suites – we show her the good and the bad – and then we can develop a partnership for all the new products her company is building,&uot; he said.

Mayor Dexter McLendon presented Huang with a &uot;Key to the City&uot; certificate, and thanked her for her interest in our city.

&uot;[McGriff’s business] means more jobs, more employment for our area, and that’s what we’re all about,&uot; McLendon said. &uot;We welcome Chad and Ms. Huang to Greenville, and thank them for bringing their business here.&uot;

Huang’s visit was partly to check out the new warehouse location and partly to expand her company’s presence with McGriff’s operation.

&uot;Xingli doesn’t have a distribution point in this area,&uot; McGriff said. &uot;The nearest one is in Houston.&uot;

McGriff said his distribution warehouse initially will employ about 10 to 12 people.

&uot;Within 24 months, we also plan to build a 25,000-square-foot retail store, so locals will have an opportunity to buy our furniture,&uot; he said.

&uot;We will be moving the warehouse in June of next year,&uot; McGriff said. &uot;It will serve as a distribution point for our business, which sells to a seven-state area.&uot;

McGriff said he didn’t think his business would put him in competition with Rucker’s or Barrows.

&uot;I’m not going to hurt anyone by opening my retail store,&uot; he said. &uot;It will be good for Greenvillians to be able to buy this furniture at a much lower price.&uot;