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.

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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;