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Alice Manufacturing closing Easley textile plant

Staff Report //April 24, 2018//

Alice Manufacturing closing Easley textile plant

Staff Report //April 24, 2018//

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Pickens County-based Alice Manufacturing Co. Inc. is closing the company’s Ellison plant in Easley effective June 30. The 95-year-old company employs 175 people, according to a news release issued by the company.

The textile manufacturing company produces greige fabric and yarn.

The company is working to place associates with other companies in Pickens County and offering training as well as scholarships for continuing education to assist with their employees’ transitions, according to the release.

“The Ellison plant team has had a proud 50-year history of producing the finest textile products in the world,” said E. Smyth McKissick III, chairman of Alice Manufacturing. “Thousands of folks have come here for decades to create the highest-quality fabrics. They’ve worked together for a common purpose and have created a community of the very best people.”

McKissick said the company’s focus is on the well-being of the employees.

“Our company is dedicated to helping employees make as smooth a transition as possible,” he said. “The Ellison plant started operations in 1968 and during its history, these folks have produced well over a billion yards of fabric serving a unique variety of markets from apparel to home furnishings customers.”

The news release suggested that world market conditions have led to the closure. “The global textile industry has undergone tremendous change in recent years. Once vibrant U.S. and NAFTA markets on which plants like Ellison have depended have changed dramatically due to a flood of imports from producers in non-market economies,” the release said. 

In response to these changes, Alice Manufacturing founded a fashion bedding business in 2000 to become closer and more important to the final consumer, the release said. A company representative said the bedding business is located in New York, but service and distribution are handled out of Easley.

“We are energized about the future of our fashion bedding business,” McKissick said in the release. “This business made two acquisitions in 2017, and we believe both of these will generate terrific synergies and build on its successful platform.”

McKissick said that though the company is changing how it does business in order to compete, its values have never wavered. Those values include a commitment to team, quality and customer service while producing relevant, market-driven soft goods.

The Ellison plant was built in 1966 and was upgraded with the “latest generation” of air jet weaving products available in 2013, according to the company website, which touts the company’s progressive management practices. Alice Manufacturing, named for the daughter of the original plant’s founder, has been run by five generations of the McKissick family, according to the website.