Shaw Industries broke ground yesterday on a 20,000-square meter carpet tile plant set to open in one year. Following on the heels of the May opening of Shaw Contract Group’s third showroom in Asia, in Beijing, the new manufacturing facility will afford customers quicker access to a wider range of completely recyclable, PVC-free products. The new facility marks a major investment for the company, and will employ the latest manufacturing technology. The plant is located 100 kilometers from Shanghai, close to highways and ports with access to other markets in Asia.
“With this investment in Asia, we are taking another step toward becoming a local brand across the globe,” said Jeff Galloway, Director of Global Operations. “In addition to continuing to work with our extensive dealer network across the continent, and opening showrooms or sales offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Singapore, manufacturing close to our customers will enable us to nimbly offer the widest array of products available immediately in the range of options that our customers expect – without waiting 6-12 weeks for shipping from the U.S.”
Shaw anticipates producing more than a million square meters of carpet tile in the first year of operating the new Nantong facility designed to ultimately produce five million square meters annually. As the first Cradle to Cradle flooring manufacturing facility in China – in a LEED-certified building – it will minimize the environmental impact of products that would otherwise be shipped from the U.S. to China. The plant will employ 75-100 associates in the first year and 200-250 at full capacity.
“In addition to Nantong’s transportation infrastructure, we were drawn to the city’s woven textile heritage, affording us a labor force that is familiar with the pedigree of product we manufacture,” said Galloway. “We have been welcomed by exceptional cooperation with the Nantong government, local banks, and contractors.”
The Nantong facility will manufacture carpet tile for the Asia market, and Shaw’s production of carpet fiber in Cartersville, Georgia will increase to support the new facility’s operations.
“Just as it has in the U.S., local market knowledge in Asia will inspire design, inform performance and drive innovation for Shaw Contract Group,” said Galloway. “Design differentiates Shaw Contract Group from other commercial flooring options. Our EcoWorx® carpet tile products are designed for use in any commercial environment, in any global market.”