Charles Craft Exits Kitchen
By Cecile B. Corral -- Home Textiles Today, 1/3/2005 9:39:00 AM
Laurinburg, N.C. — Two-generation, family-owned textiles company Charles Craft Inc. has announced that it is exiting the kitchen textiles business — a category it domestically manufactured and for which it was a longtime top five player.
Early this year, the company will close its terry manufacturing operation here at headquarters for kitchen textiles — which for Charles Craft includes kitchen towels, dishcloths, potholders and oven mitts — as well as its yarn operation for cotton, polyester and blended industrial yarns and threads in Siler City, N.C. Together, the plants employ 310 people.
Last year, Charles Craft was positioned as the number five largest supplier of kitchen textiles in the U.S., reporting $18 million in sales.
The company is currently in the final stages of negotiations to sell its kitchen textiles business to one of its major competitors, Clifton Buie, president, told HTT.
“Retailers are running away from U.S. manufacturers,” Buie said. “We were very competitive in the business — we have a very modern operation. But the big box retailers are smothering domestic manufacturers like us.”
Buie, whose father, Charles Buie, founded the company and acts as CEO, said Charles Craft will now focus on its other two divisions, both of which enjoy continued success: its flame- and cut-resistant yarn and thread operation; and its craft division of cross-stitch, needle-craft fabrics and accessories and pre-finished products.
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