AMERICAN MERCHANT INC. TO ESTABLISH MANUFACTURING OPERATION IN BRISTOL
Project Slated to Bring 405 Jobs
Bristol, VA – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that American Merchant Inc. will establish their first U.S. based manufacturing facility in Bristol. American Merchant Inc., a subsidiary of Merchant House International, Ltd. is a Hong Kong based manufacturer of home textiles, seasonal décor products, and leather shoes. The facility in Bristol will produce products such as embroidered hand and bath towels. The project will create 405 jobs and includes $19.9 million in capital investment.
The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission supported this project with a $590,000 Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund grant.
Tobacco Commission member, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore said, “The addition of over 400 new jobs and the revitalization of a former manufacturing facility is a big win for the City of Bristol, and we welcome American Merchant as Virginia’s new corporate partner. Our success in attracting international companies and major advanced manufacturing projects is evidence of Virginia’s competitiveness on a global level, and the Commonwealth has emerged as a leader in this rebounding industry of the future. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with American Merchant.”
Tobacco Commission member, Senator Bill Carrico, added, “Today is a great day for the City of Bristol and Southwest Virginia. Over 400 jobs and nearly $20 million in investment means this project will be a major boost to our economy, as well as show that we have the ability to attract manufacturers from around the world to our region. I can’t think of a better use of Tobacco Commission funds and I look forward to watching this project take off in the coming months.”
The Merchant House International Group has more than twenty-seven years of experience in sourcing, producing and selling consumer products with emphasis on footwear, home textiles, seasonal decorations and gifts. The Group’s main export market is the United States of America, although merchandise is also sold to buyers in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Customers in the United States of America include major importers as well as many of the leading retailers. Merchant House International. Ltd. is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange with its Head Office located in Hong Kong.
Merchant House International Ltd chairwoman and founder Loretta Lee said, “Virginia has a rich history of manufacturing textiles for hundreds of years. With retailers increasingly challenged by e-commerce competitors, speed-to-market is vital. Therefore, manufacturing and warehousing in Virginia will be a great advantage, and we are delighted to return our industry to this beautiful state. We have been warmly welcomed by state and local officials, and we feel certain we have found the right home for our business. We visited a number of states, but after careful analysis, Virginia finished at the top of every list.”
City of Bristol, Virginia Mayor, Kevin Mumpower added, “This location has always been a mainstay in our city’s economy, providing good jobs and good wages and acting as a steward for our vision of Bristol, Virginia being a great place to live and work. We therefore are very excited to welcome a new employer to this location and we eagerly anticipate a continuation of this trend. We look forward to the new jobs created for our citizens and the increase in our local tax base. With the soon-to-happen building improvements, machinery and equipment investments, and employee hiring, we are looking forward to seeing this building busy with activity and we are extremely grateful for being the chosen location for this exciting new venture.”
The Tobacco Commission is committed to developing a diverse economy in the areas we serve. Attracting a large manufacturing operation like American Merchant to Southwest Virginia is a perfect example of the kind of project the Commission is pleased to invest in.
Contact: Jordan Butler
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