One of the oldest textile operations in the Upstate is closing its doors later this year.
Easley-based Alice Manufacturing Co. announced on Monday that it will begin phasing out operations at its Ellison Plant on June 30. The plant, which opened in 1968, produces apparel and yarn for home furnishings and employs 175 people, according to a news release.
E. Smyth McKissick III, chairman of Alice Manufacturing Co., said the company “is dedicated to helping employees make as smooth a transition as possible.”
Alice Manufacturing Co. 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. Thousands of folks have come here for decades to create the highest-quality fabrics,” McKissick said. “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, who he described as the “heart and soul” of the Ellison plant. “These folks have produced well over a billion yards of fabric serving a unique variety of markets from apparel to home furnishings customers,” he said.
Alice Manufacturing Co. was launched in 1923 when Foster McKissick of Greenville and his son, Ellison Smyth McKissick, purchased the Alice Mill from E.H. Shanklin. The company grew and eventually added numerous plants across the Upstate. It opened the Ellison plant in 1968. The company, however, has struggled to compete with imported textile products.
“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 company said in the release. “In response to these changes, Alice Manufacturing Co. founded a fashion bedding business in 2000 in order to become closer and more important to the final consumer.”
“We are energized about the future of our fashion bedding business,” McKissick said. “This business made two acquisitions in 2017, and we believe both of these will generate terrific synergies and build on its successful platform.”
For more information, visit alicemfgco.com.