Alice Manufacturing Co. Inc. — an Easley, S.C.-based vertically integrated manufacturer of greige
fabric and yarn for apparel, pocketing, home furnishings, industrial and institutional applications
— has announced plans to shutter Foster Plant in Easley on March 14. According to the company, the
increasing volume of low-cost finished goods from China and a shrinking customer base have
contributed to the decision to shut down the plant, which employs 250 associates and manufactures
print cloth largely for men’s apparel pocketing,.
At the same time, the company is expanding production capacity at nearby Ellison Plant, which
manufactures higher-end home furnishings fabrics and has maintained a strong customer base. The
expansion includes going from six to seven days a week of operation and adding machinery. The
company anticipates it will be able to transfer 50 to 60 of its Foster associates to Ellison, which
currently employs 195 associates.
“The Foster plant started operations in 1959, and it’s had a proud history of performance for
nearly 50 years,” said E. Smyth McKissick III, chairman, Alice Manufacturing. “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. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these fine
people, and I have deep admiration and respect for them,” he added, calling them the “heart and
soul” of the plant.
Alice Manufacturing was established in 1910 and has been owned by the McKissick family since
1923. The company has grown from a single plant to include several manufacturing facilities in
Easley producing polyester and polyester/cotton sales yarn for the weaving and knitting industries,
and cotton and polyester/cotton greige fabrics, which it sells to converters through its Alice
Mills Inc. sales division; and a separate New York City-based Ellison Division that markets
finished bedding products and accessories for retail sale. The company’s workforce currently totals
Displaced workers will receive employment assistance and severance benefits such as COBRA
health insurance, as well as priority notification of job openings within the company.
January 22, 2008