Winston-Salem, NC—HanesBrands, makers of sheer hosiery and legwear under Hanes, L’eggs, Just My Size and other brands, announced today that it plans to add 120 jobs and expand its Clarksville, Ark., sheer hosiery factory, avoiding taking more production overseas.
The Clarksville plant is one of the largest hosiery knitting facilities in the world and has a workforce of approximately 450, HanesBrands said. In cooperation with the city of Clarksville, Johnson County and the state of Arkansas, the company decided to increase employment at its Clarksville plant to add finishing and packaging of Hanes and designer hosiery sold at department stores. That work is now outsourced and conducted offshore.
“We are delighted to be able to add jobs at our Clarksville plant,” said Javier Chacon, Hanes senior vice president of global operations. “It is not easy for a U.S. plant to compete with offshore competitors, but the capabilities of our plant workforce and management team in Clarksville to continuously adapt, automate and improve efficiency is a testament to the resiliency of this facility since it opened in 1988.”
The plant’s competitiveness also is aided by its scale and size, superior product quality, leading safety record, lower U.S. energy costs, and proximity to the U.S. market.
“I am so proud of this plant and our employees,” Plant Manager Cathy Stalcup said. “The hosiery business has been impacted for more than two decades by workplace trends away from formal dress to casual business attire, but our employees’ commitment to flexibility, knowledge of automation and dedication to quality and safety has kept the Clarksville plant at the forefront of global competitiveness.”
The new jobs will average approximately $39,000 per year in wages and benefits, a $4.7 million economic infusion into the local economy each year. Hanes expects to invest approximately $1.5 million to buy and install additional machinery and to relocate and upgrade its packaging and dyeing operations.
Unlike most apparel companies, Hanes manufactures the majority of its products in company-owned plants in its global supply chain. For the North American market, Hanes knits all of its sheer hosiery in Clarksville, splits the sewing of seams for the knit hosiery between Clarksville and a company-owned facility in El Salvador, and splits the finishing and packaging of hosiery between Clarksville for mass retailers and an offshore contractor for department stores.
The expansion will result in all finishing and packaging being conducted in Clarksville. The company also operates hosiery manufacturing facilities in Europe for the European market.