By Ken Ryan
As part of its “Made in the USA” initiative, Wellmade Floor Coverings has expanded its manufacturing operations to Bartow County, Georgia, with its first domestic production facility to manufacture rigid core vinyl and other products. The company said it is investing $35 million in capital improvements at the new 328,000 square foot facility, which will open in three phases.
“With its deep roots in the flooring industry, Georgia provides an excellent pro-business environment for Wellmade’s expansion to the East Coast,” said Richard Quinlan, senior vice president sales and marketing, Wellmade. “We look forward to providing a superior customer experience while decreasing lead times and ensuring on-time delivery to our growing customer base.”
Wellmade worked closely with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) to secure the “build for lease” agreement, which promises to be an economic windfall for residents in and around the Cartersville area.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome this family-owned business to Georgia,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said. “I’m confident the move will benefit Wellmade significantly, and I look forward to seeing the opportunities this creates for the hardworking folks in and around Bartow County.”
The first of the three phases commences June 2021, and will have a capacity of 3 million square feet. In preparation for that, Wellmade said it plans to fill more than 100 positions across all levels, from management to engineering and production.
By phase three, Wellmade said it expects to employ about 200 people and increase monthly production beyond 6 million square feet.
Wellmade, which specializes in the design, production and distribution of hard surface flooring collections, is at the forefront of flooring technology with its patented HDPC rigid core flooring available in natural hardwood and strand bamboo as well as vinyl plank and tile.
Last month, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), in response to a Wellmade filing, granted the company tariff exclusions on its HDPC rigid core SQEDGE dryback vinyl plank (vinyl LVT dryback is not covered) and HDPC rigid core locking strand woven bamboo.
These exclusions, retroactive to Sept. 24, 2018, provide Wellmade with the opportunity to recover tariffs paid previously in these categories.