Le Creuset expanding facility in Hampton County


$2 million investment is second expansion in the past year

COLUMBIA, S.C. – May 31, 2012 – French cookware manufacturer Le Creuset announced that the company will invest $2 million in a 93,000-square-foot expansion at their North American distribution site, located just off I-95 in Early Branch, S.C.

“This investment represents our continued commitment to the Lowcountry and South Carolina. Le Creuset is a beloved and dynamic consumer brand with a truly global footprint, and this expansion in Hampton County will directly fuel and support our aggressive growth plan over the coming years,” said Faye Gooding, CEO of Le Creuset Americas.

The announcement comes on the heels of the 116,000-square-foot expansion and $3.5 million investment at the Hampton County site last June, which created 25 new jobs.

“It’s a great day in South Carolina when one of our existing businesses decides to increase its footprint here. Le Creuset’s decision to invest another $2 million in expanding its Hampton County facility, just 11 months after announcing a previous expansion, demonstrates that South Carolina provides a business-friendly climate where companies can grow,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

The 93,000-square-foot expansion will increase the size of the distribution facility on Bob Gifford Boulevard in Early Branch to 300,000 square feet. This is the fourth time that Le Creuset has announced investment or growth in its current location. The expansion will allow the company to service growing distribution in North and South America, as well as its expanding e-commerce business.

“Le Creuset is a world-class company that has had a presence in South Carolina for more than three decades. This investment not only shows the company’s commitment to our state, but that South Carolina’s skilled workforce and exceptional access to markets continue to help our existing firms expand and create new jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

“The success of the operation in Hampton County is indicative of the company’s global success and commitment to quality, as well as their commitment to the local workforce, who help to make this success possible,” said Hampton County Council Chairman Hugh Gray.

According to Sandy Fowler, director of Economic Development for Hampton County, Le Creuset’s distribution center not only provides 123 jobs at the distribution facility, its presence will seed investment by other companies.

“We are proud that Le Creuset Americas chose Hampton County, and we share their success story with all of our industrial prospects,” said Fowler. “Our proximity to the ports of Charleston and Savannah, as well as the access to I-95, are great selling points. Le Creuset’s strong international brand recognition lends credibility in demonstrating Hampton County’s viability as a great location for distribution.”

“Faye Gooding and the Le Creuset team have created another success story for our region, and we are appreciative of their growing investment in Hampton County,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance CEO Danny Black.  “We stand ready to assist them in any way that we can, and we congratulate the entire corporate team that made this growth possible.”

The company first established its current distribution center near Yemassee in 1997 and has had a presence in South Carolina since 1974.

Founded in northern France in 1925, Le Creuset now markets its high-end enamel cookware globally. Le Creuset sells its products through more than 1,000 stores in such national upscale shops as Williams-Sonoma, Bloomingdales and Sur La Table. For more information about the company, please visit www.lecreuset.com.