From Home Furnishing Business
Mlily Shifts Production for U.S. Market Out of China
In the wake of recently-enacted tariffs and anti-dumping duties on Chinese-made goods, Chinese memory foam brand Mlily has announced its decision to shift production for the U.S. market to factories in Serbia and Thailand, as well as a new factory under construction in South Carolina.
The strategic moves will enable Mlily and parent company Healthcare Co. Ltd., to boost the amount of product available in the U.S. market and service broader range of large and small retailers – all while holding the line on mattress prices.
“We knew the tariffs and duties would make products from our China factory more expensive and less competitive in the U.S., so we were able to move that production out of China to our two other factories rather quickly,” said James Ni, chairman and CEO of Healthcare Co. Ltd. “And our South Carolina factory, which should be up and running by the end of this year, will eventually make the vast majority of Mlily products sold in the U.S and allow us to significantly grow our market share.”
The U.S. factory in Winnsboro, S.C., sits on 150 acres formerly occupied by Mack Trucks. The main plant will have 650,000 square feet and is expected to employ 250 employees in two shifts when it fully comes online later this year. This past week, the company held an open house for its national sales team for them to see the progress in the building process. Currently, the plant is assembling mattresses whose components are coming mainly from its factories in Serbia and Thailand.
The company’s 6-million-square-foot factory in Jiangsu, China, considered to be the world’s largest memory foam production plant, will focus on production for European and Asian markets.
In addition to the 25 percent tariff for mattresses and a broad range of other Chinese-made goods, the U.S. Commerce Department recently implemented anti-dumping duties on Chinese-made mattresses. Healthcare Co. Ltd. was assessed the lowest duty of any Chinese mattress producer at 38.56 percent, but Ni said that would still put the company at a competitive disadvantage in the U.S.
“Moving our U.S. production out of China and eventually onto U.S. soil will give retailers the confidence that we can deliver our product on time and without major price fluctuations,” Ni said. “It’s a very exciting development.”