Le Creuset, the French cookware manufacturer, 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, South Carolina, southwest of Charleston.
Founded in northern France in 1925, Le Creuset markets its high-end enamel cookware globally. "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. 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, the state Department of Commerce said.
"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, state Department of Commerce officials said.
"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.
"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."