The once-mighty sock industry in Ft Payne will apparently be getting a long-awaited – and much needed – “shot in the arm” thanks to a recent announcement by Wal-Mart that it’ll be instituting their brand new “Buy American” campaign, which will put some $50 billion in American-made goods on store shelves over the next decade.
According to WAFF TV48 city leaders in Ft Payne say the hosiery industry is finally beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel due to that marketing decision, with sock-makers such as Renfro Corporation and Cooper Hosiery already seeing orders increase significantly.
Economic Development Director Jimmy Durham stated some 250 jobs have been created since last fall in order to meet the increased demand, with at least two facilities which had been closed a couple of years ago, re-opening.
City leaders say the trend toward an improving economy is likely to continue and development officials say they’ve recently received a call from Bangladesh inquiring about hosiery mill space in the area.
Durham said companies are starting to look to the U.S. once again – since both labor and energy costs have been on the rise in other parts of the world making American-made products more in line with consumer desires regarding cost and quality.