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Two from Mount Airy among largest private N.C. companies

September 25th, 2007 · No Comments

Two Mount Airy-based companies, Renfro Corp. and Perry Manufacturing Co., rank 28th and 75th, respectively, on this year’s North Carolina 100, Business North Carolina magazine’s annual list of the state’s largest private companies.

Compiled by the Grant Thornton accounting firm, the list ranks companies according to their 2006 revenue. Actual revenue is not disclosed, but companies are grouped by ranges. Participation is voluntary.

Renfro Hosiery Mills Co. was founded in 1921 with 25 employees. Today, Renfro employs more than 4,000 people worldwide. The company operates manufacturing facilities in the Carolinas, Alabama, India, Turkey, Pakistan and Mexico. It also operates sales and distribution centers in the Carolinas, Europe, Canada and Mexico.

In 1990, Renfro earned the prestigious Class A MRP II manufacturing designation. MRP II is a sophisticated manufacturing planning system and Renfro is the only hosiery manufacturer that has achieved this distinction. The 1996 acquisition of Fruit of the Loom Hosiery Division positioned Renfro to extend its domestic leadership to the rest of the world.

“Renfro is leading the development of consumer-based marketing across all retail channels for analysis with consumer-based category management systems,” the company states. “This enhances the company’s ability to identify, market, and manufacture products dedicated to the latest in emerging trends, fashions, and characteristics wanted by consumers.”

Perry Manufacturing Co. was founded by William K. Woltz Sr. in 1950 in Mount Airy, N.C. The company, with operations in three states and three foreign countries, is a major private-label resource in the apparel market. Perry Manufacturing products result from a combined network of company production facilities and quality contractors throughout Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

What makes Perry stand out among private-label manufacturers is its product design expertise. Perry designers shop the world and then translate new ideas into value merchandise statements.

“We continually have many of the top-selling items and groups at the retailers we sell,” the company states. “Our highly qualified team of product-development experts engineers a garment from start to finish. Perry is very adept at meeting the most demanding criteria in both specifications and construction. Perry continues to meet and exceed our customers’ requirements for timely delivery of quality products.”

No. 1 on the 2007 North Carolina 100 list, as it has been for 11 years in a row, is Raleigh-based General Parts International Inc., a distributor of auto parts. Thirty-two other wholesale distributors also appear on the list. Altogether, wholesale distributors account for more of the cumulative revenue than any other sector and rank second in employment.

Five years ago, manufacturing was tops on the list, with 27 percent of the companies, 32 percent of the revenue and 37 percent of employment. The change reflects the transformation of the state’s economy away from traditional manufacturing. “My guess is that we’re going to see the trend toward wholesale distribution and service,” says Alan Day, the Grant Thornton partner in charge of the ranking.

Tags: Businesses

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