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PDK Regency in Major Expansion Mode

It's the mill-town idea transplanted 100 years later and roughly 7,500 miles away. More than two years into the planning, home fashions company PDK Regency has opened a 17-acre manufacturing complex in this city of 4.2 million people in the province of Anhui that includes a manufacturing plant, administration building, dormitory and cafeteria.

The facility, which include a 300,000-square-foot factory, a 75,000-square-foot office building and a six-story dormitory designed to house 600, is fully owned by the company. The firm was created from the 2004 merger of quilt maker PDK with Regency Home Fashions.

"Regency had a plant in North Carolina that when it closed in 2005, a significant amount of that equipment was put in containers and sent over to China," explained Kevin Creegan, evp and national sales manager. "It's been awaiting the building of a new plant ever since. It enhances our ability to be direct and adds to our ability to ship out of our [200,000 square foot] distribution center and headquarters in Fall River, Mass."

The plant, which went into operation in October, currently serves the JCPenney, QVC and Brylane accounts and makes a full line of bedspreads, comforters, sheets and window treatments. About 325 workers are currently employed there, but it will balloon to 600 during seasonal peaks, Creegan said.

Hefei, which is the provincial capital, is a five-hour drive north of Shanghai but that duration will lessen sharply next year when a high-speed rail link will make the trip in a little over two hours, he said.

PDK Regency also operates a 175,000-square-foot plant about 90 minutes south of Shanghai, and a design office in Shanghai.

The opening comes at a time when PDK Regency is preparing a move into "luxury" bedding, targeting such accounts as Bed Bath & Beyond, Stein Mart and HomeGoods, Creegan said. The company recently realigned its design team, naming Steve Mulch, formerly of Such International, senior designer of luxury bedding. It also appointed Julie Murphy, formerly of Waverly, as designer of juvenile and print bedding. And it promoted design assistant Jason Nauta to designer of quilts.

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