Thomaston is back, but with institutional focus

Marvin Lazaro, December 24, 2001

Wyncote, PA — While the Thomaston Mills name will once again be part of the textiles industry, it will not be seen as a familiar part of the retail landscape, at least for now.

ATD-American Co. purchased the Thomaston Mills name and trademark for North America, as well as a sewing plant in Thomaston, GA, in October. The Thomaston name has been resurrected as Thomaston Manufacturing LLC, and limited production has begun at the plant. The new Thomaston Mills has hired 40 employees of the old company and plans to hire substantially more. However, Thomaston will only manufacture sheets and pillowcases for the institutional market and has no immediate or short-term plans to dabble in the retail world or home textiles arena.

According to Jerome Zaslow, ceo of Thomaston Manufacturing, the family-owned ATD-American had been a customer of the original Thomaston for more than half a century. The company saw the opportunity to rejuvenate the Thomaston name, since it already had established a reputation in the institutional market.

"Our goal is to be the largest institutional sheet and pillowcase manufacturer in the world," Zaslow told HTT. "We plan to do that by building the Thomaston name up even more and by getting a higher market share."

Zaslow did not entirely rule out entering the retail sector, saying that while the plant does have the equipment to enter that market, the company would "focus on institutional only and only consider retail in the long term."

It is possible, Zaslow added, that the new Thomaston may purchase more of the older Thomaston's assets in order to expand its production capabilities.

Thomaston Manufacturing will trade under the name "Thomaston Mills" and will be headed by Zaslow; Eric Wischnia, co-president and director of manufacturing; and Robert Zaslow, co-president and director of marketing.

"We expect to give the institutional market the same level, if not more, of Thomaston service, quality and quality control," Zaslow said, adding that the 230,000-square-foot plant is operating and filling and shipping orders. "We expect there to be a seamless conversion from the old Thomaston to the new."

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