Company adding 60 jobs in Columbus with new Wal-Mart initiative

Dorel chosen as car seat supplier

Dorel Juvenile has picked up a major supplier agreement with Wal-Mart, resulting in about 60 local jobs being added at production facilities in Columbus.

The company, a leading manufacturer of children’s car seats and strollers, will supply 1 million child car seats to Wal-Mart, part of that company’s new decade-long commitment to buy an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs.

The car seats were formerly manufactured by a Chinese competitor of Dorel, according to a joint press release from Dorel and Wal-Mart.

A formal announcement will be made at the Dorel Juvenile’s State Street plant on Tuesday, attended by Paul Powers, president and CEO of Dorel Juvenile USA and Steve Bratspies, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising officer and Wal-Mart’s vice president of U.S. manufacturing, Cindi Marsiglio.

Powers said in an email that the 60 new jobs in Columbus will be mainly manufacturing and distribution positions.

Dorel Juvenile, located in Columbus on State Street, is the world’s largest car-seat manufacturer. The company, which employs about 700 people locally, produces children’s brands including Cosco, Safety 1st, Maxi-Cosi and Quinny.

The decision by Wal-Mart to invest in U.S.-made goods began in January 2013 and includes working with suppliers to increase U.S.-manufactured products in Wal-Mart stores, said Scott Markley, Wal-Mart spokesman.

The company evaluates items being shipped to the U.S. from abroad to determine if the same product, with the same high quality and low price, can be obtained in the United States, he said.

Looking at car seats, Markley said its easy to see the advantage of buying from a U.S. manufacturer rather than one that is overseas.

“Car seats are a great example,” he said. “They should be made locally. They’re large, bulky and they are an unusual shape — and items like that are very inefficient to ship overseas — there’s an incredible amount of wasted spaces in the boxes,” he said. “Patio furniture is another example of something that is an odd shape that is expensive to ship and has a lot of wasted space.”

As the company enters its fourth year of finding opportunities to buy from American suppliers, Markley said Wal-Mart is seeing the tangible effects on communities who have industries that are increasing production and also creating new jobs.

Before Tuesday’s announcement, Wal-Mart officials will be in Nashville, Tennessee, where an announcement will be made for a supplier agreement with Sinomax, which produces high-density foam mattresses and related products.

About Dorel Juvenile

Address: 2525 State St., Columbus

Number of employees: About 700 in Columbus, more than 7,000 globally in 34 locations in 25 different countries

What it does: Leading manufacturer of children’s car seats and strollers

Brands: Maxi-Cosi, Safety 1st, Quinny, Tiny Love, Cosco, Angel, BebeComfort and Infanti

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.