Gildan makes Newton Business Park its home

An agreement has been reached for the sale of the Newton Business Park.

International T shirt manufacturer Gildan Activewear is the prospective new owner of the 6.5 acre property.

There was a brief ceremony for the signing of the initial agreement on June 22, 2009.

BIDC CEO (Ag.) Mr. Basil Lavine, speaking during the ceremony remarked that "At a time of increased uncertainty in the business world, the decision of Gildan to invest so substantially must say something about Barbados as an international business location."

At the same time, he expressed his hope "that the future use of the buildings be what accords to the industrial development objectives in Barbados, and that Gildan remains a viable partner with local stakeholders in furthering the industrial and economic development of Barbados."

Gildan is a vertically-integrated marketer and manufacturer of quality branded basic apparel. The Company is the leading supplier of activewear for the screenprint channel in the U.S. and Canada. It is also a leading supplier to this market in Europe, and is establishing a growing presence in Mexico and the Asia-Pacific region. The Company sells T-shirts, sport shirts and fleece in large quantities to wholesale distributors as undecorated "blanks", which are subsequently decorated by screenprinters with designs and logos. Gildan's corporate head office is located in Montreal, Canada. The company’s global sales and marketing activities are however all conducted from Barbados through Gildan Activewear SRL. Gildan which has had a presence in Barbados since 1999, is currently based at Warrens, St. Michael.

Mike Hoffman, head of the Barbados operations, in commenting on the company’s infrastructural expansion said the facility will become the pride of Gildan, and ultimately a shining example of what business development opportunities exist within Barbados.

 

The Newton Business Park project was conceived when it was observed that the old model of industrial estates was being superseded by that of the high tech business park.  The project was Government's first attempt at implementing the BOT model with the private sector as a source of capital finance and encountered numerous challenges. Lavine, in commenting on the experience said "The lessons have been hard and costly, but I dare say we are the wiser for it."

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009