Classic Fashion, maker of apparel for Walmart and Target, opens its first U.S. factory in Santa Ana – Orange County Register

classic fashiona Jordanian manufacturer of sportswear and casual wear for Walmart, Target and other major retailers, opened its first US production facility in Santa Ana.

The company signed a five-year lease at 1939 S. Susan St. for a 12,000 square foot manufacturing facility and 7,200 square feet of warehouse space. It will initially employ 125 workers but plans to grow to 350 employees over the next five years.

Classic Fashion has invested $4 million in the new facility, which is already in use and expected to be in full production by mid-November, company officials said.

  • Garment workers sit in front of sewing machines at the Santa Ana Classic Fashion Factory on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of apparel Walmart, bringing 125 new jobs to the area with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The garment worker, Rene Alarcon, sews a top at the Classic...

    Garment worker Rene Alarcon sews a top at the Santa Ana Classic Fashion Factory on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a clothing supplier Walmart, bringing 125 new jobs to the area with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Large rolls of fabric are stacked on shelves at...

    Large rolls of fabric are stacked on shelves at the Classic Fashion factory in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of Walmart apparel, bringing 125 new jobs to the region and more are planned for the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Garment worker Maria Isabel Cruz sews a top to the...

    Garment worker Maria Isabel Cruz sews a top at the Classic Fashion factory in Santa Ana on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of Walmart clothing, bringing 125 new jobs to the area with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Large spools of thread feed a sewing machine used...

    Large spools of thread feed a sewing machine used by a garment worker at the Classic Fashion factory in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The facility is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a Walmart clothing supplier, creating 125 new jobs in the area with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A garment worker sews a top at Classic Fashion...

    A garment worker sews a top at the Santa Ana Classic Fashion Factory on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a Walmart apparel supplier, bringing in 125 new jobs in the area with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A worker uses a fabric cutting machine at the Classic...

    A worker uses a fabric cutting machine at the Classic Fashion factory Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 in Santa Ana. The plant is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of Walmart apparel, bringing 125 new jobs to the region with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A worker uses a fabric cutting machine at the Classic...

    A worker uses a fabric cutting machine at Classic Fashion’s factory in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of Walmart apparel, bringing 125 new jobs to the region. with more planned for years to come. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Garment workers sit in front of sewing machines at Classic Fashion...

    Garment workers sit in front of sewing machines at the Santa Ana Classic Fashion Factory on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier to Walmart , bringing 125 new jobs to the area with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Walmart, which named Classic Fashion General Merchandise Supplier of the Year in 2018 and 2020, held a ribbon cutting for the production plant/warehouse on Thursday, October 6. The apparel company said it earned the title by adhering to Walmart’s strict compliance, quality, performance and sustainability goals.

Supply chain impacts

The apparel industry, like dozens of others, has been hit hard by supply chain delays during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eighty-nine percent of fashion executives surveyed in a Statistica February 2022 Survey said rising raw material costs would impact their supply chain throughout the year, and 85% expect this to continue in 2023.

The survey also showed that 87% of respondents were concerned about rising shipping costs, 79% worried about port delays and disruptions, and 78% said they had been impacted by temporary supplier closures.

Other main concerns related to the availability of raw materials, the volatility of consumer demand, international trade tensions and changing consumer preferences.

Classic Fashion was established 20 years ago and has been supplying products to Walmart for 16 years. Most of the company’s apparel, including swimwear, golf apparel, jackets and jeans, is marketed under its customers’ private labels.

  • Large rolls of fabric are stacked on shelves at...

    Large rolls of fabric are stacked on shelves at the Classic Fashion factory in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of Walmart apparel, bringing 125 new jobs to the region. with more planned for years to come. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A worker uses a fabric cutting machine at the Classic...

    A worker uses a fabric cutting machine at Classic Fashion’s factory in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of Walmart apparel, bringing 125 new jobs to the region. with more planned for years to come. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pieces of clothing are stacked on a table after being cut...

    Garments are stacked on a table after being cut and before being sewn together at the Santa Ana Classic Fashion Factory on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States. United and is a Walmart clothing supplier. , bringing 125 new jobs to the area with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A worker uses a fabric cutting machine at the Classic...

    A worker uses a fabric cutting machine at the Classic Fashion factory Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 in Santa Ana. The plant is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of Walmart apparel, bringing 125 new jobs to the region with more expected in the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Large rolls of fabric are stacked on shelves at...

    Large rolls of fabric are stacked on shelves at the Classic Fashion factory in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The factory is the company’s first production facility in the United States and is a supplier of Walmart apparel, bringing 125 new jobs to the region and more are planned for the coming years. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

In addition to the largest retailer in the United States, the customer list includes Sam’s Club, Target, JC Penny, Adidas, Kirkland, Nautica, American Eagle, Hanes, Reebok and Tommy Hilfiger, among others.

In an industry plagued by wage theft, Classic Fashion says it pays the prevailing minimum wage with overtime pay. The company says its production environments are “healthy and productive with popular music of the workers’ choice played at a volume level comfortable for the workers without disrupting their work.”

Sanal Kumar, President and CEO of Classic Fashion, offered perspective on the company’s partnership with Walmart in a statement released in May 2021.

“I started operations in 2003 and Walmart joined me in 2005,” he said. “Since then, we have grown by leaps and bounds. And today I have a $300+ million relationship with Walmart.

Kumar said up to 45% of $628 million in retail revenue for 2021 came from Walmart.

The company said it chose Santa Ana for its first US manufacturing site because of the city’s skilled workforce.

Michael O. Stutler