Soft Play Inc. has consolidated its play equipment operations to two facilities in Charlotte, N.C., in a program to make it more competitive. The company had seven facilities in the Charlotte area before the late 1994 restructuring. The plan simplified product design and order processing, making most of the facilities unnecessary, said Christopher Brady, administrative services manager.
Soft Play makes indoor play equipment for customers such as McDonald's. It sources rotationally molded high and low density polyethylene components from outside suppliers and encases them in plastic foam at its 100,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center. Its units typically cost more than $15,000.
The private company laid off 30 of its 325 employees during the restructuring, but Brady said it recently hired an undisclosed number of workers. Its Charlotte headquarters is a 24,000-square-foot facility.
Business Journal-Charlotte reported Soft Play had sales of $30 million in 1993 and expected sales to grow to $40 million in 1994. Brady would not comment on the figures.
Soft Play formerly supplied McDonald's Leaps & Bounds division, which operates a chain of play centers, before the fast-food giant sold the division to Discovery Zone Inc. Soft Play's current customers include Chuck E Cheese's and Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp.
Business Journal-Charlotte reported there are more than 15 producers of equipment for play centers and that as many as 200 centers open annually in the United States.