Sterilite Corp. plans to set up a housewares injection molding plant in the backyard of Rubbermaid Inc., one of its chief rivals. The Townsend, Mass., firm announced Feb. 28 it will build a 476,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Perry Township, Ohio, between Massillon
in Perry Township, Ohio, between Massillon and Canton. Sterilite President David Stone did not disclose the location or size of the planned investment.
Rubbermaid, based in nearby Wooster, began a major cost-cutting program last year that will reduce employment in Wooster and at other facilities.
Stone said his firm needs more capacity and it does ``substantially'' all of its own molding. He said the housewares market is competitive but asserts that Sterilite's sales have grown because its quality, manufacturing efficiencies and pricing strategies provide good value to consumers and retailers.
Sterilite has not finalized Ohio plant details such as number of presses and suppliers. The facility, due to start up in the fourth quarter, will be Sterilite's fourth in the United States. Its other plants and warehouses are in Townsend, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and Birmingham, Ala. The Ohio facility will make home storage products for the Midwest market.
Stone would not disclose annual sales figures but said a $100 million estimate is ``quite low.'' Sterilite was founded in 1939.
He also declined to comment on a Feb. 28 announcement that Mobil Corp. plans to sell its Tucker Housewares business to Zeta Consumer Products Corp.