Shopping cart manufacturer Unarco Industries Inc. expects to make plastic versions of its product in Virginia eventually, but a new operation starting there will focus on steel wire carts.
Unarco is investing $9 million to buy and renovate a building in Danville, Va., that is to start operating in the spring, said Unarco controller Robert Musslewhite.
The staff there eventually will total 194 and will include welders and assemblers, according to Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine's office.
Musslewhite said plastic carts will not be Danville's initial focus, although steel wire carts made there will require plastic bumpers and other accessories. Wagoner-based Unarco probably will source the parts from its current molder, Colson Plastics of Monette, Ark. Colson injection molds parts in Unarco's Wagoner plant, where it leases space, for Unarco's plastic and steel shopping carts made at that site.
Colson is owned by Marmon Group Inc. of Chicago. Unarco is owned by Marmon Retail Services, a sector within Marmon Group that comprises companies supplying store fixtures, food-service equipment and related systems and logistics for retail businesses.
Virginia competed against Pennsylvania for the Unarco project. Local and state incentives included an Opportunity Fund grant, a Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, benefits from an enterprise zone program and training assistance.