An air pollution permit is all that stands between West Norriton and Woot.
For the uninitiated, Woot is the T-shirt manufacturer that comes up with crazy sayings through multiple graphic depictions.
It started with that shopping website. Grew by shipping other companies’ stuff cheap, from all those upstate warehouses (now hiring, at $12 an hour, for the Christmas rush). Built Amazon Web Services, tying corporate software to everybody’s smartphones. Added new outposts, in towns such as West Chester, King of Prussia and Langhorne, for next-day deliveries of a growing list of Amazon’s own products and its newly acquired Whole Foods groceries, writes Joseph DiStefano for philly.com.
Up next: Amazon factories — and maybe a surprising revival of U.S. manufacturing.
Suppliers and industry analysts say Amazon Woot — what the company calls its “fringe” bargains unit — plans to install at least 25 $1 million-plus cloth-printing machines, each of which can produce hundreds of digitally designed shirts, denim, fashion or other garments per hour, in an industrial park in West Norriton Township near Norristown. Spokeswoman Lori Torgerson declined comment. (The 110,000-square-foot plant is waiting for a Pennsylvania air-pollution permit, as colleague Sam Wood and I reported Sept. 28, the story continues.
Amazon is buying and adding other services that underline its clothing ambitions — such as its $50 million purchase Oct. 4 of Body Labs, a New York “body visualizer” digital fitting company.
It’s not just Amazon: Fanatics Inc., the pro- and college-team clothing giant founded by Conshohocken-based Michael Rubin and backed by Alibaba (China’s Amazon), has bought its own high-tech machines from Israel-based Kornit Digital — the same supplier as the Amazon plant’s.
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