published Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Playcore brings farflung unit closer

A year after acquiring Big-Toys in its sixth acquisition in the past three years, Playcore is planning to phase out Big-Toys' production in Olympia, Wash., and to bring the brand's manufacturing to Playcore's plant in Fort Payne, Ala.

"We acquired Big-Toys when they were struggling so it's really helpful to bring them into our southern fulfillment center and help them get more efficient so they can be more competitive in the market," said Lisa Moore, vice president of corporate strategic services for the Chattanooga-based Playcore.

The move will idle 18 production workers at Big-Toys' Washington plant by the end of the year. But Playcore will keep sales, marketing and support functions for Big-Toys in Olympia.

Playcore bought Big-Toys and Spectrum Products in December 2010. Moore said Playcore will keep Spectrum's aquatic operations in Missoula, Mont.

Playcore, a privately held maker of playground equipment, employs 65 workers at its local headquarters and employs several hundred workers at its production plant in Fort Payne, Ala. Since February 2008, Playcore has purchased Robertson Industries, Ultra Play, Everlast Climbing, GT Grandstands, Big-Toys and Spectrum.

"Acquisitions over the past few years have been a successful part of PlayCore's strategy to broaden our family of brands and provide comprehensive product and program solutions to communities," Moore said.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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