Merchant House moving Chinese shoe plant to Jefferson Co.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Merchant House International Group has announced plans to open its first U.S. footwear manufacturing facility in Jefferson County.

The line is being moved to East Tennessee from the company's headquarters in Tianjin, China, to meet increased demand from U.S. customers. The company plans to invest $5.4 million in the Jefferson City facility, creating 109 jobs.

The company has bought a 40.000-square-foot building in the Jefferson City Ministerial Park, where it will make men's leather boots and shoes. The operation will be called Footwear Industries of Tennessee. It is expected to begin shipping footwear in March .

Hiring will begin at the end of the year.

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