Adidas announced on Wednesday that it will open up a production site in Cherokee County next year. The “Speedfactory”, the second of its kind in the world after Germany, will allow adidas to create product more quickly and closer to customers in the U.S. The 74,000 plus square foot factory will be fully functional by late next year, with the aim of producing 50,000 pairs of shoes by the end of the year.

The factory is a boon for Cherokee County but for a factory of its size and output, the 160 jobs that will be accompanying it is low. The difference will be made up by “cutting-edge manufacturing technologies”, mainly advanced, automated robotics. Adidas is among the many companies that are seeking to shorten the supply chain and take advantage of technology that allows factories to open up back in the U.S., cutting a very expensive – and environmentally questionable – shipping trip across the Pacific Ocean, and with the added benefit of increased customization and production more closely related to real-time consumer demand. 

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