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Germany-based toymaker brings North American HQ to Charlotte

By Celeste Smith
cesmith@charlotteobserver.com

A Germany-based toy manufacturer is relocating its North American headquarters from Canada to north Charlotte.

Schleich North America Inc. will employ more than 60 full-time workers at its 125,000-square-foot headquarters and distribution center within Twin Lakes Business Park off U.S. 21.

Schleich (which rhymes with “like”) is one of the largest toy manufacturers in Germany and a leading provider of “original play concepts” internationally, according to the company website.

Figurines listed on its website include The Smurfs, various animals, mythical creatures, toys depicting farm life, and other accessories such as books.

The new distribution center, opening by May 1, will include sales, marketing and administration services.

Of the 60 jobs, four will be filled by employees relocating from Schleich’s current operations in the city of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, according to the company.

Seven employees will come from the company’s temporary sales office on Mallard Creek Road. The rest will be new hires.

Positions available are mostly warehouse distribution and assembly. Salaries vary by position.

Company leaders said Charlotte’s proximity to interstates and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport make it an ideal location for the new distribution center.

“With the United States being our second largest market, we have the capacity to grow here, meet increased demands for our products and potentially outpace our German sales or headquarters in size,” Walter Haack, president of Schleich North America, said in an announcement.

Added senior vice president Don Rothwell: “Charlotte has so much to offer in terms of its vibrant business climate, close proximity to shipping ports and central location. We look forward to adding to the global advancements in this region through participation and contribution in the business sector and overall community.”

The Charlotte Chamber worked with the company on the relocation project.

Schleich, founded in 1935, has more than 4,000 employees worldwide.

For more information, visit www.schleich-s.com/en/US/.

Smith: 704-358-5087
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