The Merchant House International Group is moving a footwear production line from China to the U.S., in response to strong U.S. retail demand for its men's leather boots and shoes. The sourcing group will open its first U.S. footwear manufacturing facility in Jefferson County, Tennessee, replacing a footwear line from its headquarters in Tianjin, China. The move to the new 40,000-square-foot factory will require an investment of US$5.4 million and is expected to create 109 new jobs. The new facility, to be known as Footwear Industries of Tennessee, Inc. (FIT), is due to start shipping footwear in March 2014. The footwear division of Merchant House produces over 5 million pairs of shoes annually and has sold its shoes to customers in the U.S. market for 30 years, including Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sears. It also makes safety and non-safety outdoor shoes for a number of national brands.

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