Chris Allen is on a mission to replace all the gasoline engines around your house and in your garage.
Greenworks Tools, which makes battery-operated outdoor power tools that are sold in Lowe’s home improvement stores and elsewhere, opened a 65-employee, $2 million headquarters in the Mooresville Cotton Mill complex. Allen, president of Greenworks North America, believes that 40,000-square-foot headquarters and nearby space will eventually hold 120 design, R&D, executive, financial, marketing and other staff members in the coming five years.
On Thursday, Greenworks cut at least two ribbons on the newly renovated space in Michael Bay’s complex that also holds Merinos Homes Furnishings. Allen’s goal is to become a $1 billion company in annual sales within the next five years. That’s more than three times Greenworks current $325 million figure that was disclosed in May 2016.
Gray Abercrombie, Greenworks director of marketing, says the converging trend lines comparing sales of battery-operated and gasoline engine outdoor power tools will eventually cross as consumers and commercial users make the switch to battery power. “The equalizer in this industry has been the lithium ion battery,” he says. That’s the same source that powers Teslas and many of your cordless drills today.
Greenworks was founded 10 years ago in Canada by Yin Chen, the visionary behind converting outdoor power equipment to battery. Chen remains the company’s CEO and majority shareholder. Now the company is “a leader in connecting law and garden equipment to battery power,” Chen says.
Russ Rogerson, executive director of the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp., says he’s “honored” that Greenworks is in Mooresville. The company opened the $2 million Mooresville Cotton Mill office last month, consolidating from two other locations in Iredell County. Greenworks was drawn to the area by Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (NYSE: LOW), which has its headquarters on the south side of Mooresville.
Lowe’s remains one of the chief customers of Greenworks tools but the green-colored equipment can also be found on Amazon and in Costco, Target, Menards, Tractor Supply Co., Northern Tool and Equipment and Wal-Mart. In May, Greenworks received a large capital infusion from the family-owned Germany company that sells Stihl Inc. chainsaws and other equipment. The amount of that equity investment in Greenworks wasn’t disclosed.
All Greenworks tools are made in a sprawling plant in Changzhou, China, near Shanghai, that at its busiest employs 4,000. The company also maintains an office in Toronto and Germany.
Elkins, K., (December 16, 2016). Power Tool Company Picks Mooresville for Headquarters. Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2016/12/16/power-tool-company-picks-mooresville-for.html