LuLaRoe, the popular clothing company that sells brightly colored women’s clothing through tens of thousands of “consultants” nationwide, has purchased the former Bose plant in Bythewood.
The Corona, Calif.-based company bought the 104-acre, 470,000 square-foot-facility on Interstate 77 for $16 million, according to records and broker Chuck Salley of Colliers International.
Bose closed the plant, which manufactured Wave radios, in 2015, costing the Midland 300 jobs.
On Tuesday, an employee at the plant confirmed that LuLaRoe had located in the facility. LuLaRoe signs also were located in the lobby.
Never miss a local story.
Managers at the plant directed questions to corporate officials. A spokesman for the company declined comment pending an announcement later this week.
Richland County and state recruiters also declined comment.
Signs at the facility advertised a job fair, and workers could be seen setting up distribution equipment in the sprawling facility.
The company doesn’t sell its colorful skirts, leggings and tops through stores. Instead it sells minimum levels of $5,000 in stock to independent consultants, mainly millennial women who then sell to their friends and acquaintances, building a customer base through social media and online parties, according to media reports.
The firm is known as a multi-level marketing company, which also encourages its consultants to build teams of recruits and share in their profits, the reports said. Think Mary Kay, Tupperwear and Herbalife.
The company’s consultants and customers can be wildly passionate about the products and the firm’s charismatic founder, DeAnne Stidham.
Stidham founded the firm in 2012, a single mother of seven at the time, according to a report by CBS Moneywatch. She named the company after her three oldest grandchildren, Lucy, Lola and Munroe.
MoneyWatch also reported that LuLaRoe’s sales skyrocketed a whopping 600 percent in 2016 to about $1 billion. It also reported last month that the company is facing two federal lawsuits centered on online sales tax charges.A spokesperson for LuLaRoe admitted to Forbes.com that there had been a problem with payments, saying, "We have been aware of sporadic problems with our former payments vendor, which have increased over the past year with the fast growth of our company."