Kaplan Early Learning Company, an international provider of preschool products that enhance learning for children ages birth to age 8, has chosen Mocksville to expand the warehousing capacity for one of its affiliates, Guidecraft.
Guidecraft, which designs, manufactures, and sells educational toys and creative furniture, will move its products to Mocksville from its previous warehouse space in New Jersey.
A dominant player in the niche market of children’s furnishings, Guidecraft saw accelerated growth during the pandemic as parents sought to create spaces for schooling at home.
The 92,000-square-foot facility in the SouthPoint Business Park off of US Highway 601 N. will become operational around mid-October. The center will employ around 50 people, and Kaplan anticipates hiring around half of them locally. The company expects to invest a million dollars to move its facilities and upgrade the Mocksville warehouse for its purposes. The move will free up space on Kaplan’s 50-acre campus in Lewisville which houses the company’s corporate headquarters, a warehouse, a state-of-the-art distribution center, and the Kaplan Outlet Store.
“Over the past two years, our business has seen impressive growth as more educational businesses invest in quality learning spaces for children,” said Matthew Marceron, Kaplan president and CEO. “We knew we needed to find a warehouse space – quickly – and the Mocksville location is perfectly situated along major transit lines in the southeast, allowing us to ship more Guidecraft product more efficiently.”
“Davie County is pleased to welcome a world leader in early childhood learning for classrooms, private schools, home schools, daycares, and personal use,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “The expansion of one of Kaplan’s companies certainly highlights the importance of early education, which Davie County continues to promote.”
Guidecraft’s products are designed to encourage children to think creatively as well as problem-solve. Offerings include storage organizers, shelving, desks, and more – for both the classroom and at home. Together, Kaplan and Guidecraft offer toys intended for play, as well as items for the playground and curriculum planning, with, child care service providers, Pre-Ks, and school districts being some of their major buyers.
“Everything we do revolves around children and families. We believe in our tagline ‘when we play, we learn.’ And we want all children to develop a lifelong passion and love for learning to reach their full potential. That grounds what we do,” said Marceron. “We put children and families at the forefront of who we are.”
Kaplan Early Learning Company was founded in 1951 when Leon and Renee Kaplan opened their first toy store in Greensboro, NC specializing in unique toys and gifts that promoted learning through play. The store, Tiny Town, later moved to West Fifth Street in Winston-Salem, NC. In 1968, Leon founded Kaplan School Supply, which embodied his vision of providing developmentally appropriate resources that help foster the growth of the whole child: cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. Kaplan School Supply eventually became Kaplan Early Learning Company, which quickly developed into a leading international provider in the field of early care and education. Now the company has evolved into five divisions: Kaplan Early Learning Company, Guidecraft, Alphabest Education, Gryphon House, and Teachstone.