There is a post over at the News & Advance (click here to read in its entirety) that shared the following:
J.Crew expansion set to open this month
By Eleanor Kennedy
October 02, 2012
Every time someone orders a dress, polo or pair of pants from J.Crew to be shipped directly to them, that order passes through Lynchburg. And that’s a lot of dresses, polos and pants, given the retailer’s growth over the past few years.
In its second quarter earnings report, J.Crew reported revenues of $525.5 million — a 21 percent increase in revenues over the second quarter of 2011. Direct sales, all of which go through the Lynchburg distribution center, were up 16 percent to $134 million.
This month, J.Crew officially will open a $20 million addition to its Lynchburg distribution center to support that growth, a move the company says will bring 170 full-time jobs to the area.
The New York-based retailer employs more than 1,300 people in Lynchburg. J.Crew is in the midst of its annual seasonal hiring push, planning to bring on several hundred employees for the busy holiday season.
Starting Oct. 15, personnel, product and services will move from the company’s Graves Mill location to the distribution center off Enterprise Drive. The Graves Mill site will remain open and continue to house the clearance store and some storage space. But the space freed up by the 155,000-squared-foot addition will allow the company to process returns in the distribution center, the same place orders are stored, packaged and shipped.
The cavernous new building will serve largely as storage space, a sort of “pantry” for the company’s product, said Tony Brown, senior vice president of global supply chain.
Some work already has started in the new section, where shelves reaching from floor to ceiling hold boxes upon boxes of J.Crew clothing. Employees driving carts select products based on customer orders and send them to another section of the building using a conveyer belt. From there, customer-ordered items are routed to the “pick and pack” room, where clothing pieces are placed on a belt of rotating trays, scanned and dropped into the correct shipping station.
The center handles 100 percent of J.Crew’s direct business, meaning, Brown said, “everything that you get from J.Crew that ships direct comes out of Lynchburg.” Bryan David, executive director of the Region 2000 Economic Development Council, said of J.Crew’s investment in the area: “The company certainly has made a commitment for this facility in Lynchburg.”
Brown said much of J.Crew’s recent growth stems from the company’s push to expand internationally. The retailer now sells its products to 103 countries online. Through a partnership with Lane Crawford, a leading specialty store in Asia, J.Crew products now are available in retail stores in Hong Kong and China. “We’re growing pretty strong, especially internationally,” Brown said.
J.Crew’s relationship with Lynchburg began in 1986 when the company built the first section of the distribution center at the Enterprise Drive location. Since then, the company has expanded that facility three times, building additions in 1989, 1994 and this year.
Brown said building on the existing infrastructure in Lynchburg makes it easy for the company to continue expanding. “Now as we build new infrastructure we’re able to grow more,” he said. And, he said, the “dedicated workforce” in Lynchburg makes the city a great location to support that growth. In planning the new addition, Brown said, the company worked closely with Region 2000 to show its dedication to investing in the community. “We have a long commitment to Lynchburg,” Brown said.
I know the article is less exciting than what J.Crew's next roll out will include, but I still found it pretty interesting! It speaks volumes that J.Crew is expanding their warehouse (a process they have already undertaken three times!)
The line of "floor to ceiling hold boxes upon boxes of J.Crew clothing" sounds a-ma-zing! :)
What are your thoughts on the article? Any points that you found interesting?