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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has announced that Charming Shoppes, Inc., a retail apparel chain specializing in women’s plus-size apparel, plans to invest in its distribution and logistics operations in Greencastle, IN, creating up to 135 new jobs by 2014.
“Indiana is proud to have earned this expansion in a logistics sector of which we have become a national leader,” said Daniels.
Charming Shoppes’ Indiana distribution center – locally known as “FB Distro” – services the apparel distribution needs of the company’s Lane Bryant, Lane Bryant Outlet and Cacique retail stores. The company will make a multi-million dollar investment over the next two years to renovate and install new material handling equipment and warehouse management systems at FB Distro’s existing 794,000 square-foot Greencastle facility. Once upgrades and renovations are complete, the facility will have the capacity to service up to 2,300 stores.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with the state of Indiana on our distribution operations project. Our decision to upgrade and expand our Indiana distribution facility provides the opportunity to maximize labor, inventory and transportation efficiencies,” said Bryan Q. Eshelman, Charming Shoppes’ executive vice president and chief supply chain officer.
Charming Shoppes’ distribution center is located on a 123-acre campus in Greencastle. Originally constructed in 1954, the facility was purchased by Charming Shoppes in 1987. By March 1989, Charming Shoppes had completed upgrading the distribution center, expanded it to 420,000 square feet and shipped its first unit. Since opening its doors, FB Distro has shipped more than 1.5 billion units to its stores.
Over the years, the Greencastle distribution center has experienced significant growth, in both the size and technology of the facility and the number of associates employed. Today, the facility employs 195 associates and services more than 800 retail stores. In April, the company plans to transfer the distribution servicing of its 435 Catherines Plus Sizes stores from its Maryland distribution facility to the Greencastle location, bringing the total of stores serviced to approximately 1,200 stores.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered FB Distro Distribution Center, LLC, a subsidiary of Charming Shoppes, Inc., up to $1,140,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $73,600 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Greencastle will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of the Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center, Inc.
“We are most excited that FB Distro has once again chosen to grow their operations here in Greencastle and Putnam County,” said Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray. “FB Distro has been a great corporate citizen since first coming to the community in October of 1987. The announcement of this investment today represents the fourth expansion of their facility in the past 25 years. This is another example of how the great business climate in Greencastle is helping the community grow and prosper.”