Macy’s pleased with Martinsburg fulfillment center
Macy's new online fulfillment center in Martinsburg "performed extremely well during the holiday season, which is extraordinary given that it is a brand-new facility that is still in early stages of ramping up its capacity," said Macy's spokesman Jim Sluzewski.
"During the holiday shopping period, the Martinsburg center employed more than 1,300 associates and filled as many as 60,000 orders per day," Sluzewski said. "It helped support our company's rapid growth in online sales, which rose by 39.2 percent in November and 51.7 percent in December compared to the same periods a year ago.
"Now that the holidays are over, we continue to ramp up Martinsburg's year-round capabilities, and we remain on track to employ about 1,200 year-round associates, plus about 700 temporary holiday season associates, once the center is fully operational late in 2013 or in 2014," he said.
The center fills Internet orders from Macy's customers in the eastern United States.
Sluzewski pointed out that Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank visited the center last month to highlight the importance of facilities like Martinsburg to jobs growth.
Also, the Martinsburg center was the centerpiece of an international business news story on Dec. 24 by Reuters on the emergence of retail e-commerce in the United States.
In that story, Reuters reporters Phil Wahba and Dhanya Skariachan pointed out the Martinsburg center is the size of 43 football fields.
As an incentive to lure Macy's to build the $150 million center in Martinsburg, Berkeley County signed a "payment in lieu of taxes," or PILOT, agreement that spares Macy's from paying an estimated $21 million in property taxes over the next 15 years. Macy's agreed to pay $11.25 million in lieu of taxes.
Berkeley County Council President William Stubblefield said in April 2011 that county leaders were convinced that without the incentive, Macy's would have put its center in New York.
The state also gave Macy's some incentives.
It agreed to issue bonds to pay for the center land, building and equipment and take ownership of the property. It also agreed to make a $5 million loan to the Berkeley County Development Authority for site preparation, provide $1.8 million from the Governor's Guaranteed Workforce Program for job training, and make $500,000 available for the Community and Technical College System to help Macy's with its start-up training.
The Legislature approved a bill that exempts all equipment purchased for the center from state sales tax.
Macy's broke ground for the center in April 2011. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was in July 2012.
Contact writer George Hohmann at email@example.com or 304-348-4836.