Following the lead of online retailer Amazon.com, outdoor retailer Cabela’s, and women’s fashion retailer Coldwater Creek, retail giant Macy’s Inc. recently announced it would build its $150 million e-commerce fulfillment center in West Virginia—Martinsburg, Berkeley County, to be specific. This facility will support the continued growth of Macy’s online business. Construction on the 1.3 million-square-foot facility is expected to begin in spring 2011. When fully operational, the Martinsburg fulfillment center is expected to employ 1,200 full- and part-time associates year-round and approximately 700 temporary seasonal associates.
West Virginia officials believe they were able to attract these businesses thanks to a package of financial and logistics advantages, namely:
• Strategic location; West Virginia is within overnight shipping distance of half of the U.S. population and near many major metropolitan hubs;
• Transportation access; the state carries commercial traffic by road, rail, river and air. When announcing its pick, Macy’s cited the location as “located strategically along I-81, about 80 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.”;
• A skilled work force, known for its productivity and low turnover rate;
• One of the nation’s lowest costs of doing business;
• High quality of living and low cost of living;
• Positive business climate; the state closed its 2010 fiscal year with a surplus of more than $102 million; the fifth year in a row with a surplus and without a tax increase;
• Pro-growth tax reforms; West Virginia removed approximately $235 million of business tax burden over the past five years.
West Virginia is targeting logistics business, according to West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. In his 2011 State of the State address, he announced plans to ask the State Legislature to consider additional incentives that will assist in the recruitment of distribution/fulfillment facilities.
More information on West Virginia’s key market sectors, economic climate and business assistance is available at www.wvopenforbusiness.com.