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Quad/Graphics opens mail-order company

May 07, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Quad/Graphics opened a 387,000-square-foot mail-order fufillment facility here Friday, making the plant's capital investment to date one of the biggest in the state in a decade, according to Gov. Cecil Underwood.

"Savor the moment, because these things don't happen every day," plant manager Mike Popp told dignitaries, clients and employees during an inauguration of the plant.

The Pewaukee, Wis.-based plant currently prints catalogs and newspaper inserts for companies like Victoria's Secret, Norm Thompson Outfitters, Free Port Studios and Kmart.

The company then trucks the catalogs and inserts to newspapers and other clients.

Since Quad/Graphics was already criss-crossing the country delivering their printed products, company executives realized they could make parcel deliveries also.

Through the new Parcel Direct division, Quad/Graphics entered into agreements with mail-order companies like Plow and Hearth and Lillian Vernon, two home decorating firms, to help them process orders, according to Barb Casper, a parcel coordinator for the company.

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Plow and Hearth specializes in garden products, trellises and other home improvement items, and Lillian Vernon sells bed linens, slip covers and other furnishings.

The 387,000-square-foot expansion where the orders will be sorted and loaded onto tractor-trailers is equal to seven football fields, company officials said. Mail-order clients will send their merchandise to Parcel Direct, which will then sort orders and truck them around the country, said Casper.

Quad/Graphics bought 70 tractor-trailer trucks and 200 trailers to expand the local plant into the parcel business, said plant manager Mike Popp.

About 40 employees run the Direct Parcel division and that number is expected to increase to 80.

A total of 650 people work at Quad/Graphics.

Another 250,000-square-foot expansion is being planned for the printing plant in the Cumo Yard Industrial Park off W.Va. 9 just east of Hedgesville, and more than 800 workers are expected to be employed there by the end of the year, according to Underwood.

Underwood, standing on a podium inside the vast facility, pushed a green button starting a sorting machine that looped through the building.

The governor and company executives sipped champagne and invited hundreds of guests to join them in the celebration.

"Thank all of you for your part in this important day," said Underwood.

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