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Macy's fulfillment center in Berkeley County celebrates one-year anniversary

July 07, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The first of the more than 5 million packages that have been shipped from the Macy’s fulfillment center in Berkeley County since it opened July 5, 2012, was aromatic.

“The first customer ordered a fragrance, and it was shipped to her in southern West Virginia,” Macy’s spokeswoman Beth Charlton said last week in an email.

Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the sprawling 1.3-million-square-foot facility’s first day of operation at the Cumbo Yard Industrial Park near Martinsburg.

Charlton said the fulfillment center still is hiring workers.

“We continue to recruit and hire from the Tri-State area to meet our hiring goals for 2013,” Charlton said.

According to Charlton, the company currently employs about 900 employees in its core organization at the fulfillment center, which fills orders placed online through www.macys.com and www.bloomingdales.com for distribution.

The fulfillment center primarily serves the major markets along the Eastern Seaboard and has performed very well, Charlton said.

The majority of the center’s employees are residents of West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, and the company ramps up employment significantly to meet the demands of the holiday season, Charlton said.

The company said it eventually expects to employ 1,200 full-time employees and several hundred part-time workers on a seasonal, temporary basis to meet the holiday demand.

“We have been able to maintain our staffing requirements,” Charlton said. “We are proud of our associate base and their accomplishments to date.”

Macy’s Inc. reported in February that sales from the company’s Internet businesses in 2012 increased 41 percent over 2011.

The opening of the fulfillment center has had a significant impact on the local economy, Berkeley County Development Authority Executive Director Stephen Christian said Friday in an email.

“Our internal research indicates that Macy’s has single-handedly reduced the county unemployment rate by 2 full percent over the last 12 months,” Christian said.

Beyond the impact of the company’s payroll on the local economy, Christian said it would be hard to find another business in the community that hasn’t been affected by Macy’s.

Christian estimated the company’s investment, including land, building and equipment, has been between $165 million and $190 million. The facility, which is the size of more than 40 football fields, can handle 250,000 packages per day, according to the company.

“The Macy’s project is the single-largest investment and job-creation project I have recruited in my 20-year career in economic development,” Christian said. “So it has meant a lot to me personally.”

Christian said the development authority’s marketing efforts to promote additional investment have included Macy’s as an example of what the county is capable of accomplishing.

A number of other major retailers and logistics providers have visited Berkeley County as a result of ongoing marketing efforts, Christian said.

“Macy’s decision to invest here helps validate our market as a strong and viable location to do business,” Christian said.

The company said in its May quarterly report that it operates about 840 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as the www.macys.com and www.bloomingdales.com websites.

Macy’s also operates 12 Bloomingdale’s outlet stores.

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