Week of May 27, 2002
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Target Picks Virginia for $65M East Coast Import Distribution Center
By JACK LYNE,
Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
Import Center Means 'Tens of Thousands of Freights'Located some 20 miles (36 kilometers) southwest of Norfolk, Target's East Coast import center in Suffolk is also a major boon for the Port of Virginia. Target ranks as the United States' third-largest importer of containerized freight. Only Dole Food Co. and Wal-Mart import more. Comprised of four general cargo terminals in the cities of Front Royal, Newport News, Norfolk and Portsmouth, the Port of Virginia expects Target's new operation to produce a substantial uptick in shipping volume. Stover said that the state's ports "will see tens of thousands of freights in the next 18 months."
"Target and the Port of Virginia enjoy a significant level of business that will enhance Target's overall global supply chain-method," said J. Robert Bray, executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (www.vaports.com). "Their decision to make this investment corresponds with the port's long-term strategic plan to attract such businesses to the commonwealth."
"Suffolk provides an excellent strategic location for this import warehouse, [with] the Port of Virginia and major interstate transportation corridors to quickly bring this product to market," said Suffolk Mayor Curtis Milteer. "The company's outstanding corporate reputation and [its] sizeable new facility will create highly desirable new job opportunities and further diversify the tax base of our city."
Investment Matches Half of
Target is not a corporate newcomer to Virginia. The company has a distribution center in the city of Stuarts Draft and a regional headquarters in Richmond, plus 25 retail stores located throughout the state.
The two other finalist states for the project also have Target distribution operations in place. The retailer has existing distribution centers in Tifton, Ga.; and Camden, S.C.
Incentives for Site Prep, TrainingIncentives for the Target center will include $1.5 million from the city; $700,000 of that amount will go to expand water and sewer services to the site. Gov. Warner approved a $1-million grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Suffolk with site preparation. In addition, the Virginia Dept. of Business Assistance will provide work-force training for the East Coast import distribution center. State officials have not placed a dollar value on the training incentives.
Stover praised the collaborative work of the development team that assisted in the Target project. That team included the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (www.yesvirginia.org), the Virginia Port Authority, the Suffolk Economic Development Dept. and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (www.hreda.com). "We're very, very, glad to be here and appreciate all the hard work of the city and state to make this project come together," Stover said.
Target operates 1,409 stores in 47 U.S. states. Of that total, 1,081 operate under the Target name. Another 264 stores do business under the Mervyn's banner, while 64 more operate under the Marshall Field's name.
Target's strong sales despite the economic downturn have spurred the Minneapolis-based company's continued expansion. Late last year, for example, Target announced that it would open a 1,000-employee distribution center in Shafter, Calif., in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
Target reported $3.721 billion in retail sales for the five-week period that ended on April 6. That performance marked a 16.2 percent increase over 2001 sales during the same period.
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