SUPPLY CHAIN

Bon-Ton to build e-commerce fulfillment center

BY Dan Berthiaume

York, Pa. – The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. has signed a lease with Duke Realty Corp for a 743,000-sq.-ft., automated, direct-to-consumer fulfillment center in West Jefferson, Ohio, to support its growing e-commerce operations. The company anticipates the facility to be fully operational and ship its first orders in spring of 2015.

The new facility will consolidate the e-commerce fulfillment that is currently being performed at Bon-Ton’s four distribution centers. When fully operational, the fulfillment center will employ approximately 139 net new Ohio associates, with additional seasonal jobs expected to be created during the peak holiday shopping season.

“In response to the rapid growth in our e-commerce business, we are taking this step to ensure extraordinary service to our customers,” said Brendan Hoffman, president and CEO, Bon-Ton Stores. “This new fulfillment center will permit significant expansion of our shipping capacity with improved operational efficiency.”

The consolidation will impact associates involved in the direct-to-consumer fulfillment at the company’s four distribution centers. Affected associates will be offered the opportunity to interview for available positions at the new West Jefferson facility or receive career transition benefits, including severance, according to established practices and state employment service support. Bon-Ton does not expect that the combined severance and other expenses associated with the consolidation, which it expects to incur over the next 16 months, will be material.

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REAL ESTATE

Gap set to open three-story flagship in Taiwan

BY Marianne Wilson

TAIPEI — Gap will officially open its first Taiwan flagship store on March 8 as part of its ongoing strategy to expand Gap’s global footprint. With plans to open about 30 Gap stores across its Greater China region, including three in Taiwan, the brand expects to have more than 100 stores by the end of fiscal 2014.

“Our Taiwan entry builds on the strong performance Gap has had in other international markets, showing how the brand resonates with customers around the world,” said Jeff Kirwan, president, Greater China, Gap Inc. “We see Taiwan as an important milestone in our regional expansion and a market with ample opportunity for growth.”

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REAL ESTATE

PetSmart to open 70 stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — PetSmart plans to open some 70 net new stores, including approximately 50 of its standard prototypes, 20 micro stores and three PetsHotels, this year.

News of the expansion comes in conjunction with the retailer’s fourth quarter results. Net income increased 14% to $132 million in the quarter, compared to $115 million in the year-ago period,

Net sales increased 2.9% to $1.8 billion. Same-store sales, including Internet sales, grew 1.2%.

Services sales, which are included in net sales, grew 2.6% to $186 million.

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