GREENCASTLE — A Wabash Valley company hopes to be busting at the seams from this summer and next.
Gov. Mitch Daniels joined members of the Charming Shoppes team in Greencastle on Wednesday to announce an expansion that could mean 135 new jobs by 2014.
Located on Indiana 240 inside a building once housing IBM manufacturing operations, Charming Shoppes’ Indiana distribution center is more commonly known as “FB Distro.” The company operates about 1,900 retail stores in 48 states under the names Lane Bryant, Cacique, Lane Bryant Outlet, Fashion Bug, Fashion Bug Plus and Catherines Plus Sizes.
The expansion project will include renovation and installation of material handling equipment and warehouse management systems, making it able to service 2,300 stores, explained Bryan Eshelman, Charming Shoppes’ executive vice president and chief supply chain officer.
“For over 20 years, the heart of our operations has been right here in Greencastle,” he said to a crowd of nearly 180 inside the plant.
The Greencastle location currently employs 195 associates and services more than 800 stores, according to information provided by the company. Next month, the company plans to shift distribution servicing from a Maryland facility to Greencastle, bringing that total up to 1,200 stores, with more growth coming with the expansion, he said.
“It will make this a state-of-the-art facility truly, and it is expected to bring 135 jobs to Greencastle,” he said, crediting the local workers as instrumental in the decision. “This is an extremely dedicated workforce.”
The 794,000-square-foot Greencastle facility is contained within a 123-acre campus originally created in 1954. After the closure of IBM’s operations there in 1986, it was bought by Charming Shoppes in 1987 and subsequently expanded in 1989. Since 1987, the site has shipped more than 1.5 billion units to the company’s stores, Eshelman remarked.