CHINA GROVE – Macy’s Corporate Services will construct a 1.4 million square foot fulfillment center to better meet demand due to a growing number of online orders, after an incentives package worth a total of about $11 million from the state of North Carolina was approved by the Economic Investment Committee today.

The company plans to hire nearly 2,800 jobs, according to a statement obtained by WRAL TechWire.

“We’re beyond thrilled that Macy’s chose us to be a part of the company’s future,” said Rod Crider, president and CEO of the Rowan EDC, in an interview with WRAL TechWire. “It’s a historic and iconic brand and that they chose Rowan County is a real honor for us.”

Even though the company expects to hire nearly 2,800 people, Crider confirmed to WRAL TechWire that the company is only required to create 230 positions in order to receive an incentives package from the state.

The fulfillment center will automate the shipping and delivery process for online orders from three of the company’s brands, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale, and Bluemercury.  According to the presentation, the fulfillment center will enable a greatly reduced shipping time for the company’s customers in the central United States and in the southeastern United States.

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Incentives, impact

That agreement, a Job Development Investment Grant, or JDIG, also requires that those jobs will pay an average annual wage of more than $48,400 in order for the company to receive the incentives.

Under the terms of the agreement, Macy’s is also expected to invest $584.3 million in the facility, which will be located in China Grove, by the end of 2024.  (Editor’s Note: Crider also confirmed the total investment amount, as an earlier version of this story cited a total investment of $564.3 million.)

A local incentives package, including incentives from Rowan County and the Town of China Grove, totals some $50 million, according to the state official presenting the deal.

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners has also awarded a performance-based incentive known as an Economic Development Investment Grant that could be worth an estimated $27.2 million over 15 years.

The Town of China Grove also supported the project with its own performance-based Economic Development Investment Grant worth an estimated $22.4 million over 15 years.

The state’s package includes $2.3 million through a JDIG, along with a commitment of $3.25 million for community college training.  The North Carolina Department of Transportation will also provide funding for road improvements along Highway 152, according to the statement, worth about $5.5 million.

The company also considered at least one site in South Carolina.

An economic model, known as the “Walden Model,” projects the facility to boost North Carolina’s gross domestic product by $545 million and increase net state revenue by $5.4 million.

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Regional growth, investment

“This announcement demonstrates the strength of Rowan County and the Charlotte region, in general,” said Crider.  “One of the things that Macy’s cited is that the largest portion of their customer base is on the east coast.”

Across the county line into Cabarrus County, Kroger announced a fulfillment center that will employ as many as 700 workers.  And the region also saw announcements in 2021 and 2022 from pharma giant Eli Lilly as well as a beverage container facility that will house Red Bull and Ball Corporation.

“This is really a very strategic, well-located region, for reaching markets and customers,” said Crider.

Hexagon Agility announced an expansion in Rowan County that will create some 75 jobs, according to the Rowan EDC 2021 Annual Report.

That annual report also notes that the county “added over 1,000 new jobs and $127 million in new capital investment” in 2021.

“There will be hundreds of indirect jobs and induced jobs throughout Rowan County and the region as a whole,” said Crider, of the Macy’s decision. “With more than 10 million square feet of industrial space under development along the I-85 corridor, this project win is a sign that Rowan has arrived on the national scene and that there are more big things to come.”