• 70°

Spirit of Rowan: Chewy bringing big business of online retail to Rowan’s doorstep

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

A 700,000 square foot facility with 1,200 jobs on offer has been big news in town for the previous year after online pet supply retailer Chewy tapped Salisbury as the home for a new fulfillment center.

“It’s huge. It’s our largest job announcement that’s ever been made in Rowan County,” said Economic Development Commission President Rod Crider. “It’s a site that the county has marketed for a long time.”

Crider said the county was picked over another site in South Carolina to house the facility, and the announcement has validated what work over the past five years to put a greater emphasis by the county on economic development.

“This fulfillment center is an investment in the region and we’re excited to be part of this community,” said Pete Krillies, Chewy vice president of real estate, facilities and procurement.

Krillies said it has been an “incredible experience” working with local leadership in the EDC and the county commissioners.

At first, the party looking at the site was a mystery. But the announcement came in April 2019 that Chewy wanted to put a $55 million fulfillment center on the site. And the company quickly got to work clearing the land.

That investment is bringing business to local contractors as well. Chandler Concrete is a Burlington-based supplier that serves central and western North Carolina as well as some parts of Tennessee and Virginia. Chandler supplied about 30,000 cubic yards of concrete for the Chewy facility, and it has one of the company’s mobile plants on site to supply most of the concrete being used.

Salisbury Chandler Manager Bob Cartner said mobile plants are usually reserved for larger jobs and saves time, resources and money compared to delivering all of the concrete off site.

“Obviously we have to be competitive when we look at a job like this, it’s a job we go after,” Cartner said, adding the project is a great opportunity.

Chewy VP of Fulfillment and Supply Chain Human Resources Gregg Walsh said the company is focused on creating a customer experience that extends to its fulfillment centers, including the people who work at the centers.

“We hire full-time positions with competitive pay and benefits packages and then make sure that we’re providing growth potential for all of our team members. We view this as an extension of our investment in the community,” Walsh said.

Chewy began clearing the site has already been hiring for positions at the facility since July, with an anticipated opening in June and a ribbon cutting this spring. The company anticipates adding more than 1,200 jobs by 2025.

Chewy was attracted in part with a $2.3 million property tax incentive and a $400,000 equipment grant. Those incentives require the company to meet employment goals.

Chewy is owned by brick-and-mortar retailer PetSmart, and this will be its ninth fulfillment center in the country. It will be its first in North Carolina.

Comments

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 300th death attributed to COVID-19

BREAKING NEWS

Chauvin convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s death

Local

Top North Carolina House finance chair, Rowan representative stripped of position

Crime

One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina