This spring, tulips may not be the only thing returning—to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at lease. SuperValu has announced plans to return to its 3900 Industrial Road, Harrisburg, location—and to invest $69 million into the wholesale distribution center that will serve Northeastern customers. The company had previously announced, in 2008, that this same distribution center would close by 2010 in an effort to consolidate into a Lancaster County facility.
After selling the property for $30.3 million in 2008 to a private equity firm, the company repurchased the 750,000-square-foot distribution center for $37.1 million last year, according to Dauphin County deed records.
"Shipping for certain departments has already begun with additional departments coming online throughout the year," said External Communications and Public Relations Manager Mike Wilken, according to Central Penn Business Journal. And after the purchase was completed, the company began renovation of the facility to begin shipping operations.
The announcement of the facility’s reopening was made by Governor Tom Wolf. The reopening distribution hub, nestled off Interstate 81, next to the Norfolk Southern intermodal railyard, will hire 350+ people over the course of the next three years, a necessary move as the $16 billion in annual sales that the company currently has requires more space and people to accommodate its growth.
Minnesota-based SuperValu has gained funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development, including a $740,000 Pennsylvania First grant and a $166,500 allotment from WEDnetPA for employee training. The new deal was facilitated by the Governor’s Action Team, professionals dedicated to Pennsylvania’s economic development who report to the governor.
"This speaks to the strength of the Harrisburg market as a distribution hub," said President and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp Dave Black, who added that this decision by SuperValu points to the region’s economic recovery. He expressed that, after economic trials 10 years ago, the region is seeing many businesses returning and investing in new facilities, including SuperValu’s distribution center.
SuperValu currently distributes to more than 3,300 stores throughout the U.S.—3,100 of which are independent and franchise grocers, and 200 of which are grocery stores operating under any of the following banners: Cub Foods, Hornbacher’s, Shop ‘N Save, Shoppers, and Farm Fresh—a banner which the company is currently restructuring—divesting locations and laying off employees in an effort, it seems, to free up assets as the company faces continued pressure from activist investors to liquidate portions of the business.
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