Macy’s busy as first holiday season in Martinsburg gets under wa - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Macy’s busy as first holiday season in Martinsburg gets under way

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MARTINSBURG, WV -

 

by CHRISTINE MILLER-FORD
For The State Journal

Many of the holiday workers hired by the Macy's Fulfillment Center here will have the chance to stay on long after the Christmas shopping season ends, a company spokesman said.

More than 1,300 workers are on board now at the 1.3 million-square-foot facility that opened in July at 333 Caperton Blvd., just off Interstate 81 in north Martinsburg, according to Jim Sluzewski, senior vice president for corporate communications for Macy's Inc.

Once the fulfillment center is running at full capacity – a target the company expects to reach in late 2013 or early 2014 – about 1,200 workers will be needed here year-round, plus another 700 to work full-time every autumn in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

"We were ramping up the year-round work force (this fall) at the same time the holiday season began ramping up," Sluzewski said. "Chances are, many of the associates initially hired seasonally for the holidays will stay on year-round."

Macy's continues to hire for the fulfillment center in Martinsburg, which handles online orders destined for the Northeast, Sluzewski said. It is the company's largest such facility.

Hundreds of other cities in the region hoped to land the $150 million facility before company officials announced Martinsburg as their choice in late 2010. Construction began in the spring of 2011.

Company officials declined to disclose how much Martinsburg workers are earning, but have said the business will provide an annual payroll of $30 million here once the fulfillment center reaches capacity.

A willing, high-quality work force was one of the reasons Macy's officials said they chose Martinsburg initially and the company is happy with those who have applied so far, Sluzewski said.

"We've had a great response," he said. "We've been very pleased at the quality of applicants from the area in and around Berkeley County."

Just how busy the workers at the Martinsburg facility will be in the weeks between now and Christmas is difficult to peg, Sluzewski said. "It's hard to tell how many orders the Martinsburg facility will handle this Christmas," he said. "We don't yet know the number of things customers will buy in the coming weeks."

But it looks as if the facility will be bustling. In a press statement released this week, Macy's reported online sales at its two sites, macys.com and bloomingdales.com, rose 39.2
percent in November and were 37.1 percent higher in 2012 over the same period last year.

Once the Martinsburg site is running full-tilt, workers here will be able to handle up to 250,000 packages in single day, Sluzewski said.