Week of June 24, 2002
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Scholastic Opening 600-Employee
Distribution Center in Central Arkansas
MAUMELLE, Ark. Taking over a facility once occupied by an e-business operation, old-line children's book stalwart Scholastic has announced that it will open a 600-employee distribution center in Maumelle, Ark.
Facility Has Gone fromThe facility chosen by the kiddy-lit power is the second largest in Maumelle, trailing only a 900,000-sq.-ft. (81,000-sq.-m.) Target distribution center. Located inside Maumelle Industrial Park, the building has rapidly changed hands several times in recent years.
Footwear to E-Business to Books
Warmack Warehouse in 1989 built what was then a state-of-the-art distribution facility for Foot Locker, which distributed products from the location under the Champs Sports brand name. The athletic footwear retailer, however, closed its 450-job operation in 2000.
More recently, the facility on Champs Blvd. was occupied by Keystone Internet Services, a division of Weekawken, N.J.-based Hanover Direct, which sells home fashions, men's and women's apparel, and gifts. The facility served as an "e-fulfillment" center for Hanover's online sales subsidiary. The 267-employee e-business concern, however, closed in March of 2001 after only 10 months of operation, part of the long fatality list tallied in the dot-bomb downturn. The Champs Blvd. facility had stood empty since.
The building's business life will be revived as a distribution center for Scholastic Distribution Services, a division of Scholastic Inc. The center will hire 150 employees during its first year of operations. Scholastic anticipates increasing total employment at the Arkansas operation to 600 workers within three years.
Scholastic will use local-area hires to fill as many of the 600 positions as possible, Tait said. Scholastic is transferring two managers to the new Maumelle distribution center from the company's existing center in Jefferson City, Mo.
Some 80 million books will leave the Arkansas distribution center each year, company officials said. Driven in part by the success of the Harry Potter and Clifford the Big Red Dog series that it distributes, Scholastic last year increased its book sales by almost 40 percent, finishing with $1.96 billion in revenues. Scholastic has a history of community involvement and support, particularly in education, said Jim Sharkey, Maumelle's director of community and economic development. The company is "a perfect match" for the city, Sharkey said.
Mykrolis Tabs Boston-Metro for Relocation
of Headquarters, R&D, Manufacturing
BILLERICA, Mass. Semiconductor supplier Mykrolis Corp. is relocating its headquarters and R&D functions, as well as part of its manufacturing operations, to Billerica, Mass. The relocations to the Boston suburb signal the final phases of Mykrolis' breakaway from Millipore, its onetime parent. Mykrolis was formerly Millipore's Microelectronics Division. Based in Bedford, Mass., Millipore is now focusing on providing technologies, tools and services for developing and producing new therapeutic drugs. Spin-off Mykrolis, in contrast, supplies advanced process solutions for gas and liquid filters and delivery systems; those filters and systems are used in the semiconductor, flat-panel, fiber-optic and optical-disc industries. Millipore's headquarters in Bedford was also previously home base for Mykrolis. Consequently, the relocation to Billerica represents only a short, six-mile (9.6-km.) trek across the northwest Boston metro. The two locations' proximity is intended to aid in retaining existing headquarters and R&D staff, Mykrolis officials said.
More than headquarters and R&D personnel, however, will be occupying Mykrolis' new 190,000-sq.-ft. (17,100-sq.-m.) home in Billerica.
The new facility will also house all the liquid production operations currently performed at Mykrolis' plant in Jaffrey, N.H. In addition, the company will relocate to Billerica some of the liquid production operations that are now performed at its plant in Yonezawa, Japan, company officials said.
Co-Location Designed to PositionMykrolis officials didn't disclose the total number of positions that will be transferred to the Boston metro. Over the long term, however, the new facility will house some 250 employees, they said. The new operation is almost three times bigger than the 70,000 sq. ft. (6,300 sq. m.) of space that Mykrolis occupied in Bedford.
Firm for Semiconductor-Sector Rebound
The manufacturing relocations will be carried out through a phased approach, company officials noted. Operators and engineers in Japan and the USA will collaborate in the process, training employees and readying operations for the functions that will shift from the old plants to the new facility.
Co-locating manufacturing with R&D and headquarters operations will both shorten product delivery times and increase quality, company officials predicted. The single location, they added, will also improve collaboration. The Mykrolis employees who were housed inside Millipore's headquarters were inefficiently "scattered around," said Chief Financial Officer Betrand Loy.
Mykrolis has signed a 12-year lease on an existing facility in RiverTech Park. The company reportedly has two five-year renewal options on the property.
The facility was once owned and occupied by Nortel Networks, which moved out last summer. Nortel is selling the Mykrolis building, along with two other facilities that Nortel occupied in RiverTech Park, to investment group New Boston Fund.
The co-location's timing strengthens Mykrolis' position for an anticipated full-scale upswing in the semiconductor sector, said chairman and Chief Executive William Zadel.
Mykrolis posted a net loss of $12.4 million in first-quarter 2002. That result was "in line with our expectations," said Zadel. "While revenues fell slightly below fourth-quarter levels, there are indications that the market is strengthening."
Mykrolis employs 950 people in 23 worldwide locations.
House Foods Messes with Its Tofu,
Shops for Site for East Coast Plant
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. House Foods America Corp. (HFA), looking to duplicate its success in the West Coast market, has announced plans to build an East Coast tofu plant. The company's East Coast plant will be located at a site that has not yet been determined, HFA officials said. Georgia and New York are reportedly among the early frontrunner states for the project, which will entail an estimated capital investment of some $16.5 million.
Capacity: Up to 120,000HFA has heretofore been selling its tofu primarily in the western United States. HFA's Hinoichi brand tofu, in fact, is the top selling U.S. packaged tofu west of the Mississippi River. The new plant's opening will coincide with the company's concerted push to sell its products nationwide.
Packs of Tofu Each Day
The new East Coast plant will be a three-line operation with a daily production capacity of 100,000 to 120,000 packs of tofu, company officials said. The company's existing plant in California produced some 34 million packs of tofu during fiscal 2001.
The East Coast plant will begin operations in 2006, HFA officials said. HFA executives haven't yet specified a time frame for determining the site of the new manufacturing facility; nor did they announce the East Coast operation's projected total employment.
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©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.