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Women's retailer plans $37M expansion, 242 jobs

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Suffern, N.Y.-based Ascena Retail Group Inc., a national specialty retailer of female apparel, announced Thursday morning that it plans to spend $37 million to expand its operations in Greencastle, creating as many as 242 jobs by 2018.

Ascena, whose subsidiaries provide distribution for the company’s Justice, Lane Bryant, Maurices, Dressbarn and Catherines clothing brands, said it will invest $34 million to transform its 123-acre Greencastle distribution center into its primary e-commerce distribution hub.

The company will spend an additional $3 million to build a 40,000-square-foot addition to the 794,000-square-foot facility, located about 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

Built in 1954, the distribution center—locally known as FB Distro—was purchased by Bensalem, Penn.-based Charming Shoppes Inc. in 1987. Ascena in June bought Charming Shoppes, the parent of Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes.

The distribution center currently employs 185 people, and Ascena said it will begin hiring for additional distribution, warehouse and management positions later in the fall.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it will provide Ascena up to nearly $2.2 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $75,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans. The city of Greencastle has approved additional property-tax abatements and other incentives.

Through its subsidiaries, Ascena operates about 3,800 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.
 

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  • Loss of Local Jobs
    The article fails to mention that the distribution operation is currently being handled by an Indianapolis based logistics company. The moving of the operation will be good for Greencastle, but will mean a loss of jobs for current employees of the Indianapolis based company (MKM Logistics - Park 100).

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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