September 12, 2014

Online retailer bringing 1,200 jobs to Bethlehem, PA!

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Online retailer zulily will open a fulfillment center in Bethlehem, creating 1,200 full-time jobs over the next three years, the governor's office announced Wednesday.

The Seattle-based company will open a warehouse in an 800,000-square-foot building under construction by Liberty Property Trust in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII, said Alicia Karner, Bethlehem's director of community and economic development.

"It's a significant investment in the Lehigh Valley — not just Bethlehem but Valleywide," she said.

The company expects to create about 1,000 jobs initially and 1,200 in total, Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez said. It will set up on former Bethlehem Steel property, where Crayola and Walmart have smaller distribution centers.

The zulily warehouse will be more in the scope of Amazon's sprawling Upper Macungie Township complex.

Karner could not say how much zulily will pay warehouse workers but noted that because so many jobs are being created, salaries "will run the spectrum."

Typically, warehouse jobs pay at the lower end of the spectrum.

Zulily, which will start leasing the building from Liberty Property Trust later this year, plans to begin hiring early next year, according to a news release from Gov. Tom Corbett's office. The company will benefit from $3.6 million in job creation tax credits from the state, the release noted.

"This is another example of our continued efforts to build a stronger Pennsylvania, where job creators like zulily can thrive," Corbett said in the release.

Zulily, which sells clothing as well as home decor, toys and other merchandise, started in 2010 and has locations in Reno, Nev., Columbus, Ohio, and London. According to a report posted on its website in August, its second-quarter sales this year increased 97 percent over last year to $285 million.

The report said zulily has 4.1 million customers.

The Bethlehem center "will help us to better serve our growing customer base across the country," Bob Spieth, zulily's chief operating officer said in the release.

— Reporter Nicole Radzievich contributed to this story.

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