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Urban Outfitters to open Columbia County call center

Friday, April 19, 2013 2:30 PM
Last updated Saturday, April 20, 2013 2:14 AM
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Urban Outfitters on Friday announced plans to open a call center in Columbia Coun­ty that will bring 200 jobs to the area initially and perhaps 400 jobs eventually.

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It will open the customer care center by Aug. 1 in the former Mike’s Fur­niture store on Bobby Jones Expressway and expects to create the 400 jobs within the next five years, Urban Outfitter’s contact center director, Bryan Whitney, said in a news release.

Employees will field calls from customers placing orders and seeking service assistance.

Urban Outfitters is a specialty clothing and lifestyle company with a strong online presence and stores throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The company also owns the Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN brands.

Urban Outfitters has operated a call center in Trenton, S.C., since 2005.

The company’s decision to open its call center in the 40,000-square-foot Martinez storefront was aided by Co­lumbia County’s new “opportunity zone” designation, which applies to a commercial corridor off Bobby Jones Express­way and Washington Road where older buildings coexist with new construction.

“This is the first business to take advantage of the opportunity zone,” said Robbie Bennett, the executive director of Columbia County’s De­velop­ment Authority. “I think as we move forward the opportunity zone will play a big impact in companies coming here.”

The zone offers state tax credits for businesses relocating or expanding in the area. Companies that create at least two jobs receive a tax break of $3,500 for each position developed. It took nearly two years before the development authority received approval for the zone from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

“Securing Urban Outfit­ters was a team effort that included business leaders, the development authority, Columbia County government and the state of Georgia,” said development authority Chairman Mark Wills in a statement. “Urban Out­fitters is a great addition to the corporate community of Columbia County. They are a high-quality company that will be a strong asset for many years to come.”

Comments (7) Add comment
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Riverman1
86967
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Riverman1 04/19/13 - 03:03 pm
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0
Yeah, it's another call center, but

Yeah, it's another call center, but Urban Outfitters is a prodigious company. I get their magazines/catalogues. The reason the call centers pick the CSRA is because of our low per capita income. Play with the hand we are dealt.

countyman
20588
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countyman 04/19/13 - 03:06 pm
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3
Median income

Developers tend to look at the median income before the per capita. Either way the metro's(because CSRA is more of a regional component) per capita and median income are on par with the peer cities.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 04/19/13 - 03:16 pm
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palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 04/19/13 - 03:32 pm
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Can't argue with 200 new
Unpublished

Can't argue with 200 new jobs, no matter what the pay scale. But Aiken couny seems to be attracting more new, better compensated jobs compared to across the river. Why is that??

countyman
20588
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countyman 04/19/13 - 04:09 pm
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Across the river??

Palmetto1008.. I hope you're across the river comment doesn't include Richmond County. I would expect Aiken County to beat out Columbia County in terms of attracting industrial jobs. I do think Evans is better suited to attract white collar office jobs(Taxslayer is a start) compared to anywhere in Aiken County.

The Bridgestone expansion will definitely help out the CSRA, but I can think of Starbucks, Rockwood, Rural Sourcing, PCS Nitrogen, ADP, Hagler Systems, ESI, etc in Richmond County. The portfolio is much more diverse, and includes many different operations. I'm not including the major public investments(NSA, future Cancer Center, Medical Commons/Dental school, etc).

msgret92
121
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msgret92 04/19/13 - 05:17 pm
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Parking

The parking situation there will probably have a negative impact on other business's.

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 04/19/13 - 05:31 pm
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You are much more on top of
Unpublished

You are much more on top of it, Countyman, than I am. And, I made the mistake of being influenced only by recent headlines...Bridgestone and Owens Corning expansion in Aiken county versus a call center in Columbia county. Again, though, not diminishing the importance of 200 more jobs in the area. There are plenty of people who need them no matter what the wage.

Young Fred
17860
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Young Fred 04/19/13 - 05:45 pm
4
1
"Can't argue with 200 new

"Can't argue with 200 new jobs, no matter what the pay scale."

I'm with you on that. Jeez, it seems some here would wish for rain on a parade for handicapped girl-scouts.

Besides, with a place that will potentially employ 400, there should be ample opportunity for someone with a little drive and ambition to work their way up the ladder.

nocnoc
45017
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nocnoc 04/20/13 - 05:59 am
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Welcome to the area

Thank you for coming.

We need the jobs.

soapy_725
43757
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soapy_725 04/20/13 - 09:22 am
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Two hundred jobs that will likely be
Unpublished

eligible for all entitlement programs, a la, Wally World. Less than 40 hours, no benefits and subsidized by the remaining tax paying 50%. But this is "progressive". No job to a job. Full employment of some sort at survival wages. Supported by government funding. The New Soviet Union of America.

Maybe while these folks are not answering phones, they can rewrite history. 1984 is alive and progressing. Look at Great Britain.

soapy_725
43757
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soapy_725 04/20/13 - 09:31 am
0
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How many "call center" jobs did we lose
Unpublished

at Comcast? It was definitely not a "customer service center", so it must have been just a "call center".

Who needs a real job anymore? You can get $1000 a month for each child you produce. If you admit to drug or alcohol addiction, t hat is another check. AIDS infection is another check. A large menu of other programs ensuring everything from baby formula to a fully funded college education. Those things that moms and dads used to work for, save and sacrifice to provide.

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