Originally created 05/13/05

Urban Outfitters to bring jobs to Edgefield County



AIKEN - At least 200 jobs will be created in Edgefield County by the end of the summer.

Urban Outfitters Inc., a Pennsylvania specialty clothing and accessories company, announced Thursday that it will move its distribution center to Trenton, S.C.

The center will lease a 459,000-square-foot facility in the Edgefield County Industrial Park that was vacated by VF Corp. in November.

Robert Long, the assistant director of the Economic Development Partnership for Aiken and Edgefield Counties, said the new employer would be a boon for the county.

"You're taking a vacant building that was unproductive and putting it back on the tax rolls," he said.

Urban Outfitters initially will hire about 200 people to staff the center, Mr. Long said, adding that local and state officials are trying to lure the company's inbound call center to Trenton as well.

Landing that division of the company could bring 200 more jobs to the area.

"If we can demonstrate to them that there's enough of an applicant pool," Mr. Long said, "then the call center side will come."

The company will hold a job fair next week.

As many as 100 people could be hired in the next month for customer-service jobs, which will help offset the loss of 200 jobs from VF Corp.'s departure, Mr. Long said.

Several former employees of VF, which made jeans and outdoor apparel, already have applied for jobs at Urban Outfitters, he added.

The company's distribution center is the fastest-growing segment of its business, according to a statement from the Economic Development Partnership. The division grew by 91 percent in 2004 and is expected to grow an additional 50 percent or 60 percent this year. The center, which is driven by catalog and Internet sales, fills orders directly to customers.

"We considered a variety of locations, but South Carolina offered so many attractive factors that we were convinced it was the right place to be," John Kyees, Urban Outfitters' chief financial officer, said in a statement. "We found a building and work force that ideally suited our needs."

He also said the state's "pro-business environment" was a factor.

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (803) 648-1395, ext. 113 or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.

Job fair

Urban Outfitters will hold a job fair for customer-service positions from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. The fair will be held at the company's new facility, located nine miles north of exit 5 on Interstate 20, off U.S. Highway 25 in the Edgefield County Industrial Park.

Call the Economic Development Partnership at (803) 641-3300 for more information.