Safelite to Move East Coast Distribution Center to New Facility in Georgia in September 2010

March 11, 2010

Safelite's new East Coast distribution in Braselton, Ga., is expected to open in September 2010.

Safelite® Group has announced that it will be moving its main East Coast distribution center from Enfield, N.C., to a new 357,000-square-foot facility in Braselton, Ga. The new distribution center is expected to become operational in September, and will be its largest to date (and parent company Belron's largest in the world).

The facility will support distribution to states east of the Mississippi River. The new facility is 36 percent larger than the distribution center in Enfield, allowing for storage of 250,000 windshields and 90,000 other vehicle glass parts, according to the company.

As a result of the move, Safelite will be restructuring the Enfield distribution center, which is connected to its manufacturing plant. The company says it will retain its manufacturing options there, along 288 employees in that capacity, and the current distribution center in Enfield will now serve as a warehouse, and some of the distribution center employees will move to the manufacturing part of the facility.

"We considered maintaining our East Coast distribution center operations in Enfield, which are adjacent to the manufacturing plant, but because of the inability for us to further expand in that location we had to consider new options," says Tom Feeney, president and chief executive officer of Safelite.

Safelite explored several options for the facility, according to today's statement, and looked at various sites along I-85 between Atlanta and Charlotte "in areas that would allow for more efficient and lower-cost transport of manufactured glass to points east of the Mississippi River."

The Enfield facility, from which the company's East Coast distribution will move, originally was opened in 1970, and at the time was chosen because it is located just off Route 301, once a main East Coast thoroughfare. It also is centrally located exactly halfway between New York and Florida. (CLICK HERE for an inside look at the Enfield facility from the September/October 2009 issue of AGRR magazine.)

In recent years, Safelite has made efforts to make the Enfield facility green-and the newest location in Georgia will follow suit. According to the company's statement, it also was designed to meet LEED certification requirements (a rating system for environmentally friendly buildings).

Last year, the company opened a 282,000-square-foot distribution center in Ontario, Calif., also designed to be environmentally friendly. (CLICK HERE for related story).

In 2010, Safelite officials say they plan to expand 12 more warehouses, though details on the locations of these were not available at press time.

CLICK HERE for full text of press release.

CLICK HERE for an inside tour, including video footage, of the company's recently opened West Coast distribution center.

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