Saturday, January 11, 2014

Governor McDonnell Announces Lumber Liquidators to Expand Presence in Virginia

Map of Virginia highlighting Henrico County
Map of Virginia highlighting Henrico County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Company intends to invest over $60 million as a result of business enhancements

RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL), the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in North America, intends to invest over $60 million in connection with the expansion of its presence in Virginia.  Among other things, the company is looking to create approximately 250 new jobs in Virginia over the next three years through the augmentation of its corporate and manufacturing operations, led by the expansion of its flagship Bellawood hardwood flooring finishing. The company is also consolidating its East Coast distribution operations in Henrico County, which will allow for the retention of 500 jobs in Virginia.  These enhancements are designed to support Lumber Liquidators’ value proposition and the growth and development of its business.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McDonnell said, “Lumber Liquidators is a shining example of why the Commonwealth consistently ranks as the best state for business in the U.S. Since relocating its headquarters to Virginia in 1999, the company has become one of the fastest growing companies in America, and today’s announcement ensures that the Commonwealth will remain home. Lumber Liquidators is a great testament to how all of Virginia’s assets, from our natural resources used to manufacture their products to our ports that ship them around the continent and globe, create a formula for success and continued growth.”

“This tremendous expansion and consolidation project further solidifies Lumber Liquidators’ roots in Virginia,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “We commend the company’s success that requires the need to expand manufacturing capacity and workforce in the Commonwealth as it continues to expand in North America. Virginia is proud to boast Lumber Liquidators on its corporate roster, and welcomes the addition of 250 new jobs and the retention of 500 jobs.”

With more than 315 locations, Lumber Liquidators is North America’s largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring. The Company features more than 340 first quality flooring varieties, including solid and engineered hardwood, bamboo, cork, laminate and resilient vinyl. Additionally, Lumber Liquidators provides a wide selection of flooring enhancements and accessories to complement, install and maintain your new floor. Every location is staffed with flooring experts who can provide advice and useful information about Lumber Liquidators' low priced product, much of which is in stock and ready for delivery.

With quality brands including Bellawood Prefinished Hardwood and Morning Star Bamboo, Lumber Liquidators' flooring is often featured on popular television shows such as HGTV's Dream Home.

Robert Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lumber Liquidators commented, “Virginia has been a wonderful home for Lumber Liquidators, and we are so excited about reconfirming our commitment to this great state.  Virginia just has the perfect mix of what is needed for a growth company – a talented workforce, a strategic location and a pro-business climate, all of which has allowed our company to flourish here and will drive continued growth.”

As one of the largest hardwood flooring and home improvement retailers in the United States, Lumber Liquidators is expected to boost its use of Virginia’s ports to import and export wood products for domestic and international markets.  In addition, the Company has undertaken a pilot project to increase the use of Virginia-grown wood in its product mix.

“It is great to see a company which has built its reputation on quality products embracing expanded use of Virginia’s forest resources,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry Todd Haymore. “As one of the largest industries in the Commonwealth, forestry provides important jobs and economic benefits to Virginia's residents. As the McDonnell Administration closes its final days, this announcement is just the latest example of how the Governor's decision to fully integrate agriculture and forestry into his economic development and jobs creation agenda has resulted in tremendous results for the Commonwealth. We look forward to assisting Lumber Liquidators supply Virginia grown products to consumers around the world.”

“The Port of Virginia is pleased that Lumber Liquidators has made the choice to continue to invest and create jobs in Virginia,” said Rodney W. Oliver, Interim Executive Director, Port of Virginia. “As a valued customer, the port looks forward to continued partnership with Lumber Liquidators to provide the import and export services necessary for Lumber Liquidators to be successful. Thanks to Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly, the port was able to assist the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in keeping a top shipper in Virginia through the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant and Virginia Port Tax Credit programs.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Lumber Liquidators to help secure a $2 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies and approved by Governor McDonnell. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment and training activities.

The Company considered focusing its resources on other locations around the country before deciding to maintain and expand its presence in Virginia.

“James City County is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Lumber Liquidators as part of the company’s continued growth and expansion,” said Mary Jones, Chairman, James City County Board of Supervisors. “The County has been fortunate to have them as part of our local business community for nearly a decade and we look forward to their continued success.”
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