Lulus Will Establish Distribution Center in Lehigh Valley, Creating More Than 450 Jobs
By Colin McEvoy on May 8, 2019
A California-based manufacturer and online retailer of women’s clothing and accessories will be establishing a distribution center in the Lehigh Valley, a project expected to create 464 jobs over the next three years.
Lulus, based in Chico, Calif., evaluated multiple states for its expansion into the East Coast, but ultimately decided upon a site in Palmer Township, in part due to the region’s central location and the strength of its workforce, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.
“The Lehigh Valley has become one of the fastest-growing e-commerce hubs within the United States,” Wolf said. “The addition of Lulus is more evidence that Pennsylvania has the location, workforce, and business climate that companies are looking for. We are thrilled to welcome Lulus to the commonwealth and looking forward to even more exciting development in the years to come.”
The new 250,000 square-foot warehouse and distribution facility will be located at 2505 Hollo Road in the Chrin-Carson Development off Route 248 near Route 33. Lulus has pledged to invest at least $6 million into the project, according to Colleen Winter, the company co-founder and CEO.
“At Lulus we are committed to delivering an unparalleled customer experience, and in today’s world that means getting our clothing and accessories out to our customers as soon as possible,” Winter said. “By opening our new facility in Palmer Township, we will now be able to vastly improve our shipping windows to ensure that we are always there to dress the Lulus woman, from day to night, to everything in-between.”
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) assisted Lulus with connections to employment resources, provided labor and wages data for the company, and have remained in contact as the project has ramped up, according to LVEDC Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing Matthew Tuerk.
Founded in 1996, Lulus is a rapidly-growing lifestyle fashion brand for women that offers curated, quality products, and a personalized online shopping experience. The company features a unique product assortment from the Lulus label and a curated selection of on-trend designers and brands.
Lulus received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for $464,000 in job creation tax credits to be distributed upon the creation of new jobs.
The proposal also included a $208,800 workforce development grant to help the company train its existing workers, according to Gov. Wolf’s office.
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
According to a Forbes story, Lulus was founded in by Winter and her mother, Debra Cannon, in 1996 as a vintage women’s clothing boutique called Lulu’s Fashion Lounge, in Chico, located about 160 miles north of San Francisco.
Lulus, which takes its name from Colleen Winter’s nickname, shifted to become an online-only retailer in 2008 and has grown tremendously since then, with a focus on fast-fashion, according to the article.
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