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Tile Shop expansion will help business growth in area, nation

Monday, December 10, 2012

By SAM JACKSON - Bulletin Staff Writer

When the Tile Shop’s new 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is complete, the foundation will be laid for growth both locally and nationally for the retailer.

The facility, being built in the Iriswood District of Henry County, will house the manufacture of mortar, grout and sealers. That will allow the company to save in shipping costs when sending orders to stores, site manager Mike Garrison said.

The company also manufactures and sells stone, ceramic and porcelain tiles and tiling materials in several states, which is why the combined power of a grout and sealer manufacturing plant housed next to its distribution facility will maximize efficiency, Garrison said.

“It’s expensive to ship stuff,” he said. The company sometimes has to ship materials from different locations to the distribution center in Henry County before sending the completed orders out to their stores. The new manufacturing facility will allow the company to streamline the process.

The purpose of “part of their growth is to be self-sufficient,” Garrison said.

The Tile Shop has stores in 22 states, the majority of which are on the East Coast and in the Midwest. The Rochester, Minn.-based company also has distribution centers in Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Axton facility had been the only Tile Shop facility that didn’t include manufacturing, company officials have said. According to the company’s website, it operates 50 retail locations nationwide but hopes to expand to more than 100.

Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. President Mark Heath said the Tile Shop’s growth is good for the company and the area.

“We are always pleased to see local companies grow their markets,” Heath said in a news release when the expansion was announced. “The growth and overall well-being of our existing business base is a key component of our local economy.”

Garrison said the local distribution center currently has about 25 employees. He does not expect that number to change yet.

“It’s definitely a potential,” he said. “Right now we’re fine,” but the company will “bring people on as we need them,” he said.


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