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Jacksonville sets Stage for 100 jobs

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FROM THE TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH:
 
Jacksonville sets Stage for 100 jobs
BY KELLY GOOCH
kgooch@tylerpaper.com

A new distribution center is expected to bring as many as 100 jobs to Jacksonville in its first year, a board member with the Jacksonville Economic Development Corp. said.

Board member Barry Hughes said local Stage Stores Inc. intends to purchase or lease a facility at North Bolton Street and U.S. Highway 69, which would be used as a new distribution center. The property is the former Astro Air facilities.

According to documents provided by JEDCO, Stage Stores wants to "expand its local distribution center operations."

Its current distribution center on Beall Boulevard in Jacksonville was built in the 1980s as part of the Bealls family organization and merged with Palais Royal in Houston years later. The company was later renamed Stage Stores.

Stage Stores has added other brands throughout the years and now operates under Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles, Stage and most recently Steele's.

Gough Grubbs, senior vice president of distribution and logistics, has said the company considers itself a full family department store to rural America because it does women's and men's clothing, cosmetics, children's clothing and jewelry, among other items.

According to documents from JEDCO, the new distribution center would be for Stage Stores' "off-price stores and eCommerce website business."

As many as 100 jobs are expected in the first year and as many as 200 total over three years, Hughes said. 

"Obviously it's going to be important for us," he said. "We like the fact that it is all new jobs coming into our community. Also, it's important that Stage already has a large presence and is active in the community."

Jacksonville City Manager Mo Raissi agreed, saying, "It's a big deal for Jacksonville."

Hughes said JEDCO has reached an agreement with Stage as to the amount of incentive it will provide. That incentive, which is $1.1 million, will help pay for renovations at the facility, he said.

As far as a timeline for occupying the building, he said it is pending a final contract with JEDCO and final negotiations between Stage and the facility owner. 

"I think everyone's in agreement in principle. They're just working out the details," Hughes said. 
He added, "It's still early, but we're looking forward to Stage expanding its workforce in Jacksonville, and they're just good corporate citizens."
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