Imperial Supplies celebrates opening of larger distribution center – Salisbury Post
SALISBURY – After several decades in its Litton Drive distribution center, Imperial Supplies began in 2019 looking for a facility with more space.
The truck parts supplier, a subsidiary of Fortune 500 WW Grainger, wanted to stay close to its employee base in Salisbury. This is why she has limited the scope of her real estate search to a radius of 25 miles.
It was too far for Rod Crider, chairman of the Rowan Economic Development Council.
“It’s outside of Rowan County so we’ve worked really hard to keep them here,” Crider said.
In April, Imperial Supplies announced it would relocate its operations to a 150,000 square foot building off Chamandy Road in the Granite Quarry Industrial Park, just 7 miles from its old warehouse.
The company held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning to celebrate the inauguration of the new distribution center. The event brought together representatives from the company’s headquarters in Green Bay, Wisconsin, including CEO Rob Gilson and Chairman Gregg Sterling.
“(Today) is important because it shows the growth we’ve experienced and most importantly the people who are supporting it,” Gilson said. “Growth creates opportunities for our associate base and as you can see we have a lot of great associates here who take care of these clients every day. It’s a great day. It’s a big day for us, a big day for Salisbury.
The fact that Imperial Supplies chose to stay in Rowan County was a victory for Crider and his team at Rowan EDC. The company’s decision to move to the Granite Quarry industrial park made it even more enjoyable.
“What particularly appeals to us is that (Imperial Supplies) has chosen this facility,” said Crider. “This installation was the result of a joint effort between the Rowan County Council of Commissioners, the Town of Granite Quarry and Easter Creek Partners. This was the first time these three groups had come together to build this first specification building.
The 80-acre industrial park is Rowan County’s newest. This was made possible after Rowan County bought the land from Gildan, who is currently the only other tenant in the park. A second 100,000 square foot speculative building is currently planned on land near the Imperial Supplies facility.
Imperial Supplies moved operations from its Litton Road facility to its new distribution center over the course of four weekends. Despite the transportation of parts, equipment and people, the company continued to ship products to its customers throughout the move.
“We didn’t miss a thing,” said Sara Vestal, head of the distribution center. “We operated from both facilities and we did not disappoint a single customer. “
The warehouse formerly occupied by Imperial Supplies at 1335 Litton Drive has already found a new tenant at MaxLife Industries, who announced an extension in the building last week.
The 150,000 square foot Imperial Supplies facility, which is triple the size of the old warehouse, will give the company more space to meet growing customer demands. The distribution center is one of five operated by Imperial Supplies in the United States
“As we grow the business we need more space,” Gilson said. “We need a picking, packing and shipping capability and that gives us those capabilities. Add to that our facility in Scranton, PA, it covers the east coast and we can continue our double-digit revenue growth every year. “
Imperial Supplies ships truck parts and fleet maintenance supplies, which can range from nuts and bolts to electrical tape.
“Anything that will serve a fleet industry, a fleet of vehicles, we sell it,” Vestal said.
With the move to larger facilities, Imperial Supplies has increased its workforce to nearly 40 employees. The company is still recruiting for three positions. Vacancies are for material handlers, who walk 7-9 miles per day to move products to and from warehouse shelves.
In addition to more space, the installation on Chamandy Drive also has several new features that will benefit company employees, including charging stations for 11 “Cherry Picker elevators” and six forklifts. The machines are used by certified drivers to transport large boxes of product around the facility, including on shelves that nearly reach the warehouse’s nearly 30-foot ceilings.
The dozens of employees who make up the warehouse attended the grand opening ceremony and even got to enjoy a piece of cake before returning to work.
More information on Imperial supplies can be found online at www.imperialsupplies.com.