Plow & Hearth's new center to improve shipping in West

Plow & Hearth, which is opening a distribution center east of Sparks, needs the facility to support recent strong growth.

The company, owned by publicly held, expects to employ about 20 people at the distribution center in DP Partners' LogistiCenter at McCarran.

The 140,000-square-foot center will occupy a portion of the space previously leased by apparel distributor SanMar Corp.

Plow & Hearth is a retailer of country living products ranging from outdoor furniture to clogs for gardeners. The company operates distribution centers at its headquarters at Madison, Va., as well as a location at Vandalia, Ohio.

"After evaluating several other states, we found that Reno and Nevada best met our needs, which included enhancing our shipping capabilities by reducing shipping time and cost," said Brian McGee, the vice president of real estate and construction for

The company spent about a year scouting locations in northern Nevada, said Ken Pierson, director of business development at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.

EDAWN officials first began working with the company, he said, after contacted the Nevada Commission on Economic Development about its interest in a Nevada location.

Plow & Hearth was among Inc. Magazine's 500 fastest-growing companies in the nation for four years consecutive years before it was acquired by in 1998.

It was founded in 1980 as a small retail store outside of Madison, Va. Today, most of its sales are generated by catalogs and a Web site although it operates seven retail locations in Virginia and Maryland.

While doesn't break out sales figures for its divisions, the company said revenue from its home-and-garden gift lines grew at a double-digit rate during the last three months of 2005.

Much of Plow & Hearth's merchandise is sold as gift items, and its recent sales were boosted by the addition of weather-related gifts.

McGee said the company's employment at the new center will spike during peak gift-giving times.

With the lease to, DP Partners has 160,000 square feet of space remaining to lease in the 420,000-square-foot building at Patrick.

Late last year, River's End Trading leased 120,000 square feet in the building for an apparel distribution center that will employ about 25.


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