(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). “We’ve grown so much. We had to move,” declared Ann Deal, owner of Fashion Forms, the leading specialty bra and solutions product maker, explaining to BODY the company’s reasoning behind its move to Austin, Texas from California.
Deal herself plans be in the new house she bought there by September 1 and the company itself has already begun setting up in at its new location: 12317 Technology Blvd, Austin, TX, 78727.
In California the company had been operating out of a 60,000 square feet of warehouse and office space, divided between two buildings. At various peak shipment times the company was also forced to rent additional warehouse space in other buildings. There were many obvious hardships and inefficiencies to such an arrangement.
The new Texas location features 90,000 square feet, all under one roof, of both office and warehouse space. The state provides tax incentive for the move which include no corporate income tax for corporations and no personal income tax.
Those incentives, plus other important benefits made the move impossible to resist. On top of that, “The home I bought in Austin is absolutely beautiful. I am thrilled,” said Deal.
The new Fashion Forms office and warehouse has seven loading docks. The old location had none. The Texas warehouse is being outfitted with a state of the art, wireless, storage and shipping system. Becky Harmon, SVP, is “supervising the design of the distribution center as she did a lot of that during her years at a chain retailer and has vast experience in distribution center set ups and managing.”
CFO Steve Chadbourne, who “has set up two Amazon warehouses in his career,” said Deal, “is supervising the technology piece of the move…the labeling and engineering of the equipment. We want to start shipping October 1.”
One of the main reasons Fashion Forms chose Texas for the new facility was the shorter shipping times it expects to achieve from its centralized location.
Deal pointed out that it was highly inefficient to have her main distribution center on the West Coast since “almost everything we ship is east of the Rockies.” The new location will mean customers will get their orders several days earlier than before. She added, “we will gain 10 days lead time on cash flow by shipping from Texas. 10 days of cash flow is huge!”
Another advantage of the new location is the extra space that can be devoted to the company’s ever expanding promotional efforts. There will be a video studio and a photo studio that is twice the size of the one in California. “I am also bringing my photographer, Margo, with me to Texas” smiled Deal. “We will be able to provide stores even more images, videos and other support materials than before.”
Deal retains ownership of her old office and warehouse building in Ventura and has rented it to a maker of golf carts.
And the Fashion Forms owner has not lost her personal affection for California. She admitted she will miss her box at the Hollywood Bowl, which took her years to acquire, and which she may not visit as often as in the past.
But Deal insisted she will continue to return to the state to have her well-known blond hairdo coiffed by the woman who has been doing it for years. “I have to have my hair done in California. I am addicted to her!”
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