Macy’s new facility will bring fewer jobs, but higher investment in county

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

SALISBURY — After finalizing the payroll, Macy’s said its 1.4 million- square-foot distribution center in China Grove will bring 1,317 full-time jobs, 383 part-time jobs and 2,260 seasonal jobs to Rowan County by the end of 2030.

This is well below the 2,500 full-time jobs and 2,600 part-time jobs that were originally part of the national retail giant’s agreement when the new facility was first announced in January 2022. Although job creation numbers have decreased, the average salary for full-time jobs will rise nearly 19 percent, from $37,607 to $44,610. Macy’s also said its total capital investment in the project will increase from $584.3 million to $640.6 million.

The decrease in job numbers is due to Macy’s planned use of more technology at the facility, according to Scott Shelton, vice president of the Rowan County Economic Development Council. He presented the changes to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners at its Monday meeting.

After hearing about the changes, the commissioners also unanimously voted to amend the incentive grant that was originally promised to Macy’s based on the change in job numbers and total investment. The original incentive called for the company, after paying full taxes, to be reimbursed, via a grant, 80 percent of taxes on both real and personal property. Now, the company will only receive a grant equal to 70 percent of their taxes via the 15-year grant, which is now worth $29.1 million. The change in total investment by Macy’s also increased the net tax revenue the county will receive during the incentive period from $6.8 million to $12.4 million.

Speaking on the phone Tuesday afternoon, Commissioner Greg Edds said he was still happy and excited about the project, emphasizing that this is the largest economic development announcement in the county’s history.

“This is going to be their flagship facility worldwide and it’s the largest investment in the history of the Macy’s corporation, and it’s going to happen right here in Rowan County,” Edds said.

Edds also emphasized that while the job numbers decreased, the average salary increasing is a “huge benefit to our folks who really need those good jobs and will help replace multiple jobs with no benefits.”

He also added that Macy’s has been working with local colleges to recruit talent for the new facility, which will be good to help the county to retain workers.

“That’s good for the county because these folks that we invest in, folks that have grown up here and people who move here to go to college, helps us retain talent, which raises our overall standard of living here in the community,” he said.

Overall, Edds gave the impression that the announcement was a bittersweet one.

“Honestly, it can’t be anything but a disappointment to know you’re going to lose some jobs, but the rest of it is exactly what we need, which is much higher pay, higher technology, a much higher investment in the community and also partnerships with our colleges to really provide a workforce to become the backbone of their investment here,” Edds said.