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Jo-Ann to build DC for southern states

HUDSON , Ohio — Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. plans to build a 700,000-square-foot distribution center in Opelika , Ala. , to support the company's growth in southern states, including Florida , Georgia and Texas .

The site will mark the company's third distribution center, with two others located in Visalia , Calif. , and Hudson , Ohio .

Last year, the company opened 29 superstores across the country as part of a strategic initiative to transition many of its retail outlets from traditional fabric stores to full-service craft and fabric superstores. The larger superstores generate, on average, almost four times the revenue of a traditional store, according to Jo-Ann Stores. The company plans to open an additional 40 superstores across the country in 2005.

Said Tony Dissinger, senior vice president, supply chain management and logistics, "Adding the Alabama distribution center will allow us to speed up delivery to our southern stores while reducing transportation costs, giving us an overall net savings. It will improve service and bring efficiencies."

Jo-Ann will break ground for the new site in March of 2005 and expects to begin shipping to stores in April of 2006.

The distribution center will eventually create about 425 jobs.

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