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Blair consolidating returns operations

Warren, Pa. – Blair Corporation, the $450 million multi-channel direct marketer of apparel and home products, plans to close its leased Returns Center in Erie, Pa., and move all returns operations to the Blair Distribution Complex in Irvine, Pa., approximately seven miles from headquarters.

Blair officials said technological improvements and productivity enhancements at the Irvine facility will enable the company to process returns and redistribute merchandise to its inventory more efficiently.

"Blair is continuing its process of aligning facilities in appropriate balance to sales, said Randall Scalise, vp, fulfillment. He added that technological improvements in Blair’s material handling systems and improved productivity have reduced both space and labor requirements at the Irvine complex.

Since 2001, Blair has expanded fulfillment operations to encompass its merchandise distribution center and former mailing center, creating a complex totaling over 800,000 square feet. Blair has invested approximately $23 million to increase warehouse capacity and install new conveyor systems and automated sorting equipment for order fulfillment and shipping. A unique "conveyor bridge" was also constructed to connect the two existing buildings, maximizing the amount of useable space at the complex.

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