Memphis vies for 166 new order fulfillment, distribution jobs

Riviana Foods also plans expansion

By Published: January 12, 2019 3:49 PM CT

A business deal with an international clothing brand could bring 166 new jobs to Memphis. 

Barrett Distribution Centers, which operates third-party warehouse and distribution centers, is going back to the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis and Shelby County board to extend a previously approved tax abatement.

In March, the EDGE board approved an eight-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) to encourage the company to select Memphis over two other locations out of state for a $22.1 million investment at 6100 E. Holmes Road that would create 74 jobs.

With an opportunity to pursue new contracts and additional business, Barrett is taking on an additional 400,000 square feet of the building, for a total of nearly 830,000 square feet.

The facility would provide apparel distribution and order fulfillment for international clothing brands, including full-carton and individual garment picking.   

The expansion would up Barrett’s investment to $40 million and create 166 jobs.

The jobs would pay an average annual wage of $40,500, a slight decrease from the annual average $44,200 approved in March.

The annual wage decrease is "due mainly to the fact that we plan to more than double the hourly staff, with a smaller increase in management headcount," said COO Arthur Barrett.  

The majority of the investment comes from a $26.7 million Community Reinvestment Credit. The company would spend $1.9 million in construction and $11.3 million in equipment.

Barrett is considering multiple locations in three different states, so EDGE staff is recommending a 10-year PILOT to land the additional jobs.  

The abatement of city and county taxes would save Barrett $6.8 million over the 10-year term. The city and county would see $8.5 million in local tax revenue from the project during that time.

In other news:

The popularity of ready-to-serve microwaveable rice is leading an international manufacturer to consider a $21.5 million expansion in Memphis.  

Riviana Foods, the largest processor, marketer and distributor of branded and private-label rice products in the U.S., is also considering making that investment in existing facilities in Spain.

To help land the expansion, EDGE is recommending a seven-year tax abatement.

Home to rice brands Mahatma, Carolina, Success, Minute and Gourmet House, Riviana is planning a $21.5 million expansion of its production of ready-to-serve rice products at 2314 S. Lauderdale St.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Madrid-based Ebro Foods, Riviana is also considering putting that money into an expansion in Spain, EDGE staff said in a document to the board.

The seven-year PILOT would save Riviana $1.6 million. The city and county would see $2.1 million in new tax revenues during the PILOT.

The majority of the investment would be $17.5 million worth of equipment and $3.9 million in renovations to the existing facility.

The expansion would create 43 new jobs with an average annual wage of $43,500, excluding overtime and benefits.

The EDGE board will consider both tax abatement requests at its meeting Wednesday, Jan. 16.


EDGE Barrett Distribution Centers Riviana Foods
Michelle Corbet

Michelle Corbet

Michelle Corbet covers business for The Daily Memphian. Prior to, she was a reporter at the Memphis Business Journal. A native Memphian and University of Memphis graduate, Michelle covered business in Conway, Arkansas after college. Michelle got her start covering business as an intern at The Commercial Appeal.

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