Fort Wayne, IN—The Vera Bradley brand has its roots in Indiana and that’s just were the accessories company plans to spend $26.6 million to expand its design center and distribution center, an investment that should create 128 new jobs over the next four years.
In a statement about the plans to expand its 40,000 square-foot Design Center by 149,000 square feet and its 420,000 square-foot Distribution Center by 10,000 square feet, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder and chief creative officer, said Friday the company wanted to expand at its Roanoke, Indiana locations.
“We are proud to invest in our hometown,” said Baekgaard. “Our design center expansion will bring the majority of our Northeast Indiana employees together on one campus and will strengthen collaboration across the company.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is offering Vera Bradley tax credits, and the company is working with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance on additional incentives.
Of the $26.6 million project cost, about $10 million of the investment is projected in fiscal 2014 and raises the company’s previously disclosed fiscal 2014 capital expenditure guidance from about $20 million to about $30 million for the full fiscal year. The company added that the project should be completed in late 2014.
Vera Bradley currently has 1,000 full-time employees in Indiana and about 2,800 employees in total. The company has 79 Vera Bradley Stores and 14 Outlet Stores.