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Franklin County furniture company announces expansion

Franklin County furniture company announces expansion

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Franklin County-based Virginia Furniture Market announced plans Wednesday to build a 120,000-square-foot distribution facility on 8 acres along U.S. 220 in Wirtz.

“We’re doing this for reasons that are centered around serving our customers better, and we would like to be able to grow in the Southwest and Central Virginia market area,” said owner Joel Shepherd.

Wednesday’s announcement followed approval of a special-use permit Tuesday by the Franklin County Board of Supervisors to allow for construction of the distribution center. All supervisors voted in favor of it, with Blackwater District Supervisor Ronnie Mitchell abstaining.

The company plans to break ground on the project next month, Shepherd said, with an estimated completion date of early 2022.

The facility, expected to cost about $10 million, will serve as the distribution hub for the company’s eight retail stores, which are located throughout Southwest and Central Virginia, according to Susan Childs, the company’s director of marketing.

“We just have needed this for quite some time,” Childs said. “It’s a way to streamline the way we’re doing things.”

The new facility also will serve as the company’s corporate headquarters.

Virginia Furniture Market currently has about 140 employees and is always looking to hire more, Childs said. “We are currently understaffed currently because of the demand,” she said.

The demand for home furnishings can be attributed to more consumers staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the industry’s slowdown in production caused by temporary shutdowns and supply chain delays.

However, Shepherd said, the new distribution facility can help fulfill that demand. “This is our effort to put ourselves in a position to carry even more stock than we do now.”

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