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LATHROP, CA-JC Penney plans a 436,000-sf logistics center at the Crossroads Commerce Center and has named Irvine-based Ware Malcomb for design work at the facility, which will distribute merchandise throughout the country. Penney says that the logistics operation, which will occupy an existing building at 700 D’Arcy Parkway in the Crossroads Commerce Center, will function primarily to receive and sort imported merchandise for routing to the retailer’s store support centers across the country.

Ware Malcomb, which will execute the job from the firm’s Northern California office, will provide architectural and interior design services for the project, which includes renovations to the existing building, including 12,500 sf of office tenant improvements and a 4,400-sf warehouse addition. The warehouse is being designed to include a fully automated sorting system.

The 1,039-store JCPenney chain needs additional capacity in its logistics network to support its planned store growth, according to Jim LaBounty, SVP of supply chain management for the retailer. With approximately 150 stores opening in the next three years, he explains, the Lathrop facility will enable Penney to route inbound goods through the Port of Oakland.

Penney expects that the added capacity and port diversification provided by the Lathrop site will help the company to reduce transportation time for its imports in addition to supporting its long-range growth plans.

With modifications to the existing building and installation of equipment beginning this month, the new center is expected to be up and running in early August. Penney expects to hire approximately 100 workers for the site, beginning in July.

The new facility will expand a JCPenney logistics network that includes similar cross-dock facilities in Buena Park in Southern California as well as in Atlanta; Statesville, NC; Alliance, TX and North Bergen, NJ. The company also operates a network of 13 regional store support centers, each servicing 80 to 125 stores.

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