Dollar Tree Inc. of Chesapeake, Virginia, said Wednesday that it will rebuild and renovate the Family Dollar distribution center it closed in West Memphis, reopening it a year from now and employing more than 300 people.
The publicly traded discount retailer closed the center, at 1800 Family Dollar Parkway, last year after inspectors with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration found live and dead birds, rodents and animal droppings there.
In a news release, Dollar Tree said it will invest “more than $100 million” in the new facility, which “is being rebuilt with a strong emphasis on safety, sanitation and compliance and will serve as a model of excellence for all facilities in the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar network.”
It added that the 850,000-SF facility will include “a full interior demolition and remodel, with new features like added building-wide temperature control, automated LED lighting, racking, expanded associate amenities and office space.”
West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon said in the news release that he is “thrilled” to see the company “transform and reopen” the facility.
“It’s exciting to see the company invest in its business and in the community. This rebuild demonstrates the commitment Family Dollar is making here, including more jobs, best-in-class safety, and a closer connection with all of us,” he said. “It will be a fantastic opportunity for families in West Memphis to earn a meaningful living right here in our city.”
The company said the distribution center will be able to serve up to 1,000 Family Dollar stores in the region. In Arkansas, there are more than 200 Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores that employ more than 2,300 people, according to the company, which said it plans to open “dozens more” Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores in Arkansas.
“This is more than a reopening, it’s a transformation,” said Mike Kindy, Dollar Tree’s executive vice president and chief supply chain officer. “Our West Memphis facility will have a full interior demolition and wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling rebuild. This integral distribution center will drive industry-leading product safety standards, offer an excellent employment experience, strengthen our bonds with the community and better support our Family Dollar stores who depend on us throughout the region.”
Former Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge had sued Family Dollar in Pulaski County Circuit Court last year, accusing the company of selling potentially contaminated or hazardous products because of the infestation.
The attorney general’s office said this week that it is in the discovery phase of “actively pursuing” claims against the company, and that it also intervened in class action litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee “to protect Arkansas’s claims under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.”
A spokesman said the office, now led by Attorney General Tim Griffin, “is continuing to press Family Dollar to provide restitution to each Arkansas consumer who purchased goods compromised by the unconscionable conditions in the Memphis distribution center.”