May 25, 1999

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Online Retailer's Selection of Pittsylvania County
-- Company's decision will result in 330 new jobs for Virginians --

Sao Paulo, Brazil Richmon - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that eToys Inc., a leading Internet retailer of children’s products, has selected Pittsylvania County for its new fulfillment center. It is anticipated that the project will create 330 new jobs through a $14 million investment beginning in January 2000. In addition, up to 900 seasonal jobs may be created. Virginia successfully competed with Georgia and Tennessee for the project.

"This announcement confirms that all regions of the Commonwealth can prosper in economic development," Governor Gilmore said. "eToys will now have better access to their East Coast markets and will benefit from hiring Virginia’s skilled workers. This decision also reinforces my administration’s commitment to assisting technology firms in their quest for growth."

eToys provides one of the largest selections of toys and children's products on the Internet. Based in Santa Monica, California, the company carries over 750 brands, including well-known manufacturers like Barbie and LEGO, as well as unique and collectible toys made by specialty companies. eToys is engaged in electronic commerce using the latest technology for enhanced inventory control, distribution and retail sales.

"We chose Virginia for our second fulfillment center because of the highly qualified, available workforce and its ideal location for shipping to many of our customers," said Louis Zambello, eToys Senior Vice President of Operations. "Meeting or exceeding customer expectations on shipping toys for Christmas and birthdays is critical."

Governor Gilmore approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Pittsylvania County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Pittsylvania County assisted eToys with its decision to locate in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services to the company.

"eToys’ new distribution center will join an impressive list of similar facilities across the Commonwealth such as Target, QVC and Kohl’s," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "Virginia’s positive business climate will foster a successful environment for this leader in electronic commerce."



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