Andrea L. Colby
Governor Gilmore Announces 150 New Jobs in Pittsylvania County
-K-B Toys invests $10 million -
BLAIRS, Va. - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that K-B Toys will locate a distribution facility in the former eToys building in Blairs, Virginia. The company will invest $10 million and create 150 new full-time jobs, including e-commerce database managers, inventory clerks, customer service representatives, systems administrators and management-level employees.
“The job creation from this project is especially significant to Pittsylvania County and the surrounding communities,” said Governor Gilmore. “Not only will K-B Toys create 150 year-round jobs, but it will also create up to 950 seasonal jobs by 2003.”
K-B Toys is eligible for tax credits through the enterprise zone tax credit program provided by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. State Senator Charles Hawkins, Chair of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, was instrumental in securing this project for the Commonwealth by helping obtain $250,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity funds to attract K-B Toys to Pittsylvania County. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Pittsylvania County Department of Economic Development assisted K-B Toys with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce-training services. Virginia successfully competed with Alabama and Georgia for this investment.
K-B Toys is the nation's largest combined mall-based and online specialty toy retailer, operating more than 1,300 stores in all 50 states, the American Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The company does business as K-B Toys, K-B Toy Works, K-B Toy Outlet, K-B Toy Liquidators, K-B Toy Express and with online shopping at www.KBkids.com. Offering a wide and competitively
priced selection of toys and video games, commitment to customer service, convenient mall locations and a growing online shopping site, including the new KBwholesale.com, K-B Toys combines the speed of the Internet with the convenience of returns at any store. K-B Toys is headquartered in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and employs more than 13,000 associates nationwide. K-B Toys became a privately held company in December 2000 through a management buyout in partnership with Bain Capital, Inc.
In May 2001, K-B Toys obtained certain eToys intellectual property assets and services as part of the auction process in eToys' bankruptcy proceedings. The assets include eToys' trade names, logos, URLs and trademarks. eToys also has agreed to provide certain e-mail services, including contacting its customers with information about how they can continue their online toy shopping experience through KBkids.com
“K-B Toys is grateful to the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, County Supervisor Coy Harville, County Administrator Dan Sleeper, and Economic Development Director Carol Motley, who were instrumental in making this goal a reality,” said Bob Hassen, K-B Toys’ Vice President of Distribution. “This facility is the perfect fit for KBkids.com. Its state-of-the-art equipment will allow us to meet the needs of our current business model, as well as support future growth.”
“K-B Toys, a leader in its industry, will benefit from the region’s available and quality labor pool, Virginia’s central location for distribution and its pro-business climate,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade Joshua N. Lief. “We are pleased to welcome the Commonwealth’s newest corporate citizen, K-B Toys, to Pittsylvania County.”