Shutterfly Inc., an Internet-based social expression and personal publishing service that features online photo products and services, will triple its East Coast manufacturing operations by investing an estimated $60 million in a 300,000 square foot production facility in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the new facility is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2013, with its existing Charlotte, N.C., manufacturing space remaining operational until that time. With the new facility located less than 10 miles from the company's current location, Shutterfly expects to retain about 200 existing employees while creating more than 400 new jobs during the next three years. This expansion builds on Shutterfly's commitment to U.S.-based operations, as the company maintains all manufacturing domestically.
"It's a great day in South Carolina when a well-known company like Shutterfly chooses to put down roots in our state. We celebrate Shutterfly's decision to bring more than 600 jobs to Fort Mill. Today's announcement is another win for the Palmetto State and shows we're on the right track with our economic development efforts," said Gov. Nikki Haley.
Among incentives offered the firm, South Carolina awarded Shutterfly a $700,000 infrastructure improvement grant. In addition, York County agreed to fund road improvements and offered the firm a reduction in its property taxes. Shutterfly is actively recruiting for several key positions in the areas of manufacturing, engineering and customer service.
The Fort Mill facility, which will be located in a building on Carolina Place off Interstate 77, will house a portion of production and customer service personnel for Shutterfly's four brands: Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas and Treat.
"I am extremely proud that we are able to retain the employees working in our Charlotte facility while adding new jobs and expanding our manufacturing footprint," said Jeffrey Housenbold, president and CEO of Shutterfly. "Fort Mill is an ideal location for its proximity to our employees and the new talented local labor pool. Expanding our manufacturing facilities is critical to ensuring we are able to respond to increasing demand and deliver the best to our growing customer base."
Shutterfly, currently serves millions of customers who store more than 15 billion photos in its cloud service. More are expected with recent acquisitions of Kodak Gallery, Photoccino and Penguin Digital, as well as the launch of Shutterfly's fourth lifestyle brand and forthcoming mobile app, Treat, which serves the multi-billion one-to-one greeting card market. The company said its new facility will increase Shutterfly's speed and efficiency in producing and shipping the company's award-winning products such as photo books, holiday cards and personalized stationery.