Arts & Entertainment, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Art-supply distributor plans $33M expansion, 250 jobs

October 28, 2015
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Art-supply distributor plans 550 openings
Notions Marketing is a global art-supply distributor in Grand Rapids that employs about 900 people. Courtesy Notions Marketing

An art-supply distributor is planning to invest $33 million in an expansion project at its headquarters and create 250 jobs.

Grand Rapids-based Notions Marketing said yesterday that it plans to add about 80,000 square feet and renovate about 35,000 square feet of its site, which is located at 600 Cottage Grove SE.

The new facility will incorporate new technology, allowing Notions Marketing staff to serve customers faster and more efficiently through product consolidation and the use of inventory automation.

The company plans to break ground in January and have the project completed for 2017 operations.

“This expansion marks a significant milestone and new chapter in our company’s growth history,” said Adrienne Stevens, president, Notions Marketing.

Stevens said the company is “proud” to call Grand Rapids home and to be able to “create jobs here in the city.”

Hiring

The 250 positions being added at Notions Marketing are company wide and hiring will begin immediately.

Notions Marketing recently raised wages for warehouse employees and implemented a new peak season incentive program that offers up to a 30-percent bonus on wages.

People can apply for jobs through the company’s website.

Current operations

Notions Marketing operates out of a 1.2-million-square-foot headquarters, where it manages more than 230,000 unique SKUs, employs more than 800 people and ships millions of products each year to independent and global retailers, including JO-ANN, Amazon and Walmart.

The company has experienced 30-percent growth in sales over the past two years, adding 45,000 products and 2,700 customers.

In August, Notions Marketing added 100 full-time employees along with 50 permanent part-time workers and 400 seasonal jobs.

The family owned business has been located in Grand Rapids since 1938. It is in its second generation of family ownership.

Incentives

To support the expansion, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board has approved an $800,000 performance-based grant for the company through the Michigan Business Development Program.

A pending $150,633 grant from the state Skilled Trades Training Fund will support training for the additional workforce.

The company will also receive local support from the city of Grand Rapids, which is considering the approval of a personal property tax exemption. 

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