Pat Topping on Bluestem Expansion in Putnam County

Friday, March 19th, 2021

Interim Economic Development Director for the Putnam Development Authority Pat Topping discusses the recent announcement about Bluestem Brands - an e-commerce company that will be doubling its presence in Putnam County.

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that Bluestem Brands, a business operating multiple national e-commerce retail brands, will expand their distribution center in Putnam County, more than doubling their presence in the state and delivering over 130 full-time jobs to Eatonton.

“Bluestem’s decision to substantially expand their presence in Georgia is yet another example of how the state’s strong logistics infrastructure and workforce training programs continue to support e-commerce and create jobs and opportunities for hardworking Georgians,” said Governor Kemp. “I thank Bluestem for their job- creating investment, and I appreciate the work of our world-class economic development team to support our existing industries and helping them grow right here in the Peach State.”

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Bluestem Brands is a multi-brand portfolio of e- commerce companies that serve a broad range of customers throughout the U.S.The company’s subsidiaries include Appleseed’s, Blair, Draper’s & Damon’s, Fingerhut, Gettington, and Haband, among others. Its Eatonton facility has traditionally served the Haband brand, under the Orchard Brands portfolio, which was acquired by Bluestem Group Inc. in 2015. With this expansion, the Eatonton facility will also serve Bluestem’s Appleseed’s, Blair, Draper’s & Damon’s, Fingerhut, and Gettington labels.

“These are exciting times for Bluestem Brands as we continue our history of providing high-quality apparel at competitive prices, and it is exciting that we will soon be fulfilling our orders through expanding our presence in Eatonton,” said Mark Williams, president of Bluestem’s Orchard Brands.

Bluestem will invest $1 million in expanding their current Eatonton distribution center located at 148 Industrial Boulevard. The company additionally plans to create nearly 200 seasonal and part-time positions. Individuals interested in warehousing and distribution careers with Bluestem are encouraged to regularly check for job opportunities with the company.

“On behalf of the Putnam Board of Commissioners, I want to thank Bluestem Brands for their support to the community over the years,” said Putnam County Commission Chair Billy Webster. “I also want to thank the current Haband Eatonton distribution center family members for everything they do for Bluestem Brands at the Eatonton facility. This expansion would not have happened without their history of dedication and hard work. The commissioners and staff stand ready to support this vital and important business expansion.”

John Reid, Mayor City of Eatonton said “The City of Eatonton has a long history of support for business and industry. Our pro-business attitude encourages business and industry growth. We are proud to have been the location for Bluestem Brands for all these years. The City Council and I, as well as all our department heads are committed to doing all we can to support Bluestem Brands expansion here in Eatonton.”

Walter C. Rocker, III, Chairman, Putnam Development Authority said “The Putnam Development Authority welcomes and supports the expansion of Bluestem Brands with the announcement of 130 new full-time jobs plus an additional 200 part-time and seasonal jobs for the Eatonton and Putnam County area. The expansion of Bluestem Brands is a testament that Eatonton and Putnam County have the location, infrastructure, and workforce to support the ECommerce and Distribution industry as a target industry for our area. Working with our partners, our board looks forward to assisting Bluestem Brands with their continued growth.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Senior Project Manager Candice Scott represented the Global Commerce division on this project in partnership with the Putnam County Development Authority, the Georgia Department of Labor, Central Georgia Technical College, and Georgia Quick Start.

“As I’ve said before, when a company invests in Georgia, they become a Georgia company,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “We’ve seen incredible growth in e-commerce in recent years that has only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Georgia is uniquely suited to effectively serve these companies. It’s a pleasure to see this Georgia company more than double their presence in Eatonton. Many thanks to our state and local partners for helping us cultivate a highly skilled talent pool, which undoubtedly helped solidify Bluestem’s decision to expand in the state.”


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