Michaels Stores, Inc., North America's largest arts and crafts specialty retailer, has been granted permission to operate within Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 64 in Northeast Florida. Michaels will begin moving merchandise through its approved Southeast distribution center starting January 2017.
The federal FTZ program allows businesses to save a significant amount of money on imported cargo shipments and distribution operations by streamlining U.S. Customs clearance and offering other efficiencies.
Michaels, which has operated its Jacksonville distribution center since 2001, now joins other household names such as Coach, Inc., Mazda Motor of America, Inc., and Bacardi Limited which already take advantage of the streamlined Customs processes and cost-savings of operating in FTZ No. 64.
"Along with room to grow, fast access to market and a large, skilled workforce, FTZ No. 64 is one of the major advantages JAXPORT and Northeast Florida have to offer large-scale retailers, such as Michaels, looking to establish, expand or relocate distribution centers," said JAXPORT's Roy Schleicher, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.
FTZ No. 64 is approved to operate under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF) which greatly simplifies the process for new site applications and extends the zone to include eight counties within Northeast Florida. Storage and distribution sites located within Nassau, Clay, Baker, Columbia, St. Johns, Putnam, Bradford and Duval counties can be approved in 30 days or less under the ASF; manufacturing plants can be approved within 120 days or less.
"The strong partnership between JAXPORT, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the FTZ Board makes it easier and faster for applicants to get approved and activated," said Lisa Diaz, JAXPORT's Manager of Foreign Trade Zone No. 64 & Northeast Florida Sales.