SAVANNAH, Ga. — Set to open the first week of November, Hooker Furnishings’ upcoming 800,000-square-foot warehouse will enable the company to reduce its delivery times to any customer in the continental U.S. serviced out of the Savannah port.

The site is located near two major highways and is less than 35 miles from the port of Savannah, one of the fastest growing seaports in the country.

The facility’s proximity to the port played a big role in the selection of the location, as Hooker expects to import more than 8,000 cargo units a year into the facility.

“The new facility will enable us to substantially increase our overall operating efficiencies,” said Rebecca Colyn, Hooker’s senior vice president of U.S. operations. “Intentionally designed with a strategic layout and flow that enhances shipping efficiencies, the site features custom-racking and materials-handling equipment that  will further enhance our industry-leading handling and quality levels.”

The expansion will bring 50 new jobs to Liberty County, Ga., including warehouse supervisors, shipping and receiving administrators, forklift operators and other inventory control personnel.

The facility will also help reduce Hooker’s carbon footprint, as everything is under one roof.

“Because this operation is all under one roof, we no longer have to transport items between buildings, reducing emissions and fuel consumption between warehouses,” Colyn said. “Energy efficient lighting and electric car charging stations have also been installed.”

Hooker is seeing strong sales overall, recently reporting net sales of $162.5 million for its fiscal 2022 second quarter, a 25% increase over the previous year.

But like many of the other big players in the furniture industry, supply chain issues are a concern.

“While industry-wide demand continues to be high, we’re facing significant headwinds on the supply side that will impact us in the short term,” CEO Jeremy Hoff said in a September earnings report.  “The surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has caused factories in our source countries of Vietnam and Malaysia to close, with reopening prospects currently uncertain. In addition, global logistics challenges with higher freight and transit costs and lower transportation capacity, along with raw materials inflation and some labor shortages, remain ongoing.”

Hooker Furnishings employs 800 at its locations in Virginia and North Carolina. Its divisions include Bradington-Young, Sam Moore Furniture, Samuel Lawrence, Shenandoah Furniture, Pulaski Furniture, Accentrics Home and Prime Resource International.

New Hooker Furnishings warehouse ‘will cut its delivery times’