Auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. plans to build a $185.2 million warehouse and distribution center in New Kent County, creating 352 jobs, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Friday.
The 800,000-square-foot facility will serve as the company’s East Coast distribution operation, according to the governor’s office. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, AutoZone has more than 6,000 stores nationwide and is a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and other vehicle accessories. In fiscal year 2021, the company saw $14.6 billion in sales.
“AutoZone’s new distribution and direct import facility in New Kent County will be a historic economic boost for the region and demonstrates the advantages of Virginia’s strategic location and world-class infrastructure,” Youngkin said in a statement. “The supply chain sector continues to gain momentum, and this major investment is a powerful testament to the commonwealth’s assets and competitiveness.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with New Kent County and the Port of Virginia to secure the deal, and former Gov. Ralph Northam approved a $2.5 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the county with the project. AutoZone is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone grant program, and employee training will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program at no cost to the company. According to the governor’s office, Dominion Energy Virginia will also be involved with the project, but the statement did not specify Dominion’s role.
Felicia Howard, Dominion Energy Virginia’s vice president of economic development strategy, said in a statement that the utility “looks forward to powering AutoZone’s ability to distribute to new markets, but also partnering for its long-term success in this region.”
“With over 145 stores in the commonwealth of Virginia and more than 735 stores in neighboring states along the East Coast, we are very excited to be a part of the New Kent community and greater Richmond region,” AutoZone Chairman, President and CEO Bill Rhodes said in a statement. “During our rigorous and competitive search process to identify our next distribution center location, Virginia and New Kent County leadership were tremendous and instrumental in us deciding to join this wonderful community. Our large-scale investment in New Kent County is an important part of our strategy for accelerated growth and represents our commitment to always put customers first.”