One Queens-based e-commerce startup is poised to grow aggressively over the next few years, and they have found just the place to do it: Ohio.
Gwynnie Bee, a subscription service for the lease and sale of plus-size women's apparel, reportedly plans to add 400 new positions over the next few years at a new 100,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio. The company's executive and marketing operations will remain in New York City, where Gwynnie Bee will still be officially headquartered, but the 42 warehouse and distribution workers at the company's current Long Island City warehouse will be laid off in July.
"Labor is 30% cheaper there than here," [VP of Operations Robert Escobar] said. "In New York, you pay someone $15 an hour and they struggle to make ends meet. In Ohio, you pay someone $12 an hour and they can have a mortgage."
That dynamic was apparently such a concern for Gwynnie Bee that it never reached out to any city agency for a counter-offer on what Columbus 2020 was offering. To hear Mr. Escobar tell it, that would have been a waste of time for all involved as the idea of relocating its warehousing and distribution was necessary in order for the company to grow.
Gwynnie Bee is not closing the door on returning its logistics to the New York area, but Mr. Escobar said the company would be more likely to do so upstate or in New Jersey.