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Shoe Retailer to Expand in Mecklenburg County

Date: 3/1/2013

Contact: Crystal Feldman
Phone: 919 733-5612

Raleigh, N.C. -- Today, Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced that Rack Room Shoes, a family footwear retailer, will expand its corporate headquarters in Charlotte. 
The company plans to create 87 jobs in North Carolina by the end of 2017 and invest $16.03 million into its Mecklenburg County location. The project was made possible in part by an award from the state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program.  Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. 
“We are proud to partner with Rack Room Shoes to help them expand their headquarters here in North Carolina,” said Governor McCrory. “We will improve our economy by working with existing companies to provide them the skilled workforce and strong business climate they need to grow and prosper.”
Founded in 1922 as a single shoe store called Phil’s Shoes, Rack Room Shoes is a subsidiary of the Deichmann Group, a German-based privately-held footwear retailer. Rack Room Shoes and its subsidiary, Off Broadway Shoes Warehouse, employs over 6,500 associates in more than 450 stores in 34 states, with 49 of those stores located in North Carolina.  Off Broadway Shoes Warehouse has an additional five locations in North Carolina.  
“The North Carolina Department of Commerce is committed to working with existing companies to grow jobs,” said Sharon Decker, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce. “We congratulate Rack Room Shoes for their success and for investing in North Carolina once again.”
Rack Room Shoes plans to expand its current Charlotte facility to locate its headquarters and the Off Broadway headquarters on one campus.  Off Broadway’s headquarters is currently located in Georgia.  This expansion will enable the company to grow both store counts and sales, and specifically to undertake growth of the Off Broadway brand at an accelerated pace over the next five years. 
“Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse are two strong retail brands with a vision to grow exponentially with their respective consumer segments in the fashion footwear market.  We are thrilled to expand our experience and leadership team within the state of North Carolina,” said Mark Lardie, President and CEO of Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse.  “Additionally, our Charlotte headquarters gives us tremendous opportunity to recruit talented fashion industry executives, buyers and marketing professionals, while offering them a home in a city with a vibrant entertainment community and unrivaled quality of life.”
Compensation will vary by job function, but the average compensation for the new positions is expected to be more than $70,000 plus benefits. The average annual wage in Mecklenburg County is $57,144.
“Rack Room Shoes expanding to Charlotte is great news, and it's a step along the road to recovery," said Rep. Kelly Alexander.
"I am very excited Rack Room Shoes is expanding," said Senator Joel Ford. "I hope the people of Charlotte come out to support this chance for economic development."
Today, the state Economic Investment Committee voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) to Rack Room Shoes.  JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant. 
Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, Rack Room Shoes is eligible to receive up to seven annual grants equal to 40 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award. Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation and capital investment requirements.  Over seven years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to Rack Room Shoes of up to $663,000 
In addition, up to $221,000 in additional funds from the company’s JDIG award could be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. When a JDIG is awarded to a company whose site is located in the state’s more economically prosperous counties such as Mecklenburg, 25 percent of the company’s grant is allocated to the Utility Fund to encourage economic development in less prosperous counties. For more information on the county tier designations, visit:
Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Chamber.
For more information about Rack Room Shoes, including job opportunities, visit


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