Progress 2013: More than a seller, always growing art
Although Jerry’s Artarama has 16 retail stores and headquarters in Raleigh, it only has one warehouse. And Henderson is its home.
The warehouse is a distribution facility that primarily ships individual mail-order art supplies. It also supplies the retail stores.
“We carry everything an artist might need at the lowest prices,” said Ed Lingg, warehouse operations manager for Jerry’s.
When the Henderson warehouse opened in 2000, it was an empty 40,000-square foot complex.
In 2004, the complex doubled in size. When the structure doubled a second time in 2008, the Raleigh warehouse was closed in favor of having all Jerry’s warehouse operations under one roof. The size, structure and location of the building, in addition to its ability to expand, were all positive factors in Henderson’s favor.
“From what I gathered, it was just a good fit,” said Lingg. “The bigger we become, the more nationally we are known, in the long run the more jobs and businesses we bring to the community.”
Jerry’s Artarama currently employs 45 to 50 in the seven different departments of the warehouse: picking, packing, shipping, receiving and stocking, inventory returns and the custom frame shop.
The warehouse has high accuracy rates, low shipping times and an efficient process, according to Lingg.
“I think today in the e-commerce world we’re in, customers have gotten very used to speed and efficiency,” Lingg said. “When they order online, they expect their order right away and in good condition. There’s a lot of competition that they might decide to go to instead.”
For most days, after receiving an order from Jerry’s website or the 500-page catalog, the warehouse will then retrieve the item from the available 40,000 stock keeping units. After individually packaging the order according to its fragility, the warehouse will ship the order to the buyer the same day. The order should be received within one to two business days.
“It’s a constantly rotating door of merchandise,” Lingg said. “An average day here is making sure that we fulfill our obligation to the customer so that no one customer is any less taken care of than the next.”
The warehouse ships an average of 1,000 orders a day all across the world.
Jerry’s warehouse also makes two to three donations per year in Vance and the surrounding counties. Donations can include anything from a small handful of supplies to pallets of merchandise.
Most of those materials go to schools but the warehouse has also contributed to a half dozen local organizations over the last 12 years.
Rebuilding Hope has been a recipient of Jerry’s art donations on two separate occasions. Randolph Wilson, founder of Rebuilding Hope, described the donations as tractor-trailer loads of materials.
“It overwhelmed people when they came to pick it up,” Wilson said.
Lingg explained that Jerry’s often donates “any merchandise that is in less than newly sellable condition.”
Wilson explained that Rebuilding Hope stored and distributed the supplies as needed to various schools.
“They want to have art programs but they don’t have the budgets,” he said.
Henderson Home School Support volunteers Christine Norton and her sister, Carey Ray, used the donated supplies to teach an art class for 20 to 30 students.
“It was a huge blessing,” Norton said. “It allowed the children to explore their creativity.”
She added, “Being a small group, we would not have been able to afford that without the donations.”
“One of the things we try to stand for here at Jerry’s is that we don’t just try to sell art, we want to grow it,” Lingg said. “We want to work with artists as well as being there to supply them with materials.”
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