Steinhafels’ City of
Pewaukee headquarters and superstore.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
CITY OF PEWAUKEE — Steinhafels announced Friday it plans to add
100,000 square feet of warehouse space to its main distribution
center in the City of Pewaukee and hire about 650 employees during
the next several years.
The expansion is a two-phase process to occur during several years
that will result in the addition of 16 more dock doors and an
expanded trailer staging area at W231-N1013 Highway F. According to
the announcement, the increasing demand for quality furniture and a
recovering economy have resulted in a shortage of space at the main
warehouse in the City of Pewaukee.
|“We are on a great
growth curve right now."
Phase one of the expansion
will include more than 107,000 square feet of new warehouse space
and should conservatively increase employment by 300 people, upping
the total to 1,022 employees. A ground-breaking ceremony will be
held Wednesday and construction is anticipated to be finished by
late August or early September of 2016.
President Gary Steinhafel said phase one should be able to
accommodate the company’s growth for the next three to five years.
Then, he anticipates there being a need for a second phase that
would include the addition of about 130,000 square feet and the
hiring of approximately 350 more people.
The 650 new employees expected to be hired would be for warehouse
work, as well as at Steinhafels different store locations.
During the recession, Steinhafel said the company was still able to
maintain small growth and from 2008 to 2014, it grew by 274
employees. It was a stressful time for employees and the family
owners, but Steinhafel said they made it through and since then have
watched sales more than double.
The plan announced Friday for two phases of growth is part of
long-term planning Steinhafels has done, he said. The furniture
store is also in the process of redeveloping its store in Greenfield
and opened stores in the past year in Appleton and Oak Creek.
“We are on a great growth curve right now,” he said.
The biggest challenge, Steinhafel said, is finding qualified
applicants for open positions, which they are listing frequently.
When Waukesha County Chairman Paul Decker heard the news Friday, he
said he was pleased with Steinhafels commitment to grow in Waukesha
County. He also said the positions the expansion should create will
likely serve as great entry-level jobs that will help the area
workforce develop more skills.
There will also be some benefits to solving some
transportation issues with so many new employees working right off
of Interstate 94, he said.
“Our economy is definitely expanding, but there
is a wide variety of jobs needed,” Decker said.
He said he hopes to work with Steinhafels to
encourage the advancement of its workers’ skills in order to help
fill the job pipeline in Waukesha County.
By deciding to invest more money into its City
of Pewaukee facility, Decker said Steinhafels is showing it “sees
continued growth in the economy, housing and other economic
indicators in the area.”
The building expansion and hiring increases will
also allow Steinhafels to fulfill its company goals.
“We hold the customer experience as the most
important goal of ours,” Steinhafel said.
Gary Steinhafel owns the business with brother,
Mark, chief operating officer, and sister, Ellen Steinhafel-Lappe,
chief financial officer.