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  • Portland Press Herald

E-commerce company Wayfair chooses Maine for new offices, 950 jobs

The Boston-based home furnishings retailer plans to open sales and service centers in Brunswick and Bangor. Wayfair, a Boston-based online home furnishing store, plans to open sales and customer service operations in Brunswick and Bangor, bringing 950 jobs to Maine. The company intends to hire 500 people to work in inside sales and service at a location at Brunswick Landing. That would make it the largest of 84 employers at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, where there are currently 850 workers. Wayfair plans to lease a 50,000-square-foot building from Priority Real Estate Group, which is in the process of buying it from the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority. Steve Levesque, the authority’s executive director, said the deal has been in the works since November and came to Brunswick by way of Maine & Co., a private, nonprofit corporation that helps businesses relocate to or expand within the state. The former Navy Exchange – what was the “Wal-Mart of the Navy base” – is undergoing renovations and should be ready for Wayfair to move in by June, said Levesque. “We’re really excited,” he said. Employees in Brunswick will help businesses and other consumers select and purchase products from the company’s online catalog, said Liz Graham, Wayfair’s vice president of sales and service. In Bangor, the company will hire 450 employees to provide customer support. Wayfair plans to lease the 30,000-square-foot call center that L.L. Bean is leaving. The building will have to undergo renovations and should be ready to occupy by August, according to a news release from the city. Graham said Wayfair was interested in Maine because of its proximity to its headquarters in Boston. It was interested in Brunswick and Bangor, in particular, for their pools of potential employees, both through their colleges and universities and their customer service history, particularly with L.L. Bean. All of the employees will be hired full time, but the company would not provide a salary range. Wayfair, which employs more than 3,000 people worldwide, was founded by two high school friends in 2002, when they started selling stereo racks and stands online, then created new websites to sell other products. They consolidated the sites into one in 2011, and by 2014 were offering 7 million products under five brands that brought in more than $1.3 billion in revenue that year. Wayfair is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol W.

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