HIGH POINT – Economic developers from the Piedmont Triad region that includes High Point, Greensboro and Winston-Salem are banding together with the State of North Carolina to land a $5 billion, second headquarters operation for Amazon that could employ up to 50,000.
The Guilford County Economic Development Alliance put out a statement late Wednesday that said they are working together to respond to Amazon’s HQ2 RFP. In the statement, the group said this project would be a “game changer for the Triad. We have all the assets and conditions needed to fulfill their needs, but we need some creative ideas on how to leverage those assets and conditions.”
The economic developers are seeking community input on Amazon’s key consideration criteria, which range from incentives to logistics and quality of life in the region. The group has launched https://triadisprime.com/ to gather ideas from across the region. It has set an end of day Oct. 10 deadline for this input.
“We have a highly creative and entrepreneurial culture in the Triad, and we need their creative ideas on this response.” said Bob Leak, president of non-profit economic development company Winston-Salem Business, Inc.
The issue is of interest to the furniture industry as Amazon is growing its presence in home furnishings sales. This month, Furniture Today reported that the company is on its way to generating $3 billion or more in U.S. furniture and mattress sales this year based on first half estimates published by e-commerce sales data source One Click Retail.
According the report, the data firm pegged Amazon.com’s 2016 furniture sales at $2.3 billion. It added that Amazon’s business in the category through Aug. 5 of this year already has reached $2 billion, up 50% year over year.
The Piedmont Triad’s region’s presence in furniture showrooms and headquarters and distribution operations could be a major asset in its favor. The area also has an extensive interstate and railroad access as well as a large number of trucking, transportation and logistics firms.
Brent Christensen, president and CEO of Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, said, “What could we do that is out of the norm and will get Amazon’s attention? These are the ideas we seek.”
“This is our time to shine to the Amazon HQ2 decision makers. Getting their attention requires our collective brainpower,” said Loren Hill, president of the High Point Economic Development Corporation.
“Separately, we are great communities. Together, we are a region with the assets, culture, resources and quality of life that is a perfect match for Amazon,” concluded Stan Kelly, Piedmont Triad Partnership president and CEO.