New Amazon fulfillment center in Haslet is open for business

Posted Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Amazon employee Jill Demuth on Wednesday shipped the first item — a $129.95 night-vision hunter’s camera — from the online behemoth’s new fulfillment center in Haslet, one of three facilities in Texas that opened as part of a deal to resolve a $269 million sales tax dispute with the state comptroller’s office.

The Bushnell 8-megapixel Trophy Cam Bone Collector Trail Camera is making its way to an Internet shopper in Nebraska.

The other fulfillment centers, in Coppell and in Schertz, northeast of San Antonio, will ship large items like TVs and mattresses, whereas the Haslet center will specialize in smaller products like books, bottles of vitamins and cameras, Kelly Cheeseman of Amazon said.

As part of the 2012 deal, Amazon finally agreed to pay Texas sales tax as well as create 2,500 jobs in the state and invest at least $200 million over four years. It has hired 200 full-time employees in Haslet, 400 in Coppell and 200 in Schertz.

Without giving us specifics, Amazon said median pay at the centers is 30 percent higher than at area retail stores, not including stock grants to full-time employees. It also provides healthcare, 401(k) savings programs and up to 95 percent of tuition costs for those desiring to continue their education, Cheeseman added.

Enchiladas Olé comes to JPS

Don’t like hospital food? Things are changing Friday.

Enchiladas Olé, a manufacturer of sauces and operator of a restaurant on North Sylvania Avenue in Fort Worth, will be serving up its tortilla-wrapped specialties at an express window in the cafeteria at the JPS main campus, competing with the hospital’s main kitchen and a small McDonald’s.

JPS spokeswoman Diana Carroll said patients, staff and the public can sample the victuals, part of the county hospital’s new community-based food services program. Enchiladas Olé’s dynamic owner, Mary Perez, has a one-year slot in the program, which rotates local vendors.

Each pays a flat fee and a percentage of gross profits, Carroll said. “We have asked the vendors to ensure their menus offer healthy fare in addition to their standard menu options,” she said.

Perez not only had to quadruple her food purchases to supply anticipated demand, but also hired and trained eight new employees to handle what she hopes is a crush of 500 to 800 customers a day. Aside from her smoked chicken and brisket enchiladas, she will offer cold chicken and beef wraps, and family-size hot enchilada dinners to take home.

“We’re very excited,” Perez told us. “It’s a great opportunity for a startup, a big deal for us. and a whole lot more responsibility and costs.”

Penney spinoffs close

The discount stores spun off by J.C. Penney two years ago, and renamed JC’s 5 Star Outlet, are closing, including an outlet at Grapevine Mills, owner SB Acquisition announced.

While they were independent of the Plano-based retailer, JC’s 5 Star still sold some Penney overstock merchandise, The Associated Press reported. The discounter was run by Glen Gammons, a 40-year Penney veteran.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

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