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Summer Classics acquires big new HQ, distribution center

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Outdoor furniture producer Summer Classics has purchased a 429,000-square-foot building here for its new headquarters and distribution center.

The company also said it expects to add jobs because of an increase in sales.

With the purchase of the Moore-Handley Building, one of the largest buildings in the Birmingham metro area, Summer Classics will be operating out of four buildings in the area with combined square footage of more than 800,000 square feet.

After the Pelham, Ala., City Council approved and acquired the 32 acres consisting of the former Moore-Handley site and an adjacent parcel, the city sold the building and 18.45 acres to Summer Classics, which will receive some support from the city of Pelham and the Shelby County Economic Development Authority for improvements including showroom construction, and renovations to the building and grounds.

"This has been a very complex process that we have all had to work through together," said Rick Hayes, City Council president. "We are looking forward to the opportunities that this will bring. It is an exciting day for the City of Pelham and Summer Classics."

Summer Classics said it will move 168 employees to the new location and expects to increase employment. The company said it sales in July were up 50% from the same month last year, and for the year to date are up 20% from 2012.

"Consolidating our operations will dramatically improve our efficiency," said Bill Kelner, vice president of operations.

"We have big plans to beautify the grounds and make the property exude the high-end appeal of the Summer Classics brand," said Bew White, the company's owner.

Summer Classics Inc. owns and operates Summer Classics, a wholesale outdoor furniture company with over 300 retailers; Gabby, which wholesales transitional furniture and décor to the design and retail trade; Parker James, a private-label outdoor furniture source for large retailers; Summer Classics Contract, catering to the hospitality and contract industry; and Summer Classics Home, a chain of 10 outdoor furniture stores.

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