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Originally published February 9, 2012 at 6:07 PM | Page modified February 9, 2012 at 9:30 PM

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Zumiez's online-order center off to Kansas; 35 Everett jobs cut

The youth-oriented clothing chain will move its e-commerce order-fulfillment operations from its Everett headquarters to Edwardsville, Kan., in May

Seattle Times business reporter

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Hoping to speed up the delivery of its online orders, Everett-based retailer Zumiez said Thursday it's moving its e-commerce operations about 1,900 miles east to Edwardsville, Kan.

Zumiez, which now fills online orders at its Everett headquarters, said the move will occur in May, affecting 35 local employees, plus another 35 from an outside staffing agency.

The move is expected to help the company accommodate a growing number of online orders and to get products to customers more quickly, Zumiez said.

The youth-oriented clothing chain operates more than 430 stores in 38 states, including along the East Coast, as well as 10 new stores in Canada.

E-commerce represents one of the fastest-growing parts of its business, accounting for 6.4 percent of sales in the third quarter, up from 4.4 percent a year earlier.

"When we ship products from Everett to the East Coast, it can take up to seven days," Chief Financial Officer Marc Stolzman said in an interview Thursday. "In Kansas, we'll be able to reach all of our customers in the continental U.S. within three days."

Zumiez said its 35 affected employees learned about the move Thursday, and they were offered an opportunity to relocate to Kansas or to accept severance packages.

Stolzman said Zumiez will lease 95,000 square feet of distribution space to start in Kansas, with an option for an additional 58,000 square feet after the first year.

The move follows two other major real-estate announcements by Zumiez in as many years. Last March, the company announced plans to move to a new headquarters building near Alderwood mall in Lynnwood; move-in is set for late June.

In 2010, Zumiez decided to move its distribution operations for stores from Everett to Corona, Calif., affecting 170 local employees.

Zumiez last week reported sales at stores open more than a year grew 10.8 percent in January, outpacing the overall retail industry. Total monthly sales increased 19.2 percent from a year ago to $31.8 million.

The company's stock closed up 45 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $29.86 Thursday. Shares have traded between $15.85 and $32.49 in the past 52 weeks.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com

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