A television shopping network that reaches roughly 80 million households has chosen Cedar Park as the location for its new national headquarters, and may become the fast-growing suburb’s largest employer should it reach a planned 1,000 jobs by 2033.
Shop LC Global Inc. — currently based in Austin and a subsidiary of India-based Vaibhav Global Ltd. — on Nov. 18 was unanimously approved by Cedar Park City Council for a $5.4 million economic development performance agreement to aid with the relocation.
The company plans to build a facility of at least 200,000 square feet, with an expected $50 million capital investment, on a former winery site near East Hope Drive and North Bell Boulevard. Construction is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2024. It will house the company’s communications team, with its television studios, as well as its distribution and sales teams.
“Cedar Park is a beautiful and vibrant city with great schools and a strong community, making it the perfect choice for us to build our permanent home where our company, employees, and their families can thrive,” Shop LC North American President Amit Agarwal said in a statement.
Ben White, Cedar Park’s economic development director, said during the Nov. 18 meeting that they were looking to move from their current headquarters, which they lease in North Austin near the border with Round Rock, because “they have run out of space.”
“They’ve been running out of space for 3-5 years,” he said. “They looked at Round Rock for their initial expansion, they looked at Pflugerville, they looked at Georgetown, they looked at Cedar Park, they looked at northern Austin. When they did look at communities, we did reach out to Round Rock and let them know that they were looking at us and they were well aware of that. They were very open and transparent with Round Rock.”
The performance-based incentives agreement — codenamed in city documents as Project August and recommended on Nov. 15 by the city’s Economic Development (Type A) Sales Tax Corporation — will provide a slew of benefits, including grants of $45,000 per job, or $4.5 million total; up to $150,000 in reimbursements for public infrastructure improvements; property tax rebates of an estimated $750,000 over 10 years; and one-year membership to the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce.
That is contingent upon the company providing 1,000 jobs over 10 years, with a total payroll of $75.7 million, an average salary of more than $70,000, according to city documents. Property tax rebates start at 75% in 2023 and drop incrementally to 50% by year 10. Additionally more than 100 indirect jobs are projected as a result of the development.
“We welcome the world-class company Shop LC’s relocation of its headquarters to Cedar Park,” Cedar Park Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale said in a statement. “They will be our largest employer, with 1,000 high-quality jobs. Shop LC will be investing significant capital in our community and providing primary job opportunities for our residents. This perfectly aligns with our City Council’s strategic goal of economic vitality.”
Launched in 2007 as The Jewelry Channel, the company later changed its name to the Liquidation Channel and, in 2017, Shop LC. The network reaches 80 million households a day and has a base of half a million customers, selling everything from gemstones to beauty supplies to household goods, Agarwal said during the Nov. 15 meeting. He said the company is experiencing 25-28% growth per year, with a 51% customer retention rate. Shop LC currently gets 40% of its customers online and expects that to grow to 60% within the next few years.
The company also participates in many community initiatives, including providing a meal to hungry children with every purchase through the Your Purchase Feeds Program, and has a goal to provide 1 million meals by a day within a few years. That community involvement was key to Cedar Park’s interest, according to White.
“One of the things I love about this company is their commitment to giving back,” White said during the Nov. 15 meeting. “They give back to people in India and give back to people in their local community that they operate in. That is tremendous.”
It’s another injection of jobs and commercial space for Cedar Park, which is about 16 miles northwest of Austin. Cedar Park had 77,595 residents in 2020, up from 48,937 in 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
That growth has attracted a slew of corporate relocations and expansions, including baseball and softball scouting company Perfect Game Inc., which is expected to add 40 jobs at an office and sport field facility at Ronald Reagan Boulevard and East New Hope Drive; Hyliion Holdings Corp., a trucking technology company plans to grow to its headcount to 500 as part of a headquarters expansion; Firefly Aerospace Inc., which recently launched its first rocket and plans to add nearly 700 jobs by 2020; and direct-to-garment printing company 240 Tech LLC, which will add 35 jobs by 2025.
The current largest employers in Cedar Park are the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center with 600 jobs, CoreSlab Structure, a pre-cast concrete manufacturer with 340 jobs; and ETS-Lindgren (EMS Test Systems), an electromagnetic and acoustic energy systems manufacturer with 315 jobs, according to the Cedar Park Economic Development Corp.
“They would be our top employer if they opened up today. We’re very excited to knock the hospital out of that top spot,” White joked on Nov. 15. “We’d love to have Shop LC to open up tomorrow if they could, but they’ve got to go through some construction first.”
Asked again during the Nov. 18 meeting if Shop LC would be the city’s largest employer, White said yes, then continued, “For now.”
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