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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jul. 17, 202008:20 AM EST

Garden products company leases 552,000-square-foot warehouse in North Jacksonville

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Jacksonville-based Margo State Line Inc. sells decorative pebbles and other products online and in big-box retailers.

Jacksonville-based Margo State Line Inc. signed a long-term lease for a 552,000-square-foot warehouse distribution center in Imeson Park in North Jacksonville.

“The growth profile has been great,” said Margo CFO Steve Morrill in an interview July 15.

Margo expects to move in October from 130,000 square feet of space in Alta Lakes Commerce Center, also in North Jacksonville, where it moved two years ago.

The company will move about 7.5 miles to 10501 Cold Storage Road in Imeson Park, which is at northeast North Main Street and Zoo Parkway.

Margo State Line, founded in 2005, imports and sells decorative pebbles, stones and rocks and other products to The Home Depot, Amazon.com, Walmart Inc.,  Lowe’s Companies Inc. and other retailers.

Margo Garden Products sells items like decorative pebbles and fire glass. These Decorative Fire Glass Green Diamonds are $35.75 for a 20-pound bag at HomeDepot.com.

The pebbles are used in landscaping and have become more in demand online and by people who are beautifying and upgrading their homes and lawns, especially as they are quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Margo State Line imports the pebbles in bulk and bags them for distribution.

Morrill said the Imeson Park location is convenient to the port. The rocks are imported from the Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Haiti, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Mexico.

Margo has three robotic machines to bag and palletize the pebbles and will add three more.

Morrill said each represents a cost of  $500,000, which means an investment of at least $1.5 million into equipment.

The warehouse space will be used for the robotics and for storage of raw materials.

Margo also sells pebbled floor tile, pottery, fire glass used in fire pits, and mulch, which was its initial product.

The logo for Margo Garden Products

Margo sells online through Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart.

Morrill said the products have been sold in Home Depot stores and, since early last year, in Lowe’s. Margo will sell in Walmart stores starting at year-end.

A key reason for the move is the growth in e-commerce and expansion of Lowe’s and Walmart sales, Morrill said.

The company’s e-commerce monthly sales of $1.5 million are double the year before. He declined to provide total sales.

Morrill said the company has maintained a Jacksonville presence since 2006 when it moved from Folkston, Georgia, for additional warehouse space and closer proximity to the port. 

Its mulch production remains in Folkston.

Morrill expects a sales increase of 70% this year. Sales rose 38% last year and 40% in 2018.

Online sales are 25% of total sales and have tripled the past two years.

Margo State Line employs 75 people, with 25 in Folkston and 50 in Jacksonville. Morrill said that will increase slightly.

Morrill said Margo signed a seven-year lease.

Margogardenproducts.com says the company has “witnessed the incredible evolution of the home and garden industry since our business launched in 1981, and we are honored to be part of that growth.

“The world’s leading Big Box Retailers have relied on us as their lawn and garden products supplier to keep their shelves amply stocked, so their customers can purchase what they want when they want it.”

Its trade name is Margo Garden Products. Margo is the name of founder Michael Spector’s wife.

VanTrust Real Estate LLC is developing Imeson Park. Executive Vice President John Carey said the speculative building was completed in December.

The lease means VanTrust hopes to start development on another building after design and permitting, Carey said.

JLL Executive Vice President Luke Pope and associate Ross Crabtree represented Margo State Line and VanTrust in the negotiations.


 

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