News Article | 6/4/2004

Mattel Celebrates SB Warehouse

San Bernardino County Sun06/04/04

MATTEL CELEBRATES SB WAREHOUSE Merchandise from three Chino sites consolidated at $35M building


Business Editor SAN BERNARDINO – The Mattel Inc. warehouse here will distribute some 20 million boxes in a year.It took 2,000 trucks to move the merchandise out of three warehouses in Chino and into the $35 million building that is the largest in San Bernardino.“We will save a tremendous amount of money,” said Tom Debrowski, executive vice president of Mattel’s world-wide operations, referring to the efficiencies gained by consolidating three warehouses into one. He declined to be specific on the amount saved.Debrowski was one of several key company executives to speak Friday at a grand-opening ceremony for the new distribution facility. The 1.2 million-square-foot building could envelope more than three Houston Astrodomes. The San Bernardino distribution center houses Fisher-Price merchandise and ships those items around the country.In 1993, Mattel acquired Fisher-Price, then an independent toy manufacturer specializing in infant and preschool toys.About 30‚percent of the items in the San Bernardino warehouse come from Mattel plants in Tijuana and Monterrey. Those are large items, which would cost too much to ship from Asia, Debrowski said.Seventy percent of the items are smaller and are from Asia. Mattel makes a little more than 50 percent of its products and outsources the rest, Debrowski said. Mattel was recruited to San Bernardino International Airport by Hillwood Investments, the master developer for much of the property owned by the Inland Valley Development Agency. Hillwood built the building for Mattel, which is located at 1456 Harry Sheppard Blvd. Mattel has a 10-year-lease on the property.Mattel employs 130 year-round and hires about 200 more on a seasonal basis. Starting in August, shipments increase dramatically, peaking in September and November, said Scott Butterbaugh, operations manager in San Bernardino. Trucks leaving San Bernardino contain an average of 54 products, although some may have 100 or more, Butterbaugh said. Mattel forklift operators use radio-frequency tracking technology to locate the items they need to pull for shipment.