A wholesale distributor of perfume and other beauty products wants to expand in Melville, spending $30 million to purchase and raise the roof on a warehouse, officials said.
Perfume Worldwide Inc. hopes to buy 135 Spagnoli Rd., which it has been renting since May 2019. The expansion would add 50 people to the company’s workforce of 68 in Melville and 357 in Ronkonkoma.
Perfume Worldwide has received preliminary approval from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency for $2 million in tax breaks. Much of the savings would be derived from a reduction in property taxes over 15 years: $1.1 million, or a 29% savings.
Perfume Worldwide CEO and co-owner Piyush Golia said purchasing the 119,000-square-foot warehouse in Melville and raising the 22-foot roof to 40 feet would accommodate increased sales. The company fills customer orders for Bloomingdale’s, CVS, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora, Walmart and other major retailers as well as supplies goods to small businesses and salons.
Perfume Worldwide, which doesn't sell directly to consumers, has seen its revenue grow from $10 million in 2010 to $200 million in 2019, according to Golia.
Without IDA aid, he said, the company would be forced to combine its Melville and Ronkonkoma warehouses in a bigger facility in another state, possibly New Jersey or North Carolina.
"I’m a Long Island boy…I’d like to stay here to be close to family and friends," he told the IDA board last month. "But if the [tax] incentives aren’t approved, we would have to consider moving elsewhere to be able to justify the [$30 million] investment we would be making."
Perfume Worldwide employees earn, on average, $46,664 per year, records show.
Since May 2017, the company has contested the allegations of five former employees that they and at least 300 others are owed overtime pay, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. About 80 of the affected workers met the deadline set by a federal judge to apply for back pay, company attorney Jacques Catafago said.
Both he and the ex-employees’ attorney, Steven J. Moser, said the parties have reached a settlement, though it hasn’t been approved by the judge for more than a year. Catafago said Perfume Worldwide denies breaking federal wage laws because it was advised not to pay for the 20-minute work breaks at the Ronkonkoma facility.
The overtime suit wasn’t disclosed to the IDA before it granted preliminary approval for tax incentives. Agency officials became aware of the suit from Newsday and Perfume Worldwide's real estate attorney has since provided a written explanation.
Besides brand-name perfume, the company sells hair and skin care products, health care products and candles. It plans to add food, coffee and paper products.
Perfume Worldwide started 11 years ago with three employees, an offshoot of Perfume Center of America, which is owned by Golia’s father.
The two companies share a 220,000-square-foot facility at 2020 Ocean Ave. in Ronkonkoma, where Perfume Worldwide received a sales-tax exemption from the Islip Town IDA to purchase equipment. Perfume Worldwide will continue to use the Ronkonkoma warehouse after improvements are completed on the Melville warehouse, which is across the street from the Long Island Hilton hotel, according to its application for Suffolk IDA aid.
Andrew D. Presberg, the company's real estate attorney, said it must move quickly to exercise the option to buy the Melville warehouse. The owner, Supriya LLC in Woodbury, "will not extend our lease beyond May 2022 and will sell the building to a third party should Perfume Worldwide not exercise this option" to buy the building by May, the lawyer said.