Wrigley Plans To Open South Florida Office
Written by Samantha Joseph on February 26, 2004
By Samantha Joseph
Chewing-gum giant Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. says it wants to create a regional hub in Miami-Dade County for Latin American and Caribbean sales and marketing.
Christopher Perille, the company’s senior director of communications, said the Chicago company is looking at office space throughout the county, including in Coral Gables.
Wrigley reported $3 billion in sales last year. It makes brands such as Juicy Fruit, Big Red and Freedent. The company is also known as the former owner of the Chicago Cubs and the historic Wrigley Field.
Wrigley has about 10 home-based employees in Miami who would relocate to a new regional headquarters here.
"It’s going to be a small office in terms of square-footage and people," Mr. Perille said.
South Florida economist Tony Villamil said Wrigley’s interest supports Florida’s pitch as a springboard to regional markets even if it won’t add many new jobs.
"This comes on the heels of Kraft Latin America," said Mr. Villamil, director of the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economics and CEO of Washington Economics Group. Kraft announced in December that it would move its Latin and Caribbean operations here and create 97 jobs.
"We are solidifying our position as the headquarters for Latin America and the Caribbean," Mr. Villamil said.
According to the state’s economic development agency, Enterprise Florida, Florida is home to 300 regional headquarters and does $11 billion in annual trade with Central America.
"It’s excellent news," said Mr. Villamil, who just returned from a trade trip led by Gov. Jeb Bush to promote Miami’s bid to host the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. "This trend is going to accelerate. Our brand positioning as the gateway to the Americas will increase sharply."