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Vera Bradley to grow, add 128 jobs

Statement as distributed Friday by Vera Bradley:

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Aug. 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vera Bradley (Nasdaq:VRA), designer of handbags, gifts, travel items and accessories, is expanding its Roanoke, Indiana campus, creating about 128 new jobs over the next four years.

The company will invest approximately $26.6 million to expand both its current 40,000 square-foot Design Center by 149,000 square feet and its 420,000 square foot Distribution Center by 10,000 square feet. Both locations are located just outside Fort Wayne, Indiana near Interstate 69.

"We are proud to invest in our hometown," said Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder. "Our design center expansion will bring the majority of our Northeast Indiana employees together on one campus and will strengthen collaboration across the company."

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is offering Vera Bradley tax credits, and the company is working with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance on additional incentives.

Of the $26.6 million project cost, about $10 million of the investment is projected in fiscal 2014 and raises the company's previously disclosed fiscal 2014 capital expenditure guidance from approximately $20 million to approximately $30 million for the full fiscal year. It is estimated that the project will be completed in late 2014.

Vera Bradley currently has 1,000 full-time employees in Indiana and about 2,800 employees in total. The company has 79 Vera Bradley Stores and 14 Outlet Stores.

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