BLOOMINGTON, MN (BRAIN)—Quality Bicycle Products announced plans on Monday to expand west by opening a second distribution center in Utah.
QBP expects to pinpoint the exact location within the state later this week.
QBP has been considering a western facility for more than five years in response to customer need for two-day ground shipping in the western region, concerns about rising fuel costs and the environmental impact of airfreight, said Jo Wright, marketing director for QBP.
When the new facility opens in early 2010, QBP will be able to provide ground shipping in two days or less to most states in its western region including Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington. Bike dealers will receive rapid deliveries without the added expense or pollution generated by air shipping. The new location is part of the company’s broader strategy to provide two-day ground shipping to all its customers in the continental U.S.
Like QBP’s headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Utah distribution center will be designed according to the standards of the U.S. Green Council’s Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design (LEED).
“As with our Minnesota facility, our goal is to lower operational and environmental costs and share these benefits with our customers,” said Steve Flagg, QBP founder and president. “Our investment in a LEED-certified structure is already generating significant financial and environmental returns.”
QBP has tapped Don Muske to be general manager of the new operation. Muske, who served as QBP’s distribution center manager-in-training, was operations manager for World Cycling Productions before coming to QBP last year.
“With his extensive background in operations and sales, Don has been one of the key managers in our outbound area this past season,” said Kim Brown, QBP director of distribution. “He’s also an avid cyclist and advocate for the industry. Don is truly one of our stars. We are confident he will have the operation running at peak efficiency in record time.”
Initially, the new distribution center will employ 70 people and will handle 7,500 SKUs, with the capacity to rapidly add more. QBP is investing heavily in an advanced computer network to seamlessly integrate traffic between its two facilities.
The center, which will be built on leased land, will start at 100,00 square feet, but QBP plans to eventually double the size and add another 100,000 feet of office space, Wright said.
The company’s expansion comes at a time when the bike industry is experiencing record levels of success. According to a survey conducted by Bikes Belong, retailers in 40 states reported a significant increase in sales of bikes, accessories and services during 2008.
“The original western pioneers saw a lot of promise out on the horizon and so do we,” Flagg said. “There’s a real environmental consciousness taking root in this country and bicycles are a large part of that. We see this reflected in the sales of all our products. This is a very exciting time to be part of the bike industry.”