Nike has announced plans to open a new distribution center in Marshall County, Mississippi—about 40 miles southwest of Memphis, Tenn.—as a part of its long-term plan to increase North American production and logistics capability.
Last week, Nike spokesperson, Greg Rossiter, informed local reporters of the brand’s plan to open the new facility, saying that Nike’s presence was “growing” there and likely to continue expanding after it closed a Memphis-area facility it had operated for more than three decades in February.
“All of the employees [working in the previous facility] were offered and accepted other opportunities within Nike at the North American Logistics Center or at other facilities in the area,” Rossiter explained, according to Memphis metro business journal, Commercial Appeal. “Given our growth in the region, the new facilities we’re opening are more modern, flexible and capable. There wasn’t a need for the facility any longer.”
Opening in Spring 2020, the new distribution center will result in the creation of 250 new sourcing-based jobs in the region.
“Over time, that is going to further strengthen our distribution capabilities that support our long-term growth in North America,” Rossiter continued. “The facility there is designed to support our needs.”
Nike currently operates six facilities in the Memphis area, according to Commercial Appeal. Additionally, the Memphis Daily News reported in 2015 that Nike had invested more than $300 million in an existing factory in the region and, at the time, employed more than 1,600 in workers—one of the highest concentrations outside of its headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
This move comes on the heels of the saga that followed Nike’s announcement of a new Nike Air manufacturing facility in Arizona, another part of the sportswear giant’s plan to increase production in the United States and North America.
In reaction to the news that Nike had pulled a pair of “Betsy Ross” sneakers prior to the Fourth of July at the behest of Colin Kaepernick, a key endorser for the brand, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey tweeted that Nike would not be receiving any subsidies for the yet-to-be-announced factory.
Eventually, Nike confirmed that it would be continuing construction of the Nike Air facility, though without the subsidies it was offered during initial negotiations.
“The discretionary $1 million Arizona Competes Fund grant offer was withdrawn and has not been reinstated, nor will it be,” Susan E. Marie, the Arizona Commerce Authority’s EVP of Strategy told Sourcing Journal in July. “Nike remains eligible to apply for non-discretionary programs.”
Despite the removal of the discretionary grant, the organization reacted publicly to Nike’s confirmation by remarking that the brand would be joining a “growing cluster” of international brands that have settled in the region due to its top talent and modern infrastructure.