COOKEVILLE – Academy Sports + Outdoors opened its newest distribution center Tuesday, and the Cookeville operation will support the company’s network of stores throughout the Midwest along with a growing e-commerce business, officials said.
Executives with the Katy, Texas-based company – along with Gov. Bill Haslam and other state and local officials – gathered at the 1.6 million square foot facility to celebrate the occasion. The distribution center is Academy’s third; it will bring approximately 700 new jobs to the area over a five-year period.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for Academy Sports + Outdoors. Bringing this distribution facility online is a tremendous accomplishment that is the result of many years of hard work, dedication and planning by countless Academy team members, along with the many city, county, state and other local officials,” Academy Sports + Outdoors president and CEO J.K. Symancyk said. “We are looking forward to serving this community, our stores and our customers in this region for many years to come.”
Academy announced in August 2014 its plans for the state-of-the-art plant, which is located on 257.38 total acres just outside the Highlands Business Park along Interstate 40 on the west side of Cookeville. It’s considered one of the region’s most significant economic development wins and is the largest distribution facility in Tennessee under one roof – an accomplishment that should be considered “a badge of honor,” Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton said.
“I can’t tell you what a big deal it is to us that you chose Tennessee,” Haslam said. “Academy is a world-class brand that can choose to do business anywhere. It says a great deal about our business climate that they are creating jobs here.”
Symancyk said Tuesday that Academy is “well underway” meeting its hiring targets. At the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber annual meeting in February, officials said they had already added 324 team members from seven Upper Cumberland counties, about 60 percent who hail from Cookeville/Putnam. More than a dozen employees are Tennessee Tech alumni. More jobs are available; individuals interested can visit www.academy.com/careers to apply.
Academy Sports + Outdoors is considered a low price leader on products like casual and athletic footwear and apparel; golf; field & stream and camping; patio, barbecue, recreation and leisure; and sports and fitness equipment and gear. The company is headquartered in Katy, with a distribution facility there as well as a second distribution center in Jeffersonville, Georgia.
Overall, Academy has 210 stores in 15 states. It currently operates 11 stores in Tennessee. It’s also planning a store in the proposed Shoppes at Eagle Pointe development along Interstate Drive in Cookeville, according to site plans.