Outdoors, incentives, growth leads Backcountry.com to build new fulfillment center in Virginia

Backcountry.com is expanding with a second fulfillment center. SNEWS finds out why Virgina marked the spot for the online retailer's new East Coast location, and if any changes are ahead in Utah.

Online outdoor retailer Backcountry.com has signed a deal to build a new fulfillment center in Christiansburg, Va.

The new location, expected to open in July 2012, will handle the Utah-based company’s East Coast distribution operations, while its existing location in West Valley City, Utah, will remain there to deal with West Coast business.

After 14 years with a single fulfillment center in Utah, the company’s growth and its desire to faster fulfill East Coast orders led to the decision to expand, Backcountry.com vice president of fulfillment Jeff Carter told SNEWS®. He said the new center is projected to employ about 200 people within about a year and a half after opening. In the meantime, seasonal workers are being hired to handle the holiday rush in Utah for this year.

No full-time Backcountry.com employees are expected to lose their jobs in Utah once the East Coast center opens, although a few have expressed interest in relocating out east, Carter said.

Christiansburg attracted the company for several reasons, Carter said. Officials had also considered locations in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

“Virginia is a great state for business, and with its location we can hit the entire East Coast with two-day ground shipping,” Carter said. In addition, UPS and Fed-Ex said they had extra capacity at their Roanoke, Va. facilities, where shipments are handled for the area, about 30 miles northeast from Christiansburg on Interstate 81. “Our strategy in Utah is that we ship until 11 p.m., and we plan to do the same on the East Coast,” Carter said.

Economic incentives also helped. The state approved a $300,000 grant from the Virginia Governor’s Opportunity Fund, dependent on Backcountry.com meeting several economic and employment goals. Plus, the Virginia Jobs Investment Program and the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining activities.

Montgomery County, where Christiansburg is located, will allow Backcountry.com to construct its building on 40 acres of land the county owns in Falling Branch Corporate Park. The company’s capital investment of the new building and equipment is estimated at $20 million, officials said.

The outdoors also played a role. The area borders the Appalachian Trail, and it's where “outdoor sports are part of the lifestyle, and that’s important to us,” said Backcountry.com CEO Jill Layfield in a statement. “Virginia is for gear lovers.”

Backcountry.com officials said the new East Coast fulfillment center will be approximately as big as its existing center in Utah. The company recently increased that West Valley City fulfillment center at 2670 S. 3200 West from 200,000 to 325,000 square feet this summer, consolidating another smaller center it had in Salt Lake City.

Backcountry.com is a subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corp. (Nasdaq:LINTA).

-- David Clucas


Backcountry.com To Build New Fulfillment Center in Virginia

PARK CITY, Utah (Oct. 11, 2011) – Virginia is for (gear) lovers. That’s what specialty online retailer of premium outdoor gear,Backcountry.com, is banking on as it settles in below the Mason-Dixon line and breaks ground on its new East Coast fulfillment center. “We started small ...read more


Outdoor Real Estate: Arc’teryx, Timberland, Ibex, Marmot, Stio and Lucy all open new brand stores; Backcountry.com debuts distribution out east; and more …

Fall’s here, and that means a business rush to open new stores before the consumer holiday rush. In the outdoor world, the trend of late continues with more brands opening direct-to-consumer stores, but we also saw a few traditional outdoor retailers like Austin Canoe and ...read more

Outdoor financials: Outdoor products lead Q2 sales growth at Jarden, plus Amer Sports, Johnson Outdoors, Garmin, Crocs, Big 5, Quiksilver, Liberty/Backcountry.com, Outdoor Channel

Outdoor products lead Q2 sales growth at Jarden Jarden Corp. (NYSE: JAH), parent of Coleman, K2, Marmot and Volkl, reported second-quarter growth across all segments, led by its outdoor products unit that grew 8.5 percent -- the highest across segments. For the three months ...read more

Backcountry.com declares 2006 to be the year of the customer

When Backcountry.com sent out a press release (click here to read) on April 11, proclaiming continued significant sales increases, talking about new this and that, and then declaring 2006 to be "the year of the customer," SNEWS® naturally got just a bit curious. For a company ...read more


US Ski Team to build speed center at Copper Mountain

As first reported by SNEWS on May 20, 2011, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s proposed speed training center at Copper Mountain Resort is now a lock. On July 20, the USSA announced that it has entered into a long-term partnership with Copper to open a full-length downhill ...read more

Disabled workers fulfill needs of outdoor companies

For the last four years, Horny Toad has put up some impressive numbers. Ninety-eight percent of its deliveries have reached customers on time, and its return rate was less than half a percent. Those are eye-opening statistics -- especially when you consider that Horny Toad's ...read more


Outdoor: Movin' & Shakin' - Igloo names a new president; plus new hires at Backcountry.com, Leisure Trends, Mountain Hardwear, American Rec and more ...

Got any news or tips about somebody, some product or some company doing some moving or shaking? Let us know so we can slip it into our occasional Movin' & Shakin' updates. Just email snewsbox@snewsnet.com. People Igloo Product Corp. (www.igloocoolers.com) has named Jeffrey P. ...read more

Outdoor: Did you hear?...

For the week of Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 >> Bill Bancroft, a well-loved sales rep for Mountain Hardwear working with Barry Schrimsher and the Sherpa Group, as well as for K2 working with Terry Skjersaa, was found dead of an apparent suicide at the age of 50 on Sept. 24. Prior to ...read more

Backcountry.com Donation Keeps the Utah Avalanche Center Open Through

PARK CITY, Utah – On April 3, the Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) announced that it had reached the end of its funding and it would be closing for the season. The problem is, with deep late-season snowpack, the backcountry itself is still open for business. Without their expert ...read more