Urban Outfitters, Inc. has selected the Kansas City region for its new 880,000-square-foot omni-channel distribution center, the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) and its partners announced. The facility will be located on ancillary land at the Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County, Kan. The Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters will create up to 2,000 new jobs and approximately $350 million in capital investment in Kansas City, Kan., over the next several years.
The retail leader, founded in 1970, plans to begin construction on the facility this fall, and expects to be operational in early 2022. Urban Outfitters selects the locations of its distribution centers based on a combination of factors that include location, available workforce and transportation infrastructure. The company cited Kansas City’s central location as critical to its distribution network.
“Our priorities in identifying the home for our new omni-channel distribution center focused on people, and it was the quality of the local workforce and the commitment of their representatives in the state that convinced us this is the right place to be,” said Dave Ziel, chief development officer, Urban Outfitters. “This facility will be at the heart of our distribution network, enabling us to support continued digital growth at all our brands and reach our digital customers faster and more efficiently than ever before.”
KCADC reiterated its ongoing focus on new economic development efforts to accelerate the region’s growth and recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Urban Outfitters’ selection of Kansas City is significant, and our region’s central location, robust infrastructure and access to a skilled workforce position the company for continued growth,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “As a company that is socially conscious and has a mission to ‘do better every day,’ the presence of Urban Outfitters will be a strong addition to our business community as we all continue to ensure KC is a welcoming, equitable and collaborative place to live and work.”
In Kansas City, which was just recognized as a Top Midsize City for Future Projects by the Site Selectors Guild (June 2020), distribution projects are up 25% and manufacturing projects are up 21% since 2019. This comes as global supply chains have been rattled by COVID-19.
“We are thrilled that Urban Outfitters has selected Kansas City as the location for this sizable Midwest distribution center,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort, a nonprofit economic development organization focused on recruiting freight-based companies to the 18-county, two-state region. SmartPort is an affiliate of KCADC. “Our region’s available real estate, competitive workforce and ability to deliver speed-to-market makes KC an ideal location for Urban Outfitters and other leading retailers.”
In the past three years, KC SmartPort has helped locate supply chain-related deals surpassing $1.1 billion in capital investment, 4,343 jobs, $174 million in payroll and more than 8.8 million square feet of industrial space. Since the outbreak of the virus, several prominent employers have chosen Kansas City for their next facility, including Dot’s Pretzels, Tuthill Corporation and Chewy, Inc., among others.