FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County felt like home for Drew Munster.
While touring locations for his company, Sports Warehouse, a global retail supplier of sports and outdoor equipment, he decided metro Atlanta was where he wanted to plant his new East Coast e-commerce fulfillment and distribution center.
“We came out here and looked around at different buildings in different parts of Atlanta,” he said at a press conference Feb. 28. “We came up here and it felt a little more like home than some of the other places we went to. It feels like we could build a nice successful business here.”
The center will create more than 300 jobs, be worth more than $14 million in investment and will occupy a 117,000 square foot facility at 1295 Bluegrass Lakes Parkway off McFarland Parkway.
The center will focus on shipping and customer service and is expected to be operational by July 2017.
Sports Warehouse is the parent company of Tennis Warehouse, Running Warehouse, Tackle Warehouse, Skate Warehouse, Inline Warehouse, Ice Warehouse, Derby Warehouse, Riding Warehouse, Art’s Cyclery, Racquetball Warehouse and Total Pickleball.
Since Atlanta is known for the Atlanta Track Club and the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association, the area initially attracted him.
Additionally, since Lake Lanier is in Forsyth, Munster said he was interested in the location for the Tackle Warehouse arm of the company.
“Obviously there is a huge demand here,” he said. “Right now (Tackle Warehouse is) just trying to keep up with the demand, so they’d be the next step. We’ll be looking to bring it into the area, but that’s a little ways out.”
A lot of the company’s suppliers and customers are located on the East Coast, which made Georgia a great option, he said.
“We looked at a map of where our customers are,” Munster said. “We started to see more in the Northeast and Atlanta. We zoomed in on the Alpharetta area as it fits our demographic. It came down to a couple of locations in Gwinnett and Forsyth counties. But Forsyth felt more like home.”
All of the companies are headquartered in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Both Tennis Warehouse and Running Warehouse have an international presence in Germany and Australia. The company also struggled with the time zone difference between the East and West Coasts.
“It made more sense to be here rather than lugging the items to California just to be sent back,” Munster said. “This is an interesting opportunity for us.”
The company is looking to grow in Georgia. In California the business is leasing a few different buildings and owns a few more. But still, the company is going to keep its headquarters in California.
“We’re hoping that as we can lighten the load in our main building in California, we can do some consolidation there,” Munster said. “We want to grow here in Georgia. As we figure it out and get more success we will go off of that.”