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Dick's to spend $100M on distribution center in New York

| Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 4:51 p.m.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Dicks Sporting Goods store in Cranberry appears in this photo taken Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. The company announced Tuesday, July 19, 2016, will spend $100 million to build a distribution facility in New York State to supply hundreds of stores throughout the Northeast.

Dick's Sporting Goods will spend $100 million to build a distribution facility in New York state to supply hundreds of stores throughout the Northeast.

The Findlay-based sporting goods retailer announced the project Tuesday, with CEO Ed Stack saying it deepens the company's roots in the region where Dick's began as a bait-and-tackle shop.

The company ultimately chose to build the facility in Conklin, N.Y., because of the economic opportunities posed by the location, including state and county subsidies. Conklin is in the Binghamton area close to New York's border with northeastern Pennsylvania.

“We started the company here and ultimately chose Conklin for the business-friendly environment, the quality and reliability of the workforce and the opportunity to bring jobs to our hometown,” Chairman and CEO Edward Stack said in a news release.

Dick's received New York state tax credits and other financial incentives worth up to $12 million, according to New York state economic development officials. Dick's wouldn't comment on whether the company considered locating the facility in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania state economic development officials didn't immediately respond to questions about whether they received overtures from the company.

The distribution center will be the size of 11 football fields and supply more than 200 Dick's stores throughout the Northeast. It comes at a time of expansion for Dick's as the retailer looks to extend its dominant position in the sporting goods retail industry after the collapse of its rival Sports Authority Holdings Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in March.

Last month, Dick's won an auction for the right to take over 31 store leases from Sports Authority as well as the Colorado company's brand.

Stack said 2017 is shaping up to be a good year for Dick's as it picks up market share from the Sports Authority closings and brings its website management in-house, reducing costs.

Distribution centers are becoming increasingly important to companies as they ship more product ordered online. Online commerce accounted for 9.2 percent of Dick's sales in the quarter that ended April 30.

The company has other distribution centers in Smithton, Pa., Atlanta, Ga., Plainfield, Ind., and Goodyear, Ariz.

The distribution facility being built in New York is near the junction of several major interstates, including I-81. It will create 466 full-time jobs over the next five years, according to a news release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It is scheduled to be complete by 2018.

“The new Dick's distribution center is proof positive that our strategy of capitalizing on regional assets to attract top-level private investment and leverage job growth is working right here in the Southern Tier,” Cuomo said.

Stack's father and company founder Richard Stack opened his first bait-and-tackle shop in Binghamton in 1948, establishing the template for what would eventually become the nation's largest sporting goods retailer. The company moved its headquarters to the greater Pittsburgh region in 1994 and now has more than 645 Dick's Sporting Goods stores, as well as 90 Golf Galaxy, Field & Stream, True Runner and Chelsea Collective locations.

Chris Fleisher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7854 or cfleisher@tribweb.com.

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