Ariat International, a footwear, apparel and accessories brand designed for equestrian sports and other outdoor activities, on Sept. 16 announced that it will open a new 1 million square foot regional distribution center in the AllianceTexas corridor in Fort Worth this fall.
Union City, California-based Ariat International plans to bring 75 corporate jobs and 375 indirect jobs to an 800,000-square foot facility at State Highway 156, just north of the BNSF intermodal site. The 75 corporate jobs would be onsite by December 2021. The city will consider an incentive proposal of about $2 million with the company making a $73 million capital investment in the area.
The company has been working with the City of Fort Worth, Denton County and the State of Texas to bring a diverse range of new jobs to the local community and enable Ariat to better serve its many customers in the Southwest United States.
“It is a privilege to join the thriving community of Fort Worth and to be so close to many of our regional retail partners,” said Beth Cross, co-founder and CEO of Ariat. “This new distribution center will create growth opportunities that will enable us to better serve our loyal customers and local retail partners. We are grateful for the support and collaborative efforts from the local community in Fort Worth as we’ve finalized the project.”
The city provided incentives worth about $2 million. To earn the incentive, Ariat agrees to create 450 full time jobs, 74 corporate office positions and 375 indirect jobs through a third-party provider. In addition to the 75 corporate jobs, Fort Worth Economic Development Director Robert Sturns told the Fort Worth Council earlier that Ariat will add 125 jobs each year over three years with average salaries of around $44,000.
“Fort Worth continues to establish itself as a distribution and logistics hub,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “Our western heritage combined with our innovative community and talented workforce is a great match for Ariat and its growing business.”
Ariat caters to a group Fort Worth knows a lot about: horseback riders. The company sells boots that range from $60 to more than $500, along with denim and other riding wear. In recent years, Ariat has expanded its technological expertise to provide high quality performance work boots and workwear for all types of industries, including flame resistant clothing for the energy industry. The company has deep-rooted partnerships with top western athletes in the local community, including sponsorships with 25-time World Champion Trevor Brazile, 19-time World Champion Jackie Hobbs-Crawford as well as Country Music Artist and Burleson native, Casey Donahew. For years, Ariat has also worked closely with local businesses including Cavender’s, Boot Barn, Atwoods, NRS, and hundreds of other independent and national retailers.
“Denton County also welcomed the announcement of Ariat International’s distribution center as it will bring additional high-paying jobs to our region,” said Denton County Precinct 4 Commissioner Dianne Edmondson. “We are also excited to see a company of this caliber come to our county, which under our leadership has created such an attractive business environment.”
Denton County Judge Andy Eads agreed: “Our mission continues to be to attract major companies to our market, which provides the perfect blend of transportation services from the Fort Worth Alliance Airport to the BNSF Railway Company Intermodal Facility. “Ariat International adds to a diverse group of companies locating here,” he said. “Welcome to Denton County.”
“Ryan is proud to have led the site selection effort for Ariat. As the company completes its one-year search for a new location to grow and thrive, this is an exciting announcement for Texas during an unprecedented time. Despite today’s challenges, growth and job creation are still possible when communities, like Fort Worth, value public/private partnerships.” said Ryan Principal and Practice Leader of Site Selection and Business Incentives, Sharon Welhouse. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ariat in the future.”
“The Texas model of low taxes, reasonable regulations, and workforce investment continues to attract exceptional companies like Ariat that will ensure the Lone Star State remains a global economic powerhouse,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “Texas has a long and storied tradition of ranching, farming, and equestrian sports, and we are proud to build upon that legacy by welcoming Ariat to Fort Worth. Like Texas, Ariat is committed to innovation and excellence, and I look forward to working together to bring more jobs and greater economic prosperity to Fort Worth and the entire state of Texas.”
The Ariat deal comes on the boot heels of some other good economic development news for the city. On Tuesday, Wesco Aircraft unveiled plans to relocate its headquarters from Valencia, California to Fort Worth in two phases starting in 2021.