Smith & Wesson‘s parent company American Outdoor Brands Corp. have announced that they plan to close the firearms manufacturer’s distribution centre in Springfield, Massachusetts. Smith & Wesson’s warehouse and distribution operation will be moved to a new facility in Missouri.
The move to the new $75 million Logistics & Customer Services facility in Missouri will be completed this year with American Outdoor Brands Corp.’s CEO, James Debney, saying the “633,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility will serve as our centralized logistics, warehousing, and distribution operation for all of our products, facilitating our growth, enhancing our efficiencies, and allowing us to better serve customers across our entire organization.” American Outdoor Brands Corp. already has a smaller distribution centre, which employed 175 people, in Missouri which will also close once the new site is up and running.
Debney explained that the “ramp-up of initial operations at our new Logistics & Customer Services facility in Missouri is well underway and on track,” and that the cost savings and efficiencies of the consolidation at the new facility will be a positive for Smith & Wesson. 20 to 30 employees at the current Springfield are expected to make the move to Columbia, Missouri and Elizabeth A. Sharp, the corporation’s vice president of investor relations does “not expect any job loss in conjunction with the transition.” 154 new jobs will be created with a total of 328 staff expected to be employed eventually.
The new logistics hub will also ship products from other American Outdoor Brands Corp. businesses. The county the new hub will be based in, has granted a 50% property tax break over the next 10 years and production will continue to be based at Smith & Wesson’s Springfield factory. Sharp said:
“The benefit occurs to us at the Logistics facility, since it will now have nexus with our customers, and it will be less impacted by taxes when those products (upon which Smith & Wesson has already paid taxes in Massachusetts) are then sent to higher tax-rate states.”
The planned move to the new distribution centre has been in the works for a number of years, announced in 2017, Eric Greitens, the then-governor of the state, said in a social media video “Missouri has always been a great Second Amendment state, a wonderful state for people who love firearms and treasure their Second Amendment rights… to be able to welcome Smith & Wesson here to the state of Missouri is just a great victory.”