Rocky Brands is seeking to fill roughly 40 jobs at its new distribution center east of Reno in McCarran.
Rocky Brands, a footwear and apparel company headquartered in Nelsonville, Ohio, recently expanded operations to Northern Nevada by opening a distribution center on 425 E. Sydney Drive in McCarran, east of Reno-Sparks.
The 350,000-square-foot center opened in October and is looking to get its online portal fully functional by the end of February, Rocky Brands President of Operations Richard Simms told the NNBW earlier this month.
Simms said the company chose Northern Nevada for its Western expansion because it provides a nice geographic balance to its Ohio operations.
“It will allow us to more efficiently service customers in all regions of the country,” Simms said. “We also loved what the Reno area had to offer regarding quality of life for our team members.”
Rocky Brands has so far invested $6 million in the new facility, Simms said, a number that figures to grow as it hires more staff for its operations.
The expansion is the latest development in a recent spate of fast growth for Rocky Brands, which was founded in 1932 as a family-owned manufacturer and is the parent company of Rocky, Georgia Boot and Durango footwear.
In spring 2021, the company acquired The Original Muck Boot Company, XTRATUF, Servus, NEOS and Ranger brands from Honeywell Inc. in a roughly $230 million deal.
Then in September 2021, Rocky Brands announced plans to invest over $1,135,000 in additional machinery and equipment, creating 60 new jobs, at its original distribution center in Logan, Ohio.
Thanks in part to the Honeywell acquisition, third quarter net sales for Rocky Brands increased 61.4 percent to $125.5 million compared with $77.8 million in the third quarter of 2020, according to the company’s Q3 earnings report released in November
Additionally, wholesale sales for the third quarter increased 70.3% to $96 million compared to $56.3 million, and retail sales increased 35.3% to $21.8 million compared to $16.1 million.
Despite revenue growth, supply chain issues amid the pandemic led to delivery challenges for the company last year leading into the holiday season.
“We encountered unanticipated fulfillment challenges that are temporarily hindering our ability to deliver a portion of orders on time,” Jason Brooks, company CEO, said in a Nov. 2 statement about quarterly earnings.
Considering the Honeywell acquisition nearly doubled the size of Rocky Brands’ existing business, opening the Northern Nevada distribution center “was required to meet the operational demands,” Simms said in January, though he added the expansion was not without challenges.
“When we arrived, we took over an empty structure. We had to start from scratch to build up a functional operation that would be fully networked into our systems,” Simms said when asked about challenges opening the Northern Nevada warehouse. “Given the current supply chain issues, it was not easy to obtain the hardware or racking we needed, but our teams got creative, and we are now operational.
“Our biggest remaining challenge is operating without some of the critical components that enable the distribution center to efficiently process and move materials.”
To that end, the company was seeking to fill roughly 40 jobs — a third of which are processor operator positions — as of mid-January, with starting wages between $20-$24 per hour, Simms said.