Bender expands into Midwest |

Bender expands into Midwest

Rob Sabo

Bender Group’s lease of 50,296 square feet of warehouse space in Kansas City helps the company establish a foothold in the Midwest to expand its business and allows the Reno third-party logistics firm to service 98 percent of the country with two-day shipping.

The new facility complements Bender’s longtime Reno operations — the company was founded in 1945 — and its 200,000-square-feet Winchester, Va. site. Jared Lindwall, business development manager, says existing clients pushed Bender’s business eastward.

“We had a couple of clients that really drove us in that direction,” Lindwall says. “We have been providing services for them and doing a good job in Reno and Winchester. They had a need in the Midwest to get product to market faster to their Midwest clients and asked us if we were willing to expand in that region.

“With them being coupled together, it made sense for us to establish a foothold in that market.”

Bender President Steve Reid says the expansion was a longtime part of Bender’s growth plans. Bender had looked at taking space in Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago to complement its existing operations. The firm waited until there was business in place to support expansion efforts.

“We are a little conservative, so we would not follow the ‘If-you-build-it-they-will-come method,’” Reid says. “We kept our ear to the ground with our clients that had an interest, and those anchor clients helped us expand.”

The Kansas City operation is the second expansion for Bender in 2013. In July Bender took on an additional 87,000 square feet in Stead and hired 15 people. Bender employs more than 100 in northern Nevada and operates out of 500,000 square feet of distribution space.

The new facility also allows Bender to pursue new business with clients looking for a national distribution network, Reid says. However, much of Bender’s growth is in the direct-to-consumer segment for shoppers purchasing goods online, and the ability to offer two-day shipping nearly anywhere in the country is a competitive advantage, Reid says.

Bender expects to employ 12 at the Kansas City facility, but that number could grow as business expands. Mark Long, senior vice president and principal with Zimmer Real Estate Services, represented Bender in its lease negotiations.