Operations under way at Petco’s new DC
Petco christened its new distribution center in the North Valleys with a ribbon cutting ceremony last Wednesday.
The facility will serve as a distribution hub for the pet specialty retailer, connecting to more than 200 Petco locations and its sister company, plus Unleashed by Petco stores in the northwest region of the United States, along with its online store, petco.com.
“This distribution center is an important addition to the Petco family,” Petco’s CEO Jim Myers said at the gathering. “This was a sizable undertaking with a significant investment that required a great deal of planning and execution and I want to thank those who worked so hard to turn this building into the one we are standing in here today.”
The opening of the Reno distribution center is a part of an aggressive growth strategy for Petco. The company opened 50 new retail stores nationwide in 2015 and plans to exceed that number this year.
Petco also partnered with Instacart, a company that powers PetcoNow, a same-day delivery service for customers that can ship any pet product not available at a particular store.
It was the 10th distribution center Petco has developed, but the first that was constructed as a build-to-suit model. Construction began in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Contractors installed some innovative technology, such as voice picking, allowing distribution floor staff to efficiently fulfill orders. Workers wear a wireless headset and listen to voice recognition software, giving instruction to perform daily tasks.
Panattoni Development Company, Inc., served as a consultant on the design and development of the complex, located just off of Red Rock Road. Panattoni’s sister company, Alston Construction served as the general contractor.
The building achieved LEED Silver designation from the United State Green Building Council for its environmentally conscious features.
Paul Kinne, development manager for Panattoni, said the facility uses LED lighting fixtures equipped with technology to harvest sunlight and can then adjust its brightness according to haw much natural light is available from outside. The system also incorporates motion sensors that detect activity on the floor level and can turn off and on accordingly.
“It’s a really cool system that keeps the facility well lit,” Kinne said.
The building’s air conditioning system can automatically detect and capture the weather outside to keep the room temperature at a consistent level. The complex’s parking lot is also marked with preferred parking spaces for electric cars.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, NV Energy presented Petco with a check for $103,000 for its environmental initiatives.
Vasko Electric, Inc. and RHP Mechanical were among the subcontractors.
The 770,640-square-foot facility opened in October with limited services. Wednesday’s event signaled it officially becoming fully operational. Currently, the center employs about 165-175 workers. Petco may entertain hiring additional workforce at the facility if the company sees strides in growth in the future.
On hand for the ceremony was Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and executives of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. Petco first approached Sandoval and EDAWN about opening a distribution center in Nevada in early 2014.
“This is a day I’ve looked forward to for a long time,” Sandoval said, adding that the opening of Petco’s facility is another positive step in Nevada’s economic recovery from high-unemployment rate.
“I had the chance to visit this facility a couple of months ago and it’s just awesome. This is going to be a fabulous place to work and another piece of the ‘New Nevada.’”
Charlie Piscitello, chief people officer for Petco and president of its charitable organization, the Petco Foundation, added:
“As we looked at the geographic criteria, proximity to our stores and being near central transportation is important. We wanted a location that would be good for our northwest and have a skilled workforce we could hire. We sat down with the governor and the economic development folks and felt Reno fit those economic reasons we were looking for.”
Petco opened its first store in the San Diego area in 1965 and now operates approximately 1,440 stores nationwide and has operations in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Jacob Warwick, CEO of Discover Podium, says the company that launched only a year ago in Reno recently surpassed $1 million in revenue and has big plans for growth in the coming months.