Tractor Supply Co. opens distribution center in Bibb

pramati@macon.comSeptember 23, 2013 

Macon and Bibb County officials rolled out the official welcome Monday afternoon for Tractor Supply Co., which officially opened a new 690,000-square-foot distribution facility.

Pat Topping, senior vice president of the Macon Economic Development Commission, said the new distribution center in the southern part of the county will have a $50 million impact and has brought nearly 300 jobs to the county.

“This is a great day for the community,” he said. “There’s a lot of growth planned, and we’re a proud part of that plan.”

Topping said Tractor Supply Co. is the largest project that local economic developers officials have landed for Macon in the past couple of years.

During speeches Monday afternoon, local and company officials stressed that “teamwork” made the project come together successfully.

At Monday’s event, Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart thanked local voters for approving the penny sales tax two years ago, which he said played a key role in bringing Tractor Supply Co. to Macon.

“We passed the SPLOST to help economic development,” Hart said of the $3 million of special purpose local option sales tax money used for the project. “This was the first opportunity to do that.”

Added Macon Mayor Robert Reichert: “This was not an easy company to land, but we’re pleased they chose Bibb County to build this magnificent new facility.”

Tractor Supply Co. has had strong growth even through the country’s economic recession, officials said.

Now in its 75th year, the company has done $5 billion in sales and hopes to make it onto this year’s Fortune 500 list of companies, company CEO Greg Sandfort said.

“The company is growing a hundred-plus stores a year,” he said. “We’re opening stores across the country. We’re very good at opening stores and doggone good at opening distribution centers.”

Alex Stanton, senior vice president of supply chains for the company, said the Bibb County labor force and Macon’s location -- a two hour drive from the port of Savannah -- were strong factors in the company’s decision two years ago to build the distribution center here.

“We felt (Macon) could support the growth we’re expecting over the next couple of decades,” he said.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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