- October 10, 2021
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A growing Hutchinson company specializing in third-party product distribution has purchased the former Target building on 17th Avenue to convert into a new distribution warehouse.
The expansion will be about a $3 million investment and add 15 to 20 jobs in Hutchinson, said Bob Peel, president of BOLD 3PL Logistics and BOLD Office Shares.
The business started in 2013 after L’Oréal purchased the longtime Hutchinson-based Peel’s Salon Services and moved its Hutchinson Distribution Center into a regional distribution center in Nebraska.
Peel and his two sons-in-law then became third-party distributors for it and other hair care and beauty products. The company receives bulk shipments of products and repackages and redistributes items through smaller online purchases.
Over the past five years, the company has continued to expand into other product lines and so expanded its warehouse and distribution space, Peel said, though the majority of its business remains related to hair care.
With the purchase of the former 90,000 square-foot Target building, BOLD now has over 500,000 square feet of warehouse space in six locations around Hutchinson, managing 15,000 skids of product for customers all over the world.
Besides adding warehouse space, the company continues to add new customers, Peel said.
“We do business in 12 counties,” Peel said. “This will expand that. About 80% of our business is hair care, but we’re trying to diversify into more things. We’ll be shipping toothbrushes for a company in China and for Epic Games, which has Fortnite (action video games.) Those are new companies for us, and we’re trying to expand that.”
They have already started converting the former retail space at 1529 E. 17th Ave. into the new warehouse, which includes massive rack systems in the receiving areas and separate packaging and distribution areas.
The remodel will include installing rooftop solar panels, environmentally-friendly lighting, and new airborne disinfection systems throughout the new facility.
“It all starts on the roof,” Peel said in a release. “We have contracted Wray Roofing to replace the roof with the most energy-efficient roof available. This drastically reduces our cooling costs during the summer months, and it is yet another easy way to make our warehouse more ‘green.’”
Good Energy Solutions, a solar installation firm based in Lawrence, will be installing a solar system on the roof. The company has installed similar collectors on some of BOLDs other properties.
“This investment will take BOLD Target’s business operations towards net-zero emissions,” Peel said.
Inside, the company will invest in “Eco-Lighting,” with T&B Electrical in Hutchinson installing LED lights that are brighter than traditional bulbs and use less energy.
Switching to eco-friendly LEDs reduces the power needed to light its warehouse by 80%, Peel said. The lights are brighter than traditional fluorescent lighting, allowing fewer bulbs to light the same space. The warehouse, break rooms, and restrooms will also be equipped with motion detectors to turn lights on and off.
There is scientific evidence showing color can impact workplace productivity, Peel said, so they picked medium blue paint, “an intellectual color,” for the warehouse walls and bathrooms, and a medium green “to provide harmony, nature, and restoration” in areas that require people to work long hours since it’s the easiest color on the eyes.
Since “COVID-19, flu, and colds will always be an issue for any warehouse team, we decided to invest deeply and use the latest technologies to remove these diseases from the work environment,” the company release stated.
An Airborne Disinfection System, which uses high-output UV-C lamps to kill airborne pathogens, will be installed by Decker Mattison on all rooftop air conditioners and in HVAC ducts.
“We looked at medical examination rooms and decided to protect our bathrooms and break rooms with the same technology,” the release stated. “The UV-FLOW utilizes UV-C ultraviolet germicidal devices with unidirectional airflow. Viruses and bacteria, freely circulating in a break room or bathrooms spaces, are destroyed by the UV-C rays.”
In the warehouse, teams use wrist laptops and fingertip bar code readers when pulling items for repackaging. A computer mainframe tied to the wrist laptops tracks all activity in the warehouse, offering customers 24/7 access to product shipment tracking information and freight costs.
“Our wrist computers for our warehouse team make it easy to manage inventory, automate routine tasks, and deliver complete visibility to our customers,” the company release stated. “This WMS also saves our staff from the fatigue of manual order entry and avoids mis-ships. It also reduces the amount of paper our warehouse uses.”
They’re hoping for the warehouse to be fully operational by mid-November, Peel said, and to start hiring the first of November.
The warehouse, like its other locations, will use some robotics, but they expect to need 15 to 20 new employees, he said.
“We do anything from shipping one bottle to a container,” he said.
Besides its original location at 1125 E. Fourth Ave., BOLD 3PL has added space in the salt mines, in the Airport Industrial Park at 1101 Alcoa Drive, in the old Gibson building at 722 E. Fourth Ave., and in its latest expansion before Target, the former Office Max building at 1403 E. 11th.
While some may be disappointed the building is not becoming a retail or office space, Peel noted the property, which has been vacant since February 2018, will go back on the tax rolls and pay the same property and stormwater tax rates as Target was.
“Over the last three years, our Greater Hutch economic development team has worked with the owners of this vacant space to repurpose it for a new use,” stated Debra Teufel, president and CEO of the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce.
“BOLD 3PL has continued to grow and occupy various spaces in Hutchinson that allow them to make Hutchinson their base for warehouse and logistics well into the future,” she continued. “We’re pleased to see this take place as more proof that Hutchinson is an excellent location for distribution due to our central location, excellent highway connectivity, and strong workforce.”