Business news : Easton-Bell Plans to Consolidate Rantoul Operations
Easton-Bell Sports, Inc. plans to build a modern new distribution, assembly and shared services center in Rantoul, IL. The new center would be home to the company’s current 300 team members and serve as one of the company’s primary North American sites for assembling, distributing and servicing products from its market-leading sports brand portfolio.
Easton-Bell Sports currently operates multiple manufacturing and distribution facilities in Rantoul. The new center would consolidate these facilities into a single, 800,000-square-foot structure with advanced technology and design capable of producing shorter lead times for customer orders, the highest quality order shipments, and long-term cost savings that can be re-invested in the business. “Easton-Bell Sports has enjoyed a long and productive history in Champaign County with a loyal, dedicated workforce and highly supportive local community,” said Donna Flood, chief operations officer and president of Giro / Easton Cycling. “Creating a more efficient, fully-modernized facility provides a number of important benefits for our business while strengthening our commitment to this area and our people.”
Easton-Bell Sports’ history in Champaign County dates back to 1983, when Bell Sports acquired a motorcycle accessories manufacturing facility in Rantoul. The company has expanded its local presence over the last three decades, shipping more than 13 million units annually and serving as one of the area’s largest employers.
Site selection for the proposed facility was made with support from the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the Village of Rantoul and the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
“We have a well-trained workforce in the area and when state and local government work together with our economic development agencies, we see opportunities for successes like this,” said Illinois State Senator Mike Frerichs. “I want to thank Easton-Bell Sports for continuing to believe in northern Champaign County.”
John Dimit, president and CEO of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, added, “Easton-Bell Sports’ new center would have a significant year-over-year impact on our local community. This includes $53 million direct economic impact of wages in the East Central Illinois Region, $10 million indirect economic impact of secondary wage spending in the East Central Illinois Region and $11 million induced impact of tertiary wages spent in the East Central Illinois Region.”
The new center, which is subject to final approval of economic incentives by various governmental agencies, would handle products under the company’s Bell, Easton Cycling, Giro and Riddell brands. The planned site location is Rantoul’s Village Industrial Park (at the NW intersection of Highway 136 and Interstate 57), with scheduled completion in late 2013. A mix of internal/private and public investment is expected to fund the project. The specific cost is not being disclosed at this time.
Easton-Bell markets and licenses products under such well-known brands as Easton, Bell, Giro, Riddell and Blackburn. Headquartered in Van Nuys, California, the company has 32 facilities worldwide.