Dick's Sporting Goods has invested about US$35m to more than double the size of its Midwest distribution centre in Plainfield, Indiana.

The company will take the wraps off the upgraded facility at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held there on 12 December.

The expansion, which will enlarge the facility to about 725,000 square feet from 350,000, will enable the Pittsburgh, Pa-based sporting goods specialty retailer to service up to 230 stores, as compared to 100 earlier.

The company currently employs 310 people at the centre, versus 190 when it was acquired as part of Dick's purchase of Galyan's Trading Co in June 2004.

By this time next year, the firm expects to employ more than 400 associates in Plainfield and said that it could provide jobs for up to 700 at full capacity.

The expansion has been managed by Brandt Construction. Dick's has received additional support from the Indiana Economic Development Corp, the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership and the town of Plainfield.

Dick's operated 294 stores in 34 US states as of 28 October.
By Arnold J Karr.