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LeMans plans expansions – September 25, 2006

MADISON, Wis. — LeMans Corp., the company that owns Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties, is approaching its 40th birthday with plans to expand the nation’s largest powersports distributor.
LeMans Founder Fred Fox, addressing vendors at the company’s recent 2006 Showcase in Madison, Wis., said the company is moving forward on plans to build new warehouses in North America and Europe. The latter represents a change for LeMans, which currently ships daily to Europe and does “a substantial volume” of business there, Fox said. He also said LeMans has “people over there that take orders and transmit orders.
“The difference is we’re going toward a full-service warehouse,” Fox said in an interview with Powersports Business.
LeMans has already picked out a site for the European warehouse and is currently “doing testing on the soil to make sure it can support the building,” Fox said. Where the warehouse will be located in Europe is not being disclosed yet.
LeMans currently has eight warehouses, six in the United States and two in Canada. The total number of warehouses won’t change, but the amount of warehouse space will as LeMans is spending $50 million this year on facilities alone, Fox said.
LeMans has purchased 26 acres in Sparks, Nev., for a four-story, 400,000-square foot building. The new warehouse will more than double the size of the existing facility, which LeMans will no longer lease when the new facility is built. Fox said the 26 acres is large enough to where LeMans could eventually double the size of the new building, if needed.
“It makes everything else we have obsolete,” Fox said of the new Nevada warehouse, which will have approximately $12 million in conveyers and $8 million in shelving installed by next summer.
The new building, which is currently under construction, is located about 10 miles away from another LeMans warehouse. “It’s the hottest growing area in the Reno area,” Fox said of the location of the new warehouse. “It’s just a beautiful and nice town for everyone to live in. That’s why we picked it.”
Fox expects LeMans’ workforce in the area to more than double to 200-plus within three years.
Facilities for Parts Canada, which currently include a warehouse in Calgary, Alberta, and one in London, Ontario, also will increase. LeMans is in the final stages of purchasing land for a second site near Calgary, which Fox hopes to open in the fall of ’07. That warehouse is scheduled to be 160,000 square feet, which is about the same size as London, and also have four layers of shelving.
Will the North American and Europe facility expansions be the end of LeMans’ warehouse expansions?
“I always say that, but then a year or so later, we need more space,” Fox said. “We build what we need.”
During the meeting with vendors, Fox also announced LeMans, which turns 40 in January,:

  • has the capacity to take more than 20,000 orders per day, a number that’s increased approximately 11 percent from last year;
  • is considering purchasing one more semi to add to its truck fleet, which is doing more events now than ever before, up to 26 per truck;
  • is taking about 40 to 45 percent of its orders online now and overall has a fill rate that exceeds 94 percent;
  • is once again closing in on its goal of double-digit growth for its fiscal year, which ends in September. psb
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