Ariat International is Bringing a 1M SF Distribution Center and Diverse New Jobs to Fort Worth

After a yearlong search, Ariat is settling into a new regional distribution center to better serve its Southwest customers. The performance footwear and apparel brand is known for reimagining the boot for modern riders, ranchers, and farmers—so Cowtown, named after the cattle ranching industry, was an obvious choice.

A leading footwear and apparel brand has been working with the City of Fort Worth, Denton County, and the State of Texas to bring a 1-million-square-foot distribution center and a “diverse range of new jobs” to North Texas.

This fall, Ariat International, a maker of Western, English, and Work footwear and apparel, will open a regional distribution center in Fort Worth to better serve its Southwest-based customers. It’s the end of a one-year search, according to tax services and consulting firm Ryan, which led the site selection effort.

“It is a privilege to join the thriving community of Fort Worth and to be so close to many of our regional retail partners,” Ariat Co-founder and CEO Beth Cross said in a statement. “This new distribution center will create growth opportunities that will enable us to better serve our loyal customers and local retail partners.” 

With the regional distribution center comes a slew of high-paying jobs for the local community. Since the project is still in the early stages, the number of people to be hired is undetermined, but Ariat told us it plans to continue adding new jobs each year.

Ariat is based in Union City, California, but has more than 500 employees globally. The company told Dallas Innovates the new center will create corporate office jobs—the HQ will remain in California—as well as jobs in the distribution hub.

Both Texas and Fort Worth leaders consider this a huge win for the region, considering Ariat bills itself as the leading equestrian brand in the world.

Denton County’s mission is to attract major, diverse companies to the market. Precinct 4 Commissioner Dianne Edmondson said welcoming a “company of this caliber” will continue to make Fort Worth “such an attractive business environment.”

Ariat International joins American Airlines, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, BNSF Railway, and more of the city’s major employers.

As Texas Governor Greg Abbott points out, Ariat is committed to innovation and excellence much like the entire state of Texas. He said in a statement that he looks forward to working with the company to “bring more jobs and greater economic prosperity” to Fort Worth and the state.

“The Texas model of low taxes, reasonable regulations, and workforce investment continues to attract exceptional companies like Ariat that will ensure the Lone Star State remains a global economic powerhouse,” Governor Abbott said. “Texas has a long and storied tradition of ranching, farming, and equestrian sports, and we are proud to build upon that legacy by welcoming Ariat to Fort Worth.”

[Photo: Courtesy Ariat]

Ariat was founded in 1993 to “reimagine the boot” for modern riders, ranchers, and farmers, and has since pioneered athletic performance technology to make high-quality work boots and workwear. Its apparel is equipped for all types of industries, though its name comes from Secretariat, the greatest racehorse of all time.

Functional innovation and technology is in Ariat’s DNA—the company has more than 150 patents for its sole technology alone. In combining performance, fit, and craftsmanship, its products are made to outperform when worn in the most demanding environments.

Its team told us that dedication doesn’t stop at its products, either. Innovation runs deep through Ariat’s business operations.

“A lot of our success has to do with the incredibly talented team of dedicated designers, product managers, engineers, and wear-testers we have who think outside of the box,” the company says. “Our team constantly challenges themselves to ask questions like, how can we raise the bar and keep growing?”

Today, Ariat apparel can be found at businesses like Cavender’s, Boot Barn, Atwoods, NRS, and more.

Customers range from the modern consumer to world-class athletes and Olympians. That includes 25-time World Champion Trevor Brazile, 19-time World Champion Jackie Hobbs-Crawford, and Country Music Artist Casey Donahew.

And that Western flair aligns perfectly with a place nicknamed “Cowtown” for its deep roots in the cattle ranching industry.

“Fort Worth continues to establish itself as a distribution and logistics hub,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said in a statement. “Our western heritage combined with our innovative community and talented workforce is a great match for Ariat and its growing business.” 

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