Wilson County sets sights on pet industry for next economic boost

Wilson County finds success in growing niche industry
Posted at 9:15 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 22:16:03-04

LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Traditionally known for its agriculture, Wilson County may soon be making a different name for itself.

Pet supply company Chewy announced it will build its new regional e-commerce fulfillment center in the county creating 1,200 jobs. "You know it's exciting, Wilson County definitely loves animals," said the county's mayor, Randall Hutto.

"We hope that these industries will bring their corporate headquarters and their service centers, and even in the Chewys project they'll be a tremendous amount of a number of white-collar professional folks working out of those 1,200 jobs," said executive director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board, G.C. Hixon.

The brand will join pet food company Royal Canin calling Wilson County home. "Every time a county lands a good company, it catches the antenna of a lot of other big-time companies," said Hutto.

Hixon said it's a booming $19 billion industry. "So we think it's just a trend that we'd like to be a part of," he added.

Hixon also believes the county's location makes it prime territory for big business. "When people now demand that their product be there in the next day or the next 36 hours certainly they have to be in facilities that can do that and we certainly have good facilities and good locations," he said.

With $750 million already invested in the county in just five years, leaders are continuing to welcome others, including those with four-legged customers. "So I do believe that we can hopefully, maybe put the corner of the market of that," said Hutto.

The facility is expected to open fall of 2022.