Big Sky Fulfillment heads to Bonner warehouse to meet growth in e-commerce sales

Patrick Claytor, founder and CEO of Big Sky Fulfillment, center, chats with Sen. Jon Tester, right, and Truxton Rolfe at the company’s old location near the airport. (Missoula Current file photo)

Five years after starting a business from his home and three years after launching Big Sky Fulfillment, Patrick Claytor has guided the company through rapid growth, taking on new clients while tripling his workforce.

Now he’s now moving his operations to the Bonner Mill Industrial Park while opening a second location in North Carolina to meet rapid growth in e-commerce shopping and the shipping it requires.

“We’ve got more things we needed stored and shipped out,” he said Monday. “We have a growing client base as well. With the increased number of shipments, we have to have more product on hand and need more space. We’ve doubled our workforce so far this year, so we need more space for the people at work as well.”

Big Sky Fulfillment on Monday announced its plans to leave a small warehouse near Missoula International Airport for the 50,000 square-foot location in Bonner. Over the past two years, the company has grown 200% and now employs around 30 people.

Claytor said he expects to employ 50 people within the next two years. The new location will accommodate the growing business and the consumer products it stores on site for a number of e-commerce companies.

“It’s more space and it’s great to work with partners that are excited to see us grow and help us grow and add more space as needed in the future,” he said. “We’ll have space around the building and loading docks. The space will be set up for what we need and what our businesses need.”

The company, which Claytor launched in 2017, stores merchandise for other companies and packs and sends the orders to customers. It currently claims 50 clients ranging from bathing items to keto snacks. Around 75% of the company’s clients are out-of-state and around 40% of the shipments go the East Coast.

The Bonner Mill Industrial Park currently houses a number of companies including Planetary Design, Coaster Pedicab and ALCOM. Sterling Commercial Real Estate brokered the deal.

“Industrial space is at a premium in Missoula,” said Nick Chaussee with Sterling. “Even pre-COVID, the demand for warehouse space was through the roof. Now, brick and mortar locations are quickly pivoting to e-commerce, and that’s where a business like Big Sky Fulfillment comes in. They already have the infrastructure in place for a business to quickly move to online sales.”