By Dennis Seid
Thompson Machinery is building the third-biggest store in its 13-store company near Sherman this year.
Nashville-based Thompson is the exclusive distributor of Caterpillar construction, forestry and agricultural equipment, trucks, marine engines and power-generation equipment for 99 counties in middle and west Tennessee and north Mississippi.
Its Tupelo store, built in 1966, has long outgrown its 7-acre site in south Tupelo. It is investing more than $6 million in the new facility, which sits on 10 acres off Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 78.
“This is a milestone. … we’ve been talking about this for along time,” said De Thompson V, the president of the fourth-generation-owned business. “Caterpillar has been here since 1966 and we’ve been involved with it since 1977.”
Noting the spate of recent ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking ceremonies, Thompson said, “that gives us confidence to invest another $6 million to $7 million in this area.”
The new facility will total 42,000 square feet, including a 23,000-square-foot-shop with 17 service bays.
About 8,000 feet will serve as a parts warehouse, and the remaining 19,000 square feet will be office space that includes meeting rooms, training rooms and an indoor machine display area for equipment sales and rental operations.
Jim Simmons, Thompson’s area sales manager in Tupelo, said, “we were landlocked where we are, but now we have 10 acres for our new store. We have a total of 38 acres, but we plan to sell about 20 of it.”
Thompson Machinery is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.
Its Mississippi stores include locations in Columbus and Greenwood.
A new division, Thompson Agriculture, caters specifically to its farming customer base and is located in Boyle in the Delta.