Governor Cooper: 125 jobs coming to Hickory with Merchants Distributors expansion

The grocery distributor will invest an additional $35 million in Caldwell County.
The grocery distributor will invest an additional $35 million in Caldwell County.
The grocery distributor will invest an additional $35 million in Caldwell County.(MGN)
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 11:35 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - Merchants Distributors, a wholesale grocery distributor founded in Hickory in 1931, will invest $35 million in a new expansion of its services and operations, creating 125 jobs.

Governor Roy Cooper announced the expansion Tuesday. The company anticipates adding approximately 250,000 square feet to its perishable capacity at its Caldwell County facilities.

“Businesses that call North Carolina home continue to thrive here,” said Governor Cooper in a press release. “MDI knows firsthand the workforce, business and quality of life advantages North Carolina offers and it is great to see them grow once again in our state.”

MDI and its parent company Alex Lee, Inc. were founded in Hickory and maintain headquarters there, distributing both food and non-food grocery items to more than 600 retail stores across the United States and other locations.

The company also provides additional retail support to its customers, including marketing and other services.

The company’s new project in Caldwell County will add perishable capacity to the company’s existing facility in Hickory, with the conversion of ambient space into space that can be chilled and maintained at a temperature of 34 degrees.

“Hickory, North Carolina has been our home for over ninety years, and we are excited to support our continued growth with another expansion at our Caldwell County facilities in the city of Hickory,” said Brian George, chairman and CEO of Merchants Distributors, in a press release. “As our business continues to grow, demand for perishable products has increased the need for chilled warehouse space to service our customers and communities. North Carolina continues to support business growth and invest in workforce development which makes expanding at this location possible.”

Although wages for the new jobs will vary depending on position, the average salary will be $59,092, above the current average wage in Caldwell County of $43,905. The state and local area will see an additional impact of more than $7 million each year from the new payroll.

Copyright 2022 WBTV. All rights reserved.