Walmart employees and managers joined local residents and elected officials April 22 for the grand opening of Walmart’s Import Distribution Center in Ridgeville, South Carolina.
The event featured remarks from Gov. Henry McMaster and Mike Gray, SVP of supply chain operations for Walmart; as well as a congratulatory video from John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart; and concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Our team of more than 980 associates from Dorchester County and the surrounding communities are excited to officially open the doors to our new Import Distribution Center,” said Jeff Holzbauer, general manager of Import Distribution Center No. 8980 for Walmart U.S.
“South Carolina is home to some of the country’s most convenient and efficient modes of transportation, including the Port of Charleston and Interstates 26 and 95. Being a member of this community means having the advantage of the region’s existing infrastructure as well as a pool of experienced associates familiar with it. Cutting this ribbon today signifies our commitment to that community.”
Business friendly location featuring deep-water access
Dorchester County was selected by Walmart as an ideal location due to South Carolina’s business friendly environment as well as the proximity to the nearby deep-water Port of Charleston. The center will store and sort imported goods that arrive through the Port of Charleston – the country’s eighth-largest port – for delivery to 850 regional Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across the Southeast.
Once fully operational, the facility is expected to increase local port volumes by approximately 5 percent.
“We know our customers count on us for a broad assortment, and this new import distribution center will give us expanded access to seaports, in turn allowing us to deliver a wide selection of merchandise from around the globe,” Gray said. “We also strive to be a store of the community and are proud of how we’ve been able to leverage our investments in supply chain to create economic opportunity and jobs for the Dorchester County area.”
Facility surpasses initial hiring goal
During the grand opening event, Holzbauer shared that the new facility is well on its way of surpassing its initial hiring goal of 1,000. Working alongside the Department of Commerce, Walmart expects to soon employ more than 1,300 local full-time associates at the new facility.
“We are actively staffing Ridgeville with a team that will play an important role in serving our customers,” said Andrew Dale, senior director of U.S. supply chain people, Walmart.
“Walmart is dedicated to the training and development of its associates. Each of the positions we’re currently hiring for in Ridgeville brings with it a pathway of lifelong career opportunity that, with Walmart’s scale, has industry changing impact. Walmart is full of everyday people doing extraordinary things.”
Continued investment in South Carolina community
During the grand opening ceremony, Walmart celebrated its commitment to the community by presenting $10,000 to Going Places, a local non-profit organization with a mission to bring joy to kids-in-need through the gift of bicycles.
“Dorchester County is excited to welcome the Walmart Import Distribution Center to Ridgeville. We value Walmart as a partner in community and economic development and appreciate their investment in our area,” said Bill Hearn, chairman, Dorchester County Council. “A project of this magnitude requires a great deal of coordination, and we thank all of our allies, including the South Carolina Ports Authority, who made this possible.”
The new Ridgeville facility is located at 1030 Timothy Creek Road. The 3 million-square-foot facility will become Walmart’s first Import Distribution Center in the state of South Carolina to leverage the port.
For more information, visit corporate.walmart.com.