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Southeast Wholesaler/Distributor News

Merchants Distributors To Invest $35M In Perishable Facility


Hickory, North Carolina-based Merchants Distributors, a wholesale grocery distributor, will invest $35 million to add 250,000 square feet to its perishables capacity at its Caldwell County facilities.

“We are very excited about MDI’s latest new investment in Caldwell County. We are proud to have partnered with the city of Hickory assisting MDI with local incentives that help further increase employment, wages and economic development in our region,” said Randy Church, Caldwell County commission chairman. 

Merchants Distributors and its parent company, Alex Lee, Inc., distribute food and non-food grocery items to more than 600 retail stores across the U.S. 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 facility in Hickory, with the conversion of ambient space into space that can be chilled and maintained at 34 degrees.

“Hickory, North Carolina has been our home for more than 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.

“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.”

MDI’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated by the city of Hickory, Caldwell County, and by a Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state’s economic investment committee. Over the course of 12 years, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $323.4 million.

In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Caldwell County, the City of Hickory and the Caldwell County EDC.

To learn more, visit mdi.com.

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