Department store retailer Belk, Inc. is expanding its e-commerce distribution and fulfillment center operations in Union County, South Carolina, with plans to add approximately 170 employees by the end of 2015. The company spent $9 million to upfit additional space at the 500,000-square-foot Jonesville facility this year and plans to invest another $32 million next year to further increase the center’s capacity.
In mid-2012, Belk, Inc. established operations within the former Disney facility, located at 3805 Furman L. Fendley Hwy. in Jonesville. The company completed phase one of the building upfit this year and phase two is scheduled for completion in August 2014. This facility, along with the company’s Pineville, North Carolina, e-commerce center, fulfills the retailer’s digital business, which is experiencing rapid growth. Online sales were up nearly 45 percent during the third quarter of the year and up nearly 53 percent for the fiscal year to date, according to the company.
“Our e-commerce business continues to grow very quickly and we need to invest in our fulfillment capabilities to keep pace with that growth,” says John R. Belk, Belk, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer. “Our Jonesville center has proven to be a great investment for us, and we are pleased to be able to bring additional resources into that community. We appreciate our partnership with Union County and the support the state and county have provided to help us grow our Jonesville facility.”
“It’s a great day when a company with such a long tradition in South Carolina and across the Southeast chooses to expand here,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “Belk’s decision to invest another $32 million and create 170 new jobs in Union County is a big win for the area and underscores that we are a major player in the distribution field. We appreciate Belk’s commitment to South Carolina.” The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a $300,000 rural infrastructure grant for the project.
“South Carolina’s logistics infrastructure makes our state ideal for distribution, including the rapidly growing e-commerce sector,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “The transportation, distribution and logistics sector today directly supports around 45,000 jobs in the state, with that number set to increase as we continue to invest in our roads, rails and port capabilities.”
“We are very pleased to hear of the additional $32 million dollar planned investment and the 170 new jobs that Belk is creating in Union County,” said Joe Nichols, Chairman of the Union County Development Board. “Belk is a strong company and this new investment demonstrates their vision for growth in our community. We are very appreciative of their significant contribution to Union’s economic progress.”