Wal-Mart distribution center coming to Alamance
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is planning to open a distribution center for perishable grocery items in Alamance County, creating 450 jobs and investing $100 million across three years.
The facility will serve 123 Walmart stores in North Carolina and in surrounding states, Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker said in an announcement Tuesday.
“We’re committed to promoting economic growth in North Carolina, and we know that many of those jobs will come from existing companies like Wal-Mart,” Decker said in the release.
Wal-Mart was the No. 1 operator by market share in the Durham-Chapel area using fiscal year 2012 data, according to Chain Store Guide’s “2013 Grocery Industry Market Share Report,” which was released in March.
The ranking was done by average sales volumes per store based on the parent company’s total grocery sales, using fiscal year 2012 numbers. According to Chain Store Guide, Wal-Mart became the No. 1 operator by market share in 2011 in last year’s 2012 edition year report over No. 2 Food Lion and No. 3 Harris Teeter in the Durham-Chapel Hill area.
Bill Wertz, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, said the company has added distribution centers alongside growth in its food stores. The company has 158 existing distribution centers in the country and four in North Carolina.
The company first started building supercenters that included food in 1988, he said, and has over time gradually reduced the number of general merchandise stores by relocating them or expanding them to include a grocery section.
More recently, he said the company has been adding “express” stores in North Carolina, which are small stores the size of a drug store, as well as larger “neighborhood markets,” which are primarily grocery stores and pharmacies.
The company built its first neighborhood market in North Carolina in Cary in October of last year, he said, and has added additional locations in Greensboro, Morrisville, High Point, and Charlotte. The company is “continuing to look for opportunities” for new stores, he said.
“What we see is that customers in North Carolina, and really around the country, are continuing to ask for more shopping choices, more opportunities to shop for affordable groceries,” he said. “And that’s why, even in cities where we have supercenters, we’re building neighborhood markets.”
The new distribution center in Alamance County will be between Mebane and Graham in part of a 1,200-acre economic development zone established last year, according to a release by the Alamance County Economic Development office.
Alamance County, Mebane and Graham will share in the infrastructure expenses, according to the release, as well as in the tax revenues for companies locating within the zone.
A performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $1.1 million was pledged as an incentive for the project.
Through the fund program, companies receive no money up-front, and must meet certain job creation and investment performance targets. The grants also require local governments to provide matching incentives.
Salaries at Wal-Mart’s new distribution center will vary by job function, but the average annual pay for the new jobs will be $35,374 plus benefits. The Alamance County average annual wage is $34,858.