SPARTANBURG, S.C. — June 1 marked the opening of Rite Aid Corp.’s first new distribution center in 16 years. The mammoth, state-of-the-art facility sits on 97 acres here, ideally located near Interstate 85 between Highways 9 and 221, providing the company easy access to these major transportation arteries and the more than 1,000 stores that the new center will service across 12 states.
The Spartanburg DC — the company’s 12th — will help consolidate three other Rite Aid facilities, including the Charlotte DC in neighboring North Carolina as well as the DCs in Alabama and West Virginia.
The opening of the 900,000-square-foot, $90 million facility, which Rite Aid had announced plans to build last year, signifies a significant financial turnaround for the company, according to Rite Aid president and chief executive officer of stores Ken Martindale.
The center has already brought 250 jobs to the area, according to senior vice president of supply chain Wilson Lester, and another 600 are expected to be added over the next two years.
Martindale and Lester were joined at the ribbon cutting by other company executives as well as business leaders and elected officials from across the state, including Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley; senior vice president and chief communications officer Susan Henderson; South Carolina secretary of commerce Bobby Hitt; and the state’s attorney general, Alan Wilson.
Martindale said the new facility is environmentally friendly, featuring high-efficiency LED and T5 fluorescent light fixtures and occupancy sensor-controlled warehouse lighting; an on-site truck maintenance facility, including a fueling station, trailer weigh scale and wash area; high-speed automated palletizers; ergonomically designed manual palletizing stations and automatic label applicators; a state-of-the-art warehouse and labor management system; voice-pick technology; and 60,000 square feet of office space, including an associate cafeteria, fitness center and other amenities.