Merchants Foodservice, Hattiesburg, Miss., expanded its Clanton, Ala., distribution center.

The $8 million expansion is the location’s fourth since the initial construction in 1999. The center now comprises 200,000 square feet of dry, refrigerated and frozen warehouse space with 8 million cubic feet of storage space, and serves nearly 3,000 customers predominantly in Alabama and throughout the Florida Panhandle.

The center employs 220 people. An additional 60 employees will be phased in as the expansion is completed.

“With 50% of the Alabama population within 150 miles, we felt this was a strategic location when we opened in 1999,” says Andy Mercier, president and CEO. “We took a risk and planted our stake here in Clanton, and we have been beyond pleased with the fruit. This growth has truly been a great example of a strong local workforce and collaboration between private enterprise, local governments and local businesses.”