Company investing millions in Florence County

W. Lee Flowers and Company, a wholesale grocery company, announced plans Thursday to expand its operations in Florence County. The $6.5 million investment is expected to generate 15 jobs.

"We are pleased to move forward with plans to expand our Florence County operations. This expansion will help us meet increased demand from our customers. South Carolina continues to provide the right fit for our company's operations. We appreciate the support we've received from state and local officials like Rusty Smith, Waymon Mumford, and Joe King," said Henry Johnson, president of W. Lee Flowers and Company Inc., in a news release.

W. Lee Flowers is expanding with a 75,000-square-foot addition to its warehouse at 127 East W. Lee Flowers Road in Scranton. The company supplies IGA retail stores and independent supermarkets across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. The first phase of the expansion is expected to be completed in 2013.

"It's exciting to see a home-grown company with a long history in South Carolina, like W. Lee Flowers and Company, increase its footprint here. We celebrate the company's decision to invest $6.5 million and create new jobs in Florence County. By continuing to strengthen our state's business-friendly climate, we can create an environment for success for all our existing businesses," said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $322 million in capital investment and more than 2,800 jobs in the distribution and logistics sector. Additionally in the agribusiness sector, more than $292 million in capital investment and more than 1,400 jobs have been recruited during the same time period.

The company expects to start hiring for new positions in late 2013. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should contact the company's human resources department at (843) 389-2731.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a set aside grant for $100,000.