Merchants Distributors LLC
State-of-the-Art Expansion for Growing Demand.
Merchants Distributors LLC is a wholesale grocery distributor headquartered in Hickory, NC. When the customer needed to update a large distribution center at its base of operations, the company turned to Gray to design and build the expansion. Following the implementation of the automated storage & retrieval system (AS/RS), the customer selected Gray for its next project—the conversion of a vast portion of its dry storage facility to refrigerated storage.
- LocationHickory, NC
- Square Footage244,000 s.f.
- Operational16 months
Merchants Distributors supplies over 600 retail food stores in 12 states with food and non-food items and exports to over 20 countries. The company also provides retail support to its customers, including retail automation services, advertising and placement, retail price hosting, and more. Facing increased demand, Merchants Distributors needed a more efficient order fulfillment strategy.
To improve throughput at its existing distribution center, the customer selected Gray to design and build a nearly 200,000 s.f. dry storage expansion for an AS/RS with high-bay racking. The project also included designs for 8,000 s.f. of multipurpose office space, with training areas and a control room.
The distribution center expansion adds more than 110 jobs to the operation.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work on this impactful project with a growing partner,” says Brett Goode, senior vice president of Gray’s South Atlantic office in Charlotte, NC. “We know this is a project that will make a direct impact on the community and local economy, and we feel privileged to play a role in that process.”
On the strength of Gray’s work on the AS/RS expansion, Merchants Distributors specifically requested the Gray project team to lead a second project the following year—the conversion of 244,000 s.f. of dry storage to cold storage. To transition the warehouse space, Gray added refrigeration units, new roof insulation, ESFR glycol tanks, and other building elements to maintain a constant temperature of 34 °F.
Process & Packaging Systems Engineering
Automation & Controls
Custom equipment Ovens & cookers Process skids Batching equipment Clean-in-place systems Bioreactors Extruders Distributed products Mixers & blenders