Apparel giant Fruit of the Loom plans to add 49 jobs over the next 18 months as part of a major expansion of its Summerville distribution center.

Job information

Fruit of the Loom said it lists all job openings at

The company said in a statement that it will build a 402,000-square-foot addition to its 350,000-square-foot warehouse, more than doubling the size of the building. The new jobs would increase the existing payroll of 171 full-time workers by 28 percent.

The cost of the investment was not disclosed.

The company hopes to break ground in September and complete the work by August 2015.

Fruit of the Loom said the expansion of its Palmetto Distribution Center is being driven by growth in its electronic-commerce and intimates businesses.

"As our e-commerce and intimates businesses continue to grow, we are committed to strategically developing state-of-the-art systems and facilities to better service our customers," CEO Rick Medlin said in a written statement. "The location of the current Summerville facility coupled with our dedicated workforce there make it the ideal place to grow."

Fruit of the Loom filed a request with environmental regulators Monday for permission to fill about 5.6 acres of wetlands on its property to accommodate the new addition. The notice with the Army Corps of Engineers gives the public up to 30 days to comment.

If approved, the expansion would give Fruit of the Loom one of the largest distribution centers in the region.

The company said it is seeking financial incentives. Officials from the county and the S.C. Commerce Department said this week that none have been approved yet.

The company acquired about 50 acres along Interstate 26, between Business Park and Old Dairy roads near Jedburg, in 2005. It completed the Summerville distribution center in 2006, saying it planned to hire up to 200 workers and would look for expansion opportunities.

The warehouse handles mostly imported garments for delivery to North American customers, including numerous large retailers.

"The close proximity of our Summerville facility to Port of Charleston certainly factored into our decision to expand there," the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The maker of underwear, T-shirts, socks and other apparel items is owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.