COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Belk Inc. is expanding its distribution center in Union County and expects to hire 170 additional people.

The department store announced plans Wednesday to invest an additional $32 million next year to increase the center's capacity. The company spent $9 million this year on the 500,000-square-foot facility in Jonesville, following a 2012 announcement. The company initially promised 124 jobs.

The facility fulfills customers' online purchases. The retailer says online sales have increased by more than 50 percent this fiscal year, compared to the same time last year.

Belk president John Belk says the company needs to invest in its distribution centers to keep up with that growth.

Belk is based in Charlotte, N.C. It operates 301 stores in 16 states.

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