LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix said Thursday it is about to start a major expansion of its headquarters and hire 700 people by 2027.

  • Publix says it has outgrown current headquarters
  • Average salary for new jobs will be $46,000
  • Company has added 500 stores since 2001

The positions will be corporate jobs.

CEO Todd Jones said the company is running out of space at its Lakeland headquarters and has decided to add on. 

Gov. Rick Scott was on hand to celebrate with the company.

The expansion will be three stories and 190,000 square feet. Since its current building was opened in 2001, Publix has entered three additional states, opened more than 500 stores and added 70,000 employees.

Publix leaders said they need more support staff to keep the operation running smoothly. 

"We thought this building would accommodate 1,200 associates but today we've exceeded that expectation with 1,400 associates working here as we speak," Jones said.

Scott said, "One of the hardest things as governor when you're trying to grow is to get more corporate offices. So it’s great when you have a company like Publix which is growing like crazy and you don’t have to recruit them from another state." 

To qualify for state incentives on the project, the average salary for the 700 jobs will be $46,000, according to a company spokeswoman.

Publix currently has around 195,000 associates. It reported its annual sales in 2017 were $34.6 billion.