KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) hosted a ribbon-cutting event today for their new All-In-One Distribution Hub in Hernando, MS. The event was attended by esteemed dignitaries, community leaders, industry professionals, local AWG member retailers who will be served out of the new facility, AWG’s board of directors, management, local teammates, vendors, suppliers and affiliated support businesses.
Attendees could tour this massive new facility that occupies 124 acres, almost one million square feet of floor space, and is over 80 feet tall throughout. It features automation technology and an evolved organizational infrastructure to enable long-term, sustainable growth and to support success and a competitive advantage for its member retailers. Furthermore, it will also help AWG and the region continue to attract, develop, and retain an engaged and high-performing workforce.
AWG partnered with WITRON – a worldwide market leader in designing and realizing highly dynamic food warehouse automation and order-picking systems. The WITRON system is integrated into every area of the new facility; the handling of case and pallet goods, ambient temperature, refrigerated perishables, frozen foods, and fulfillment of individual unit product orders. The automated system will increase the throughput of products, maximize efficiencies, significantly improve accuracy, and reduce product loss and waste due to damaged goods. This, due to the closed system of the AWG cooperative model, will allow member stores to realize savings in overall product cost and transportation and benefit from the accuracy and lower salvage rates this state-of-the-art facility provides. Member retailers will reap the cost savings while experiencing the highest possible product integrity and safety levels in the food supply chain.
The All-In-One Distribution Hub accommodates all products and categories within today’s full assortment and specialty supermarkets and is expandable for future growth. It also has unique features, including a state-ofthe-art earth-friendly non-ammonia refrigeration system, ten pressurized banana rooms, docks on both sides of the building to ensure end-to-end temperature control (adhering to the highest standards of food safety compliance), and five high-capacity generators to ensure uninterrupted wall-to-wall operations.
AWG President and CEO David Smith said, “We are incredibly proud to unveil our state-of-the-art All-In-One Distribution Hub, which represents a significant leap forward for AWG and our commitment to delivering exceptional service to our members and fulfill our mission to provide our member-retailers with all the tools, products, and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served, at the lowest possible cost. This facility showcases our dedication to innovation and operational excellence.”
The AWG Board of Directors Chairman Barry Queen said, “AWG’s All-In-One Distribution Hub marks a milestone in our cooperative’s history. With this cutting-edge facility, we reinforce our position as industry leaders, setting new standards for grocery distribution efficiency. We are excited to celebrate this achievement and look forward to its positive impact on our members and communities. The grocery business is changing fast, and with this new All-In-One Distribution Hub, AWG will be well-positioned to meet the needs of retailers for many, many years to come.”
ABOUT ASSOCIATED WHOLESALE GROCERS, INC.
Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to
independently owned supermarkets, serving 1,100 member companies and over 3,400 locations throughout 31 states from 9 wholesale divisions. Consolidated sales for AWG are $12.3 billion. In addition to its cooperative wholesale operations, the company also operates subsidiary companies that provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, health and beauty care, general merchandise, pharmaceutical products, specialty foods, and natural and organic products. For more information, visit AWGinc.com and follow @AWGCorporate on Twitter.