PROVIDENCE, R.I. — UNFI (NYSE: UNFI) today announced plans to optimize its distribution center network in the Pacific Northwest. This plan includes building a new facility and expanding another to enhance customer product offerings, create more efficient inventory management, streamline operations and incorporate best in class technology to deliver a better customer experience. The optimization of the Pacific Northwest distribution network will also help deliver meaningful synergies contemplated in the acquisition of SUPERVALU in October 2018.
The company has entered into a long-term lease agreement with a developer in Centralia to construct a 1.2 million square-foot distribution center exclusively for UNFI on approximately 77 acres at 4002 Galvin Road in Centralia, Washington. The Centralia distribution center is located in close proximity to two existing UNFI DCs in Tacoma and Portland.
UNFI will also expand its Ridgefield, Wash. facility by 541,000 square feet (to a total of nearly 800,000 square feet) to provide capacity for its growing customer base in the natural, organic and specialty channel. This facility will deploy a warehouse automation solution that supports the company’s slow-moving SKU portfolio.
“The construction of Centralia and expansion of our Ridgefield facility represents the first significant step in our optimization of UNFI’s DC network following the acquisition of SUPERVALU, allowing us to better serve all our customers throughout the Pacific Northwest,” said Steve Spinner, UNFI Chairman and CEO. “These are two tremendous facilities that, once complete, will provide a great working environment for our associates, an improved and efficient layout for inventory management, optimized logistics route planning, and an ability to help us deliver on the long-term synergy goals we outlined as a part of the SUPERVALU acquisition.”
Today, UNFI operates five distribution centers in the Pacific Northwest, a 944,000 square-foot facility in Tacoma, Wash., a 323,000 square-foot warehouse in Auburn, Wash., 220,000 square-foot and 30,000 square-foot warehouses in Ridgefield, Wash., and a 923,000 square-foot warehouse in Portland, Ore. Once construction of the new Centralia DC is complete and the expansion of the Ridgefield DC is finished, UNFI plans to close its Tacoma, Portland and Auburnwarehouses, as well as reduce its dependency on outside storage and third-party logistics services. Both the Centraliaand Ridgefield facilities are expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2019 with customer transition completed in early 2020.
UNFI is North America’s premier food wholesaler delivering the widest variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, ecommerce retailers, and food service customers. By providing this deeper ‘full-store’ selection and compelling brands for every aisle, UNFI is uniquely positioned to deliver great food, more choices, and fresh thinking to customers everywhere. Combined with SUPERVALU, UNFI is the largest publicly-traded grocery distributor in America with expected annual sales of over $21 billion. To learn more about how UNFI is Moving Food Forward, visit www.unfi.com.