Wholesale grocery cooperative Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. plans to close its Fort Worth, Texas, facility by the end of October and consolidate its operations with the company’s Oklahoma City distribution center.
Kansas City, Kan.-based AWG opted to consolidate the facilities “to continue to maintain the lowest possible cost of operation … [and] provide synergies for our entire organization,” according to a statement released late Tuesday.
AWG has an agreement to sell the Fort Worth facility to an undisclosed buyer and plans to vacate the premises by Oct. 31.
“Our mission at AWG is to provide our member-retailers all of the tools, products and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served. This includes top-quality supermarket merchandise and support services, all at the lowest possible cost,” said David Smith, AWG’s president and CEO. “To remain the low-cost provider, we must constantly evaluate how we operate and what we can do to improve. This requires us to consider and implement change when necessary to stay true to our mission.”
Smith said he’s “deeply saddened to close our Fort Worth facility, even though we know this is the right thing for us to do. We understand that the positive business implications do not overcome the tremendous impact this will have on our loyal Fort Worth employees and their families. … We hope that many of those affected will be interested in pursuing continued employment with the company in one of our other locations.”
AWG will continue to concentrate on organic and strategic growth across its distribution areas, having recently hired more than 550 new members operating about 1,000 new stores, the company noted.
AWG is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, serving more than 1,100 member companies and 3,800 locations throughout 36 states from nine full-line wholesale divisions.