Albertsons Companies, Inc. has selected KeHE Distributors as its primary distribution partner for natural & organic, specialty, and fresh products.
Speaking on the partnership, Mike Leone, KeHE’s Chief Commerical Officer, said in a press release, “Our account team has delivered superior operational results and helped Albertsons Companies grow its business. This decision is an affirmation of that.”
The move will affect 2,200 Albertsons-owned grocery stores in thirty-three states and the District of Columbia, and significantly expands KeHE’s business with Albertsons particularly in the western United States, according to a press release.
The announcement comes shortly after Albertsons had prematurely ended its contract with United Natural Foods, Inc.
Steve Spinner, UNFI’s President and CEO, said he believes this course of action was in the best long-term interests of United Natural Foods.
“[This course of action] will now allow us to redirect our resources to pursue our previously announced plans to expand our focus in fresh categories such as proteins and specialty cheeses across the country, grow our gourmet and ethnic business, and serve as an e-commerce solution for our customers,” said Spinner in a press release. “We plan to utilize the capital freed up from the termination of our Albertsons’ relationship to further pursue our strategic objectives, and we believe this will provide greater value for our shareholders long-term.”
With its new northern California-based distribution center and planned upgrades to its distribution centers in Portland, Oregon and Flower Mound, Texas, KeHE believes that it has the infrastructure necessary to support Albertsons’ distribution requirements.
KeHE added that its service levels will be enhanced across the entire U.S. distribution network.