Associated Whole Grocers (AWG) recently announced a major development in Hernando, Mississippi this past weekend. The cooperative broke the news it will begin building a new state-of-the-art distribution hub, set to be completed by 2023.
“Our industry is ever-changing, and it is our mission to provide our member-retailers all of the products, services, and tools they need to compete favorably in all markets served, all at the best possible cost,” said AWG CEO David Smith. “This new facility has capabilities that check all of those boxes. We are excited to be able to significantly expand what we stock and ship to our member stores while becoming more efficient and cost-effective in our operations.”
The new all-in-one facility will feature automation technology and an evolved organizational infrastructure as part of AWG’s partnership with WITRON, a worldwide market leader in the design and realization of highly dynamic food warehouse automation and order picking systems, according to a press release. This technology is designed to enable long-term, sustainable growth and success for AWG’s retail members by realizing savings across transportation, inventory management, and enhanced pick accuracy.
“In our process, we looked at the adjacent states in the region and found that Mississippi has just what we need,” added Smith. “They have a great site, the critical infrastructure, very supportive governmental officials, and a fantastic workforce poised to grow with us”.
AWG’s new facility is anticipated to be fully operational by 2023 and will initially employ 590 workers, with the goal of continuing to attract, develop, and retain a high-performing workforce. The move consolidates two of AWG’s existing distribution centers—VMC Memphis and AWG Memphis Division.
“This new facility will be a critical component in our plan to build a safer, better, and more efficient supply chain. In addition to becoming the primary supply source for the region, we will also leverage this new operation as an expanded variety source to all of our facilities and member stores,” concluded Smith. “This will create more value throughout the supply chain for AWG and our members.”
Deli Market News will continue to follow developments in the retail sector.