There are many telltale signs of a successful year for a retailer, and billions of dollars worth of growth is definitely one of those signs. Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) pulled back the curtain on a year of success and strategic initiatives at its recent Annual Shareholders Meeting.
“AWG set new records in every financial metric category and in patronage paid to our member stores while overcoming substantial challenges facing our business and the industry this past year,” said David Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer. “While keeping our teammates safe and maintaining supply to our members were top priorities, we also made significant progress on our strategic initiatives of Value Proposition, Health, Technology, and AWG Brands.”
The retail cooperative reported consolidated company sales of $10.6 billion, an increase of 13.3 percent on a comparable basis over 2019, according to a press release, while the grocer’s cooperative sales reached $9.2 billion. The company also reported a record total of $615 million in cooperative benefits returned to shareholders, including interest, patronage, and allowances. Total member’s equity ended the year at $538.1 million.
“The theme of our 2020 Annual Report—Overcoming Obstacles—symbolizes the herculean efforts and accomplishments of the past year by AWG’s members, teammates, and vendors,” explained Smith. “This theme, combined with the word ‘TOGETHER’ illustrates the essence of our cooperative, our financial strength, and capabilities, and describes our collective ability to weather the challenges of today and tomorrow. Our goal for 2021 and beyond is to unlock more of the potential power contained within all our collective companies when we work together on a common mission, with common objectives and common trust.”
AWG also revealed significant progress in its strategic initiatives surrounding Value Proposition, Health, Technology, and AWG Brands, revealing a record investment of $40 million in the promotional allowances and discounts on numerous fresh products found within the store over 2019.
“AWG reported that its member stores outperformed all other grocery channels with comparable year-over-year retail sales increases by 48 percent, as reported by Nielsen. I’ve witnessed this first-hand, as an independent retailer and cooperative member myself, and by talking with my peer retailers,” said Barry Queen, Chairman of the Board. “It couldn’t have happened without our members’ willingness and readiness to adapt quickly and our cooperative’s ability to maintain a flow of goods despite the constant battle for supply. AWG and the overall membership are in a strong position to accomplish much more as we continue to seize opportunities together. I’m very excited about our plans for 2021 and can’t wait to see what we can achieve.”
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