Associated Wholesale Grocers and Affiliated Foods Midwest Cooperative plan to merge their distribution businesses.
The transaction, which is subject to the approval of Affiliated Foods Midwest shareholders, is expected to close later this year, according to a news release.
“This exciting endeavor is exactly what we need to allow our retailers to compete, grow and be profitable,” Martin Arter, president and CEO of Affiliated Foods Midwest, said in the release.
Associated Wholesale Grocers currently supplies members that operate more than 3,000 stores in 30 states. Affiliated Foods Midwest supplies members that operate more than 800 stores in 15 states.
Barring any changes, members of both cooperatives will be members of Associated Wholesale Grocers when the deal is finalized.
“Expanding our collective distribution areas into several new adjoining states and adding over 800 new member stores will make our unified cooperatives stronger together, leveraging not only the additional scale and buying power but also employing and implementing the best practices of each that have been developed over the 80 to 90 years that our respective cooperatives have been in business,” David Smith, president and CEO of Associated Wholesale Grocers, said in the release.
Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) is a retailer-owned cooperative serving retail member stores with a complete assortment of grocery, fresh meat, fresh produce, specialty foods, health care, and general merchandise items. AWG has an extensive distribution network and nine distribution centers which serve retail outlets in over 26 states. AWG provides its retail members, many of them family-owned businesses, with assistance in establishing a strategic position in their marketplace that builds upon their unique strengths. Our procurement and marketing departments are positioned to assist members in developing plans to excel in virtually any effort, and resources are structured to provide support services that allow members the best opportunity to win at retail.
AWG has been distributing success since 1924 and sales have grown steadily since then. (Click the history tab below to learn more.) Once again, 2015 was a record year for AWG with sales reaching $8.94 billon.
The AFWC story began in 1931 when a group of independent grocers near Plainview, Nebraska, joined together to form a wholesale buying group. Its founders built a business model in the cooperative spirit and continues the same business practices today – focusing on the independent grocer.
Affiliated Foods Midwest is a retailers’ cooperative based in Norfolk, Nebraska and Elwood, Kansas and serving the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan. Affiliated Foods Midwest built a new distribution center in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2009.