Associated Wholesale Grocers Announces Partnership with Coborn's to Increase Distribution Footprint in Upper Midwest; David Smith and Chris Coborn Discuss
KANSAS CITY, KS, & ST. CLOUD, MN - There are many regions in the retail sector that continue to boom, and one of those is the Midwest. Tapping into the might of this market, Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) has announced that it reached an agreement with Coborn’s for the wholesale cooperative to serve as the primary supplier to the grocery chain. The new partnership will help AWG expand its distribution footprint across the upper Midwest, reaching Coborn’s 59 grocery locations across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
“The upper Midwest is home to Coborn’s and other extraordinary independent grocers. We have experienced strong growth in this region, but distance and distribution costs weren’t favorable for our members or us. We believe this new Division will be a game changer for grocers in the area and will quickly become our highest growth Division,” David Smith, President and CEO of AWG said. “Coborn’s is one of the nation’s top independent grocers, with a rich history and impressive 100-year track record of retail excellence and growth while serving and supporting their communities. We’re very excited to welcome Coborn’s to the AWG cooperative family, and it’s a blessing to know that we can now support them as they enter the next century of their history.”
AWG will begin supplying grocery products to Coborn’s stores and banners in January 2022 from its Upper Midwest Division in St. Cloud, Minnesota, according to a press release. Fresh and frozen products will temporarily ship from AWG’s Nebraska and Great Lakes Divisions.
After completing its new fresh and frozen warehouse in a location yet to be determined later in 2022, AWG will use the facility to provide over 650,000 square feet of warehouse space and accommodate the full-line distribution of products to Coborn’s and other AWG member stores throughout the region.
“We are excited to embark on this new partnership with AWG and to be a part of their plans to expand into Minnesota. This partnership provides Coborn’s a strong wholesale partner and positions our company well for future long-term growth and stability,” said Chris Coborn, Chairman, President and CEO, Coborn’s. “As an employee-owned company, we are proud to join the AWG co-op which allows us to continue to serve our guests in a remarkable way. As community members, we are also pleased about the additional jobs this will create for Central Minnesota.”
Once the site is selected for the new warehouse, AWG plans a future expansion into a single state-of-the-art facility with high-tech operations and up to one mission square feet of space based on retail demand. In total AWG is expecting to create over 400 new jobs with these operations.
The Upper Midwest division of AWG will supply and support current and future cooperative members closer to the new facilities. The areas of service include Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and will provide those member-retailers a more localized assortment, lower cost of goods, and saving those members millions of dollars annually through reduced freight expenses.
This expansion will create AWG’s ninth full-line wholesale division. The cooperative currently operates divisions in Kansas City, KS; Springfield, MO; Oklahoma City, OK; Southaven, MS; Goodlettsville, TN; Pearl River, LA; Kenosha, WI; and Norfolk, NE.
How will this new expansion fortify AWG and Coborn’s positions in the Midwest retail market? AndNowUKnow will keep a pulse on the newswire for new information.