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At its annual meeting last week, Pembroke, N.H.-based Associated Grocers of New England reported what it called “a record-breaking year.” According to the retailer-owned, wholesale cooperative, its sales increased by $22 million, or 6.5 percent, to an all-time high of $362 million, and for the first time in company history, returns to members for the year came to $4,241,353, a 13.5 percent increase over the prior year.
AG New England president and CEO Mike Bourgoine attributed this performance to such contributing factors as the addition of new customers, ongoing sales growth and more purchases by existing retail customers. Additionally, last year’s acquisition of Manchester Wholesale Distributors resulted in a higher number of sales to convenience retailers and growth of the company’s Associated Convenience Grocers division.
Bourgoine also credited improvements in productivity, product handling and overall safety at the distribution center; a tight rein on operational expenses; and the success of AG Supermarkets, Inc., the company’s corporate store subsidiary that owns and operates Harvest Market stores in Bedford, Hollis and Wolfeboro, N.H., as well as Vista Foods in Laconia, N.H., and Newport, Vt.
AG New England serves over 500 independent retail food stores in Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the upstate New York/Albany area.