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Associated Grocers of New England Inc. is planning a major expansion of its Pembroke, N.H., facility, which the company says “will dramatically increase the scope and speed to shelf of the products and services it offers to its customers.”
Groundbreaking for the new 105,000-square-foot expansion is slated to take place this spring, with construction expected to wrap up by year’s end. Concord, N.H.-based Design Group Facility Solutions is taking on design/build responsibilities for the project, which will complement the current 380,000-square-foot distribution center, constructed in 2006.
According to Mike Bourgoine, AG New England president and CEO, the expansion was necessary because of “our growth in products, services and customers.”
‘Compact System Footprint’
A central element of the project will be an automated product movement solution by Dematic, which Bourgoine described as “cutting-edge technology. With the increase in SKUs over the past decade, we needed to reduce the number of ‘touches’ to increase our efficiency and maximize the use of our square footage.”
He added, “The automated technology will help to support additional item growth in a small footprint, offering our customers a vastly expanded selection of food products.”
“The solution engineered by Dematic will create logistics results while supporting additional specialty food items and improved service to store customers,” explains Ken Ruehrdanz, manager of the distribution systems market for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based vendor. “With the implementation of modern methods such as high-density staging of inventory, along with ergonomic Put Wall workstations, AG of New England will realize the benefits of a compact system footprint, along with efficient and accurate order processing.”
Although such systems have been prevalent in Europe for some years, the company will be one of the first grocery wholesalers to employ the solution, noted Bourgoine. “The Multi-Shuttle system will take up less than 5,000 square feet of the expanded warehouse and provide over 10,000 pick facings, which is equivalent to approximately 60,000 square feet of traditional warehouse space,” he said.
AG New England, the largest retailer-owned wholesale grocery distribution center in New England, serves the needs of independent retail grocers of every store size and format.