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Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) reported record net sales of $7.06 billion on a consolidated basis, and distributed a record $145.7 million in year-end patronage, at its yearly shareholders’ meeting over the weekend. Annual sales for Kansas City, Kan.-based AWG represented a 3 percent, $204 million increase over the previous year, while its year-end patronage rebate amounted to 2.6 percent of qualifying warehouse sales — another record-setting feat for the co-op, In total, including allowances, AWG rebated $447.7 million to its members in 2009, up $27.3 million, or 6.5 percent, while internal gross margins remained even, compared with the prior year.
During the meeting on Sunday, Jerry Garland, AWG’s president/CEO, told shareholders that despite last year’s challenging economic climate, “[w]e are pleased with this year’s financial results. This year saw a dramatic shift in consumer priorities, with a real need to stretch consumable dollars. Our marketing direction stressed value, and as a result, AWG’s private label brands had a record-breaking year.”
Garland also noted a 4.1 percent increase in the trading value for AWG stock, to $1,510 per share.
AWG is the second-largest retailer-owned wholesale co-operative in the country, supplying over 560 members operating over 1,900 independent supermarkets in 21 states. AWG, including subsidiaries, delivers to 2,259 retail outlets in 23 states through an extensive network of eight distribution centers.