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CHICAGO -- Lawrence Brothers Supermarkets, a family-owned and -operated store group with 18 stores in Texas and two in New Mexico, has officially rejoined the IGA Family. Lawrence Brothers stores are serviced by IGA's licensed distribution company (LDC) Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG). The licensing agreement is part of a planned IGA expansion made possible by AWG's acquisition of the Fort Worth, Texas warehouse in June of last year.
Lawrence Brothers first joined IGA in 1986, and for nearly 17 years operated its family business as members of the IGA Alliance. AWG's newest distribution center in Fort Worth brings the IGA banner back to the Texas market, providing the Lawrences and other independent retailers with the opportunity to join IGA.
"IGA and Lawrence Brothers share a common philosophy about the importance of community involvement, customer service, and family business," said Jay Lawrence, president. "IGA and Lawrence Brothers have always been a good fit."
Jerry Garland, AWG's e.v.p., said IGA is the largest national banner that the company supports. With the addition of the Lawrence Brothers stores, AWG now supplies 81 IGA locations in the South and Midwest.
"Lawrence Brothers has a reputation in the industry as a thriving family-run independent," said Garland. "The licensing of the company's 20 stores is a solid step forward in our plan for IGA and AWG to grow together in the Texas and Oklahoma areas."
Lawrence Brothers stores have a long history in the independent grocery channel, dating back to 1929, when J.M. Lawrence opened his first grocery store in Sweetwater, Texas. Over the years, J. M. Lawrence, his sons Jere and Tere, and later his grandsons Jay and Kyle opened and operated numerous stores throughout the west Texas area. The 20-store company today is led by chairman Jere Lawrence and his eldest son, Jay, who serves as president. Neal Hoover, Jay's brother-in-law, is part-owner and controller for the company.