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FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. -- The boards of the Associated Food Dealers of Michigan (AFD) here, and the Great Lakes Petroleum Retailers and Allied Trades Association have voted to merge the two trade groups into a single association representing more than 3,900 small business locations in Michigan and Ohio.
"Today, the retail food and beverage business is increasingly cutting across many categories," said Jane Shallal, AFD president. "Service stations, liquor stores, and independent supermarkets are all a part of our industry. Anyone who has run into a gas station food mart or a neighborhood grocery store for a gallon of milk can see just how much the two kinds of businesses have in common."
"The new strength in our numbers will bring better buying power and a more powerful voice in speaking to the Michigan and Ohio legislatures," said Ed Weglarz, president of the Great Lakes Petroleum Retailers. "Small retail businesses play an important role in the economic health of our two Mid-western states, and they deserve recognition for it."
The Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers, with Shallal acting as its president, will have its primary offices in Farmington Hills, Mich., with additional offices in Lansing. Weglarz will serve as e.v.p., petroleum, while Dan Reeves will serve as e.v.p., food and beverage.
The new association will continue to provide vendor discounts, industry news, training programs and political advocacy for its members, but on a more substantial scale. Additionally, the organization said its increased membership will assist it in more forcefully tackling predatory pricing by merchandisers and other businesses. The merger becomes effective April 1, 2006.
The Associated Food Dealers of Michigan represents more than 3,000 grocery stores, supermarkets, and liquor licenses throughout Michigan. The Great Lakes Petroleum Retailers and Allied Trades Association represents more than 900 service stations and convenience stores in Michigan and Ohio.