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    AG New England Growing Sales, Space

    MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Buoyed by sales volume having reached an all-time high, Associated Grocers of New England, Inc., based here, is getting ready to grow even further with a new distribution center, slated to open for business early next year.

    MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Buoyed by sales volume having reached an all-time high, Associated Grocers of New England, Inc., based here, is getting ready to grow even further with a new distribution center, slated to open for business early next year.

    "Sales for the fiscal year reached over $275 million," said AG New England president and c.e.o. Mike Bourgoine in a statement issued yesterday. "That's an increase of 4.4 percent over last year, continuing a trend of record-breaking years for the company that calls further attention to our need for this new, larger distribution center under construction."

    Added Burgoine: "The Pembroke facility represents the most substantial investment during our nearly 60-year history. And it will be owned entirely by our independent member retail grocers. Stockholder membership in AG New England continues to be an attractive way for independent retailers to assure controlling participation in their own destinies."

    When finished, the 378,078-square-foot facility on 74 acres south of Concord, N.H. will have a capacity of 10,956,120 cubic feet, nearly twice that of AG New England's current warehouse, in Manchester. AG New England is scheduled to relocate to the new DC in January 2006.

    According to comapny spokesman Warren Mann, the AG New England's aim in opening a new facility was to "significantly increase their space and improve overall efficiency." He explained that the old warehouse, which was added onto gradually over the years, featured varying ceiling heights, which impeded the stacking of goods. Mann additionally noted that the new DC would include expanded areas for perishable products, for which the issue "isn't just storing, but also loading and unloading, during which they can deteriorate."

    AG New England, owned entirely by independent retail grocers as members of a cooperative, is the largest retailer-owned wholesale grocery distribution center in the region, serving independent retail food stores in Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, as well as the upstate New York/Albany area.

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