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    Associated Grocers to Expand Warehouse/DC

    BATON ROUGE, La. - Associated Grocers said last week that it planned to increase its warehouse and distribution center here by nearly 20 percent, an expansion that will permit its 300-plus member stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas to carry a broader assortment of meats, grocery, and dairy products, according to published reports.

    BATON ROUGE, La. - Associated Grocers said last week that it planned to increase its warehouse and distribution center here by nearly 20 percent, an expansion that will permit its 300-plus member stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas to carry a broader assortment of meats, grocery, and dairy products, according to published reports.

    The $7.3 million expansion, which is scheduled to be complete by the end of summer, will add 106,000 square feet to the warehouse, giving Associated Grocers over 600,000 square feet of storage and distribution space.

    "Our business has grown, and we're in different markets now," J.H. Campbell Jr., president and c.e.o. of Associated Grocers, told the Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge. "For example, there are different types of meats that are popular and prevalent in those markets. We want to carry those types of brands and products that people want." He added that the company is anticipating annual sales growth of between 4 percent and 5 percent, due to the expansion.

    The expansion is expected to save money for the company, by streamlining distribution, and the lower costs and more varied products should boost sales at Associated stores. The company, which currently employs 400 people in the warehouse/DC, including truck drivers, is likely to hire more than 13 new workers.

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