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DES MOINES - Supervalu Inc. announced last week it will close its Des Moines distribution center by April 8 in a move to consolidate its distribution network, the Des Moines Register reports.
The Minneapolis-based company, which owns about 1,200 grocery stores nationwide and also distributes groceries, perishable goods and other products to 4,000 other food retailers, said it will lay off 150 people, according to the Register. Another 61 people who were furloughed previously will not be recalled.
Supervalu distributes to about 500 stores in the 11-state region that includes Iowa. The company serves 56 corporate and independent food retailers in the Des Moines area. That business will be shifted to other centers, according to the company.
Improved technology and more efficient inventory-management systems have fueled consolidation in the food distribution and retailing industries, according to a recent report by analysts at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis.
Supervalu opened its first distribution facility in Des Moines in 1931. The operation was moved to its current location in 1968. The company plans to sell the 506,000-square-foot facility.