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Wakefern Food Corp. will mark the opening of its newest warehouse, in Elizabeth, N.J., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 17 at 12:30 p.m.
The 524,000-square-foot facility replaces a Wakefern grocery warehouse at the same site and boosts storage capabilities by more than 58 percent to aid in the distribution of nonperishable foods to ShopRite, PriceRite and The Fresh Grocer stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia. As well as more square footage, the new building will feature 36-foot high ceilings, which will increase Wakefern’s storage space considerably. The facility currently employs 345 associates, but is expected to add an additional 150 permanent jobs to the city of Elizabeth over the next decade.
All in the Family
In June 2011, Wakefern moved its nonperishable operations to a temporary site in Carteret, N.J., while the original Elizabeth warehouse, which dated from the late 1950s, was demolished and rebuilt. The current facility was completed in November 2013 and became fully operational by February 2014.
“Wakefern’s strength comes from its core focus of ‘families serving families,’” noted Chairman and CEO Joseph Colalillo. “This personal connection to our business makes a partnership with Elberon [Development Co., owned by] the Evans family – more than 50 years in the making – a natural extension of our commitment to our customers, our stores and the communities we serve.”
Since it was founded in 1946, Wakefern has become the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. It currently comprises 50 members who own and operate more than 250 stores under the ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer banners. Wakefern also operates more than 50 PriceRite stores in six states, and distributes products to other supermarkets throughout the northeastern United States and Bermuda.