United Supermarkets opens new distribution center, plans growth - The Packer

United Supermarkets opens new distribution center, plans growth

01/14/2011 03:12:13 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — Bagged apples sit across the aisle from pepino melons. Organics and a large display of Texas-grown pecans vie for your attention.

That’s the way Lubbock, Texas-based United Supermarkets LLC does upscale in its Market Street by United stores.

“We’re everyday meets gourmet,” said David Rosser, produce supervisor for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “Someone can shop here like a regular grocery store and find all the things they’d normally buy, and someone can shop like a foodie here as well.”

That means a full line of organic produce and specialty items, Rosser said.

There are 10 Market Street by United Supermarkets overall, with six in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and the company is poised for more growth.

Nov. 1 brought the opening of its new 200,000-square-foot distribution center in Roanoke, outside of Fort Worth.

It was designed for perishables and other “high velocity items,” including handling about 90% of the company’s produce.

“Our decision to build the facility in North Texas allows for further growth throughout the region and reaffirms our corporate commitment to ensuring that United guests are offered the freshest items as fast as possible,” said Chris St. Clair, executive vice president for information and logistics, in a news release.

All six of the company’s Market Street stores were built in the past six years, but new store openings were put on hold until the new distribution center was finished.

Eddie Owens, director of corporate communications, said United plans to open a new convenience store concept called Taste of Market Street in March. It will be followed by a United store at the same location, he said.

“We have about a dozen stock keeping units (of produce) in our current Taste of Market Street stores and will likely have more cut fruit in this new store,” he said.

Cut fruit is an area Rosser said is growing.

“We’re seeing big growth in this area,” he said. “Since the pre-packaged boom started, I haven’t seen a lot of drop-off in that area. Cut fruit is the same way.”

As of early January, the company also expanded the NuVal nutritional rating system to all 50 of its stores.

The program previously was in 14 stores.

To support the program’s rollout, the company held Healthy New You expos at select stores, where trained staff explained the system, and provided cooking instruction for healthful meals.



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