Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG), Kansas City, Kan., announced the sale and future closure of its Fort Worth, Texas, division.

“To continue to maintain the lowest possible cost of operation, AWG has made the determination to consolidate the remaining Fort Worth business into our more efficient and productive Oklahoma City distribution center,” says AWG. “This consolidation will provide synergies for our entire organization, and will provide the former Fort Worth members with an improved assortment. As part of this decision, AWG has entered into an agreement to sell the Fort Worth facility. We anticipate vacating the facility and completing the transition of our remaining Fort Worth business to Oklahoma City by Oct. 31.”

“Our mission at AWG is to provide our member-retailers all of the tools, products and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served,” adds David Smith, president and CEO. “This includes top-quality supermarket merchandise and support services, all at the lowest possible cost. To remain the low-cost provider, we must constantly evaluate how we operate and what we can do to improve. This requires us to consider and implement change when necessary to stay true to our mission.

Please know that staying true to our mission and supporting our commitments to our member-retailers for the lowest possible cost sometimes requires us to make difficult decisions. That is certainly the case with regard to my writing today, and we are deeply saddened to close our Fort Worth facility even though we know this is the right thing for us to do. We understand that the positive business implications do not overcome the tremendous impact this will have on our loyal Fort Worth employees and their families, and that is what made this decision so difficult and heart-wrenching. AWG has a tremendous group of employees, and we will continue to need high-quality people to fill positions throughout our organization. We hope that many of those affected will be interested in pursuing continued employment with the company in one of our other locations. We are truly thankful for their contributions to the organization and their unyielding dedication to AWG and its members.”

AWG will continue to concentrate on organic and strategic growth across its distribution areas, having recently on-boarded over 550 new members operating approximately 1,000 new stores.