Glidewell Distributing of Fort Smith has received final approval for membership with national grocery supplier, Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG).
A regional distributor of products primarily to convenience stores, Glidewell Distributing was notified by AWG on Jan. 18 that its membership application and review process were complete.
“It’s very exciting for us, because the majority of AWG members are large chain grocery stores, not regional distributors,” said Nick Glidewell, sales director for Glidewell Distributing. “By gaining this membership, we’ve just massively increased our buying power and given our customers access to five or six times as many products as they had before.”
Founded in 1926 and headquartered in Kansas City, AWG has nine distribution hubs throughout the United States. It is the second-largest grocery cooperative and fourth largest grocery wholesaler in the U.S.
AWG has 2,700 member stores in 24 states and its 2010 sales were $7.25 billion. Glidewell Distributing will receive shipment from a 700,000-square-foot AWG warehouse in Oklahoma City.
“We’ll still continue on with our current suppliers,” Glidewell said, “but this [association with AWG] will open up entirely new lines and product categories that our customers will find very attractive.”