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C&S Shuttering Three Former White Rose DCs In New Jersey

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C&S Wholesale Grocers confirmed to The Griffin Report Thursday that three food distribution facilities in New Jersey that C&S purchased in the 2014 bankruptcy of Associated Wholesalers Inc. (AWI) will cease operations on or about July 12, with distribution responsibilities shifting to other facilities in the surrounding region. The closures will not affect the facilities in Pennsylvania that C&S also purchased in AWI’s bankruptcy.

The facilities, which were formerly run by AWI’s subsidiary, White Rose, are located in Carteret and Avenel, New Jersey. The distribution centers supply grocery, dairy and frozen food products and are operated by C&S subsidiaries Middlesex Avenue Logistics LLC, Middlesex Avenue Haulage LLC, Blair Road Logistics LLC, Blair Road Haulage LLC and Port Carteret Drive Logistics LLC.

Teamsters Locals 97, 641, 863 and 810 represent approximately 435 employees at the three facilities. C&S says the companies have invited the unions to participate in negotiations regarding the effects of the closures on these employees. Approximately 163 other employees also work at the distribution centers, 45 of whom now will work from offices in Edison, New Jersey; the remainder will be offered transition packages, including the opportunity to apply for openings at other facilities operated by C&S or its subsidiaries.   

C&S says it provided interim financing support for the challenged AWI through the bankruptcy proceedings as the sale was finalized in late 2014. Once the sale was approved in November, C&S and its subsidiaries immediately took steps to strengthen the operations’ financial footing by stabilizing the customer base, re-establishing credibility with manufacturers, enhancing operational practices, integrating IT systems and renegotiating suboptimal vendor contracts.

Despite these efforts, C&S says the facilities’ financial performance required additional attention, especially when compared with the cost of servicing the former White Rose customers from alternate locations within the wholesaler’s network.

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