Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas, held its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, March 22, at the Overland Park Convention Center. The meeting was the 90th for the wholesaler, which reported record consolidated net sales of $9.18 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent, for 2016. Year-end patronage distribution was more than $201.7 million, a new record, or 2.78 percent of qualifying sales.
Total distribution to AWG members, including promotional allowances, year-end patronage and interest, was $546 million. Stock value increased to $2,000 per share, up 4.4 percent from the time of the 2016 shareholders meeting. Total members’ investment and equity ended the year with a new record at $544 million, up 14 percent.
Over the past 50 years, AWG shows a compounded annual sales growth of 8.7 percent and a compounded patronage growth rate on returns to members increase of 11.8 percent.
AWG President and CEO David Smith said, “This is your company and we serve only one master in this business—our member retailers. Our ongoing mission is to provide our member-retailers all the tools, products and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served. This includes top-quality supermarket merchandise and support services, all at the lowest possible cost.”
AWG Board Chairman Barry Queen told the more than 400 attending members, “I challenge each of you to take a hard look at your organizational chart. If you don’t have the ‘customer’ at the top of that chart, followed by those that deal most closely with the customer, then something is wrong. Customer service is still an element that differentiates us from our competition, so we better embrace it, believe it and live it.”