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AWG Reports Record-Breaking Year In FY 2017 Results

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Last updated on March 25th, 2021 at 07:23 pm

Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG), headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas, reported record consolidated net sales of $9.70 billion and distributed a record $203.4 million in year-end patronage at its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

AWG’s cooperative sales increased 10.5 percent over fiscal 2016 to $8.48 billion. Total distribution of cooperative benefits returned to shareholders, including interest, allowances and patronage, was $576.9 million, another record. Total members’ investment and equity ended the year valued at $550.6 million, an all-time high. Due to strong results from AWG’s subsidiaries and gains harvested from non-operating investments, the trading value for class “A” shares increased 10 percent to $2,200 per share.

“AWG achieved these financial results primarily due to strong sales and widespread membership growth. To all the new members that joined AWG in the past year, thank you!” said David Smith, president and CEO. “While we were blessed by strong sales growth, we’re most proud of the $50 million in cost of goods reductions our members have received and will carry forward to be more competitive in their respective markets. Those reductions began in the fall of 2016 because of our overall initiative for improved vendor-partner relationships and from aggregating what is now $22 billion in annual buying power of our member stores, which surprisingly would rank them as the nation’s 6th largest retail grocer.

In photos:

Retail Grocer Attendees, Associated Wholesale Grocers Showcase, Overland Park, Kansas, March 26-28

“Just like the industry overall, AWG and our members also had our share of challenges. It was a hard-fought year, and we are so very thankful for the leadership of our board, the support and patience of our members, and the great efforts of our vendor partners as well as our AWG teammates that made it happen.”

Barry Queen, chairman of the board, said, “2017 was a year filled with incredible change for my company, our industry and certainly for our cooperative. I’m pleased our cooperative could reposition its operating footprint and take advantage of new growth opportunities all at the same time. While there were bright spots in many areas, the explosive growth in the Chicagoland area was the most impressive. I think we went from a negligible market share to the wholesale leader to independent grocers there all in a single year! The new members there are a great addition to our cooperative family, and we are excited to learn from them as they’re fine operators.”

The theme of the Annual Shareholders Meeting was “Future Focused,” reflecting the emphasis AWG says it is placing on fulfilling its mission to provide member-retailers with the tools, products and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served. This includes supermarket merchandise and support services.

In photos:

2018 AWG Showcase & Annual Meeting, Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, Kansas, March 26-28

“We have new competition heating it up in the physical and digital space and it’s not going to be slowing down anytime soon,” added Queen. “As a member-owned cooperative, we band together to take these challenges head on, and we rely fully on AWG to provide us with what we need to remain successful and relevant. I’m very proud of our leadership team and of our board of directors that work closely together to ensure our cooperative remains strong and is focused on the needs of our members—today and tomorrow.”

AWG serves more than 1,100 member companies and more than 3,800 locations throughout 36 states from 8 full-line wholesale divisions. The company also operates subsidiary companies which provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, print and digital marketing services, and health and beauty care, general merchandise, specialty/international foods and pharmaceutical products.

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