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FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Glidewell Distributing, based here, has been approved by national grocery cooperative and wholesaler Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) for membership. Glidewell will receive shipment from the 700,000-square-foot AWG warehouse in Oklahoma City, one of the organization's nine U.S. distribution hubs.
"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."
AWG, the second-largest grocery cooperative and fourth largest grocery wholesaler in the country, offers 12,534 grocery items, 2,143 meat products, 1,000 produce selections and hundreds of deli, bakery and floral items, the company said. Glidewell plans to start by bringing in AWG's best-selling items and then add more over time. Customers can also request items that are not on its initial list.
"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."
Glidewell supplies convenience stores and other retailers with alcohol, tobacco, snacks, groceries, health and beauty supplies, and related products. The family-owned business has operated since 1946.