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Associated Food Stores, Brookshire Brothers Share Best Practices

Associated Food Stores, Brookshire Brothers Share Best Practices
Brookshire Brothers executives discuss the grocer's cut-fruit program with Associated Food Stores share group members

Amid a highly competitive retail climate, Salt Lake City-based Associated Food Stores (AFS) and regional food retailer Brookshire Brothers recently met for a week to share best practices, challenges and solutions in the latter’s home state of Texas.

“The Brookshire Brothers team provided an in-depth look at the organization,” noted Roger White, AFS’ SVP of sales and category management. “However, the process was much more of a collaboration between our retailers and their team members – everyone sharing ideas, asking questions and providing tips for how to compete in today’s hyper-competitive grocery space.”

The trip was the culmination of a recently formed share group of AFS member-retailers who meet several times a year to work on problems and swap ideas. In the group’s initial meetings, participants expressed the desire to take an annual out-of-market trip to learn from retailers in other parts of the country.

As Brookshire Brothers and AFS have collaborated on past projects and built a trusted relationship, the Lone Star State grocer was a natural choice for the share group’s inaugural excursion.

As Brandon Peterson, an AFS retail-member from Riverton, Utah-based Peterson’s Fresh Market, observed, “It was a great opportunity to associate with comparable retailers in a similarly competitive environment.”

While in Texas, the group toured Brookshire Brothers’ corporate offices and local stores, attended the groundbreaking in College Station for the retailer’s store in partnership with Texas A&M University, and held meetings with executive staff members. 

“We are truly appreciative of Brookshire Brothers’ hospitality and transparency,” said David Rice, president of Associated Retail Operations and SVP of AFS. “We are grateful for [Brookshire Brothers President and CEO] John Alston’s continued partnership, and we look forward to finding additional ways to collaborate with one another to better the independent cause.”

Independent cooperatively owned grocery wholesaler AFS serves more than 400 independent retailers across the intermountain West.

A 100% employee-owned grocer, Brookshire Brothers operates more than 115 stores that stretch west to the Texas Hill Country and east to Lake Charles, La.

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