Sprouts Farmers Market has opened its first distribution center in Florida as the grocer plans to support a 33-store Florida footprint by the end of the year.
Since opening its first store in the state in 2017, Sprouts has been rapidly expanding across Florida. The new distribution center will serve all the grocer's current 23 stores in the state and the additional 10 locations planned to open in Florida this year.
The 135,000 square-foot facility was built for Sprouts and includes 34°F and 55°F storage and fruit ripening rooms that are ideal for the wide variety of fresh produce Sprouts offers. Sprouts recently announced it will drive efficiencies across its network of fresh distribution centers by locating them within 250 miles of the stores they serve, allowing for fresher, local assortment.
“With organics representing more than a third of our produce business in Florida, we know shoppers across the state are interested in fresh, affordable organics and local varieties,” said Chief Fresh Merchandising Officer Scott Neal. “We’ve put together a team of local produce buyers to bring to market the freshest, local product available. Additionally, the new center’s state-of-the-art ripening rooms provide the ideal climate for produce storage and will immediately provide shoppers with perfectly-ripe avocados and bananas.”
The distribution center will support and expand Sprouts’ local farm partnerships with growers like Jim Rash, Noble Citrus, Astin Berry Exchange and others, allowing for exclusives like Sugar Baby watermelons, a crisp yet juicy version with a classic sweet taste, available this summer. Later this year, Florida stores will transition to an all-organic mushroom set.
Sprouts is partnering with Penske Logistics as its third-party logistics provider for the distribution center and dedicated transportation fleet which created 57 new full-time jobs in the market. The grocer’s ability to offer the freshest, highest-quality produce at a great value is supported through its network of distribution centers, direct grower relationships and enhanced quality controls. In addition to the new Orlando, Fla. facility, Sprouts currently operates distribution centers in Aurora, Colo.; Colton and Union City, Calif.; Glendale, Ariz.; Wilmer, Texas; and Atlanta, Ga.
Phoenix-based Sprouts, which employs more than 35,000 team members at 360-plus stores in 23 states, is No. 48 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.