UNFI to Open New SoCal DC

DAYVILLE, Conn. -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) said yesterday it will lease a state-of-the-art distribution center in Moreno Valley, Calif. Strategically located within Southern California's Inland Empire distribution hub, the recently built 613,200-square-foot facility will be the natural product distributor's largest distribution center in its western region.

"We continue to expand the company's distribution network to accommodate growing consumer demand," noted UNFI president and c.e.o. Michael Funk in a statement.

The DC will service customers in Southern California, Arizona, southern Nevada, southern Utah, and Hawaii. Operations will begin during the summer of 2008, and the facility is expected to employ about 340 associates within the first year.

Extending the company's stated commitment to boost efficiencies, lower operating costs in its distribution network, and improve productivity via "best in class" warehousing and inventory control systems, the DC will contain 27,900 square feet of refrigerated storage, expandable to 49,700 square feet; 48,100 square feet of frozen storage, expandable to 75,300 square feet; a 32,800-square-foot refrigerated receiving/shipping dock; and 22,700 square feet of warehouse mezzanine space.

The company signed a 10-year lease, featuring two additional five-year options, for the property, which is managed by Blackrock and was developed by Overton Moore Properties. Bruce Springer of Grubb & Ellis and Gus Andros and John F.X. Murphy of Collins Commercial served as the listing brokers.

UNFI has the largest warehouse capacity of any distributor in the natural products industry and, with the opening of the Moreno Valley DC, will have over 5.8 million square feet of space at 21 distribution centers across the United States.

UNFI carries and distributes over 40,000 products to more than 17,000 customers nationwide. The company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators, and the foodservice channel.
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