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UNFI Restructures Service Regions

Natural foods wholesaler to operate from 3 geographic areas, eliminates 150 jobs
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
UNFI condensed is geographic hubs from four to three regions, and is shedding about 150 positions.

There are some changes at hand at United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI). As the company focuses on short-term efforts to improve profitability, outlined in its latest financial report, UNFI announced that it is consolidating its operating regions.

Going forward, there will be three such regions instead of four. Customers will work with UNFI in the East, Central and West regions. The East region spans from Maine to Florida and west to Tennessee and includes 22 distribution centers. The Central region extends roughly from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, with 16 distribution centers across 21 states. The remapped West region covers 10 states stretching from Utah to Alaska and will work from 14 distribution centers.

[Read more: “Value, New Products on Wish Lists at UNFI Holiday Show’]

Kelly Sosa will head up the East region, while Tandy Harvey will serve as president of the Central region and Bob Garibaldi will oversee the West region. The three regional presidents will continue to report to Steve Dietz, UNFI’s chief customer officer.

Due to the restructuring, about 150 roles will be eliminated. Most of those jobs are in management and supervisory functions, UNFI reported.

The decision to streamline its geographic hubs will help the company make strides in its series of four transformation initiatives designed to enhance the supplier and customer experience, said CEO Sandy Douglas. “These changes are a step in our transformation plan. The regional realignment will decrease layers of administrative management, increase leaders’ span of geographic responsibility, better align us to serve customers with less complexity, and support faster decision making. These changes are also intended to make our company more efficient and more profitable,” he explained.

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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