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White Rose To Open Distribution Center In June

Company Will Expand As New Food Products Are Added


April 24, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Cataño will be the home of White Rose’s new distribution center, which should be operational in June, announced CEO Steve Bokser.

Bokser said White Rose won’t be constructing a building for the distribution center but instead will rent space it shares with another company. "At first we will only rent space; as we grow, however, we will look for additional space," he said. "If everything goes as expected, we will get a bigger facility and add product lines."

"Initially, we will only use the center to distribute dry groceries, but later we will add frozen and dairy products," said James McGuire, White Rose’s director of business development. He said that adding frozen and dairy products would require White Rose to invest in refrigeration equipment, which the company plans to do when it moves into its own distribution center.

"We decided to share this space because we wanted to get in quickly," McGuire said. "We wanted to respond to retailers’ requests that we help them to compete." He told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS the investment required for the distribution center has yet to be determined.

Bokser said the distribution center fulfills a promise made to local food retailers about six years ago to help them compete with megaretailers. "Distribution in Puerto Rico is costly and now, with Wal-Mart expanding, the situation is [precarious for] our customers on the island. This distribution center will help them," he said. White Rose serves most large and independent supermarket chains on the island.

Bokser said he doesn’t know how many employees will work at the new center, as this will depend on the volume of products it distributes.

New Jersey-based White Rose, which is owned by Di Giorgio Corp., had originally announced its intention to open a distribution center in Puerto Rico in November (CB Nov. 21, 2002). Even before that, however, the company had negotiated unsuccessfully for almost two years to purchase local supermarket chain Supermercados Grande (CB Oct. 10, 2002). White Rose serves independent retailers, supermarket chains, and members of voluntary cooperatives, mostly on the U.S. East Coast. The company has annual sales of $1.6 billion.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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