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Affiliated tops wholesalers.

Harvest Foods Ranks as Largest Grocer

AFFILIATED FOODS SOUTHwest Inc. of Little Rock is the largest food wholesaler in the state, with 39 percent of the market.

That's almost a third larger than Harvest Foods Inc. of Little Rock, which earns a market share of 30 percent just by supplying its own 54 stores. Harvest Foods is Arkansas' largest grocery chain, with estimated revenues of $440 million, according to the "1993 Chain Store Guide" of Tampa, Fla.

Affiliated Foods, which did $468 million in revenues last year, supplies 216 stores in Arkansas, 89 in Texas and 55 in Louisiana. Since May, Affiliated has added 59 stores in Texas, according to the Shelby Report of the Southwest. All of the Texas stores previously were supplied by Affiliated Food Stores in Keller, Texas, which went out of business about two years ago.

Affiliated plans to expand into Oklahoma while adding more stores in Texas and Louisiana.

Affiliated supplies such primary chains as Smitty's Food Stores of Magnolia, Village Markets of Fort Smith, Food King of Searcy and Jitney Jungle of Jackson, Miss.

In August, Affiliated opened a state-of-the art, 65,000-SF freezer complex with a 31-foot ceiling clearance.

Jerry Davis, Affiliated's president, told the Shelby Report of the Southwest the freezer "is one of the most high-tech, highly mechanized freezers in the United States."

J.D. Harper, vice president of the Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association, says competition is fierce among the state's food wholesalers.

When Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is included in the picture with its Supercenters and wholesale distribution through its new, 700,000-SF McLane warehouse in Clarksville, the competition becomes even more intense, Harper says.

"There is a lot of speculation out there about how Wal-Mart, the retail giant, will do in the grocery business," Harper says. "There are a lot of ideas that are the same in the grocery business TABULAR DATA OMITTED |as in retail~ and there are a lot of other things that may be new for them."

Wal-Mart's Supercenters and Sam's Wholesale Club stores were not included in the list of state grocery chains because they normally are categorized as discount stores. Another Wal-Mart subsidiary, Phillips Co., did an estimated $250 million in sales last year, according to the "Chain Store Guide," but its executives asked that the company not be included on the list.

Harvest Foods' major change last year was the creation of Southwest Wholesale Grocery to better use its large warehouse space. It plans to remodel 35 stores this year and next year and should add a 40,000-SF store in 1994, according to the Shelby Report of the Southwest.
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Title Annotation:Affiliated Foods Southwest Inc.
Author:Smith, David (American novelist)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Oct 25, 1993
Previous Article:Arkansas Best Corp. offices to consolidate.
Next Article:Shulertown returns.

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