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Broker/Wholesaler Corner.

David Smith to be president and CEO of Associated Wholesale Grocers

Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG), Kansas City, Kan., said its board of directors selected David Smith to succeed Jerry Garland as president and CEO, beginning in January 2016. Smith is currently the executive vice president of operations for the company.

Smith began his career in the food industry as an independent store owner and has worked in various assignments at the wholesale level. He joined AWG in 2003 and opened the new Gulf Coast Division in Louisiana in 2013 as senior vice president, general manager, AWG said.

"AWG is fortunate to have someone as experienced in family-owned businesses as David, with an experienced leadership team in place to support his efforts," said Barry Queen, chairman of the board for AWG. "The AWG board has worked closely with Jerry over the past few years on a succession plan that will provide a smooth transition and continue the momentum that the company and our members have benefited from over his time as CEO."

Garland has served as president and CEO since 2009 and has grown AWG into a $9 billion wholesale cooperative operating nine distribution centers, the company said. During his tenure, the cooperative grew sales by 31 percent and increased net income by 70 percent while lowering operating expenses.

"On behalf of the entire membership, we want to thank Jerry for his 25 years of service and particularly for the outstanding results during his tenure as CEO," Queen said.

Garland will continue to serve AWG in an advisory capacity after the transition is complete. He will also continue to serve as chairman of the Food Marketing Institute until the end of his current term, AWG said.

Daymon opens import showroom

Daymon Worldwide Inc., Stamford, Conn., said its Omni Global Sourcing Solutions opened a state-of-the-art 8,500-square-foot Philadelphia showroom to allow customers access to in-demand seasonal and general merchandise imports. The showroom will display products from more than 500 manufacturers around the globe, providing full-service one-stop global sourcing services to ensure easy on-time delivery of high-quality general merchandise from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The showroom is continuously refreshed and features seasonal items for fall harvest, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter and back-to-school, plus toys, housewares, popular lawn and garden products, customized displayers and melamine end-cap offerings.

"Retailers aren't expected to be importers, and most are understandably wary of dealing with complicated importing processes, particularly as importing general merchandise is vastly different than importing food," said Vipon Kumar, chief sourcing and trading officer, Daymon Worldwide. "Our new Omni Global Sourcing Solutions showroom is just one of the ways we're making it easier for our business partners to access the product solutions they're looking for to differentiate, enhance margins, expand their market reach and grow their brands."

The showroom includes an impressive 8,000 square feet of shelving, offering 30 percent more space for product displays than the previous showroom. Additionally, there is 6,000 square feet of modern office space available for customer meetings, Daymon said.

"Our customers can visit our Philly showroom, or access our cloud-based digital showroom to connect with reliable vetted suppliers of desired products that meet their custom specifications," Kumar said. "Once we help our customers make the best choices, we grab the reins to handle all of the details, including purchase confirmation, process management, logistics, quality assurance and compliance with local, state and federal agencies. This ensures convenient on-time delivery of exactly what our customers need, when they need it."
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Publication:Progressive Grocer's Store Brands
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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