In 1946, a small group of like-minded, Independent Retailers gathered together to pool their purchasing power in order to achieve better pricing. They had no company trucks, warehouse space or personnel. Shipments arrived at a public siding where individual orders were divided up by each store and transported by the store owners’ own means.
It was a meager beginning, but the foresight of these original Independent Retailers held a clear vision of the future. Together, they could strengthen their own independence and better compete in the marketplace. All agreed to invest $1,000 per store and New Hampshire Wholesale Grocers was formed. This original group of retailers set into motion a company that would grow to become Associated Grocers of New England, Inc. The benefits of group buying were immediate, but it soon became obvious more could be accomplished with both a centralized warehouse and, to deliver the goods to each store, a fleet of company-owned trucks.
It was then that a wholesale grocery operation in Concord, New Hampshire, was purchased and other independent grocers joined the group. Within four years, operations moved to a larger warehouse in Manchester, New Hampshire, with four times the amount of space. Sales increased by 500% in a half-dozen years, and by 1956 a new, larger, modern Distribution Center was built in Manchester from the ground up. At 92,750 square feet, this was the largest, single-floor warehouse in Northern New England at the time. A series of additions and expansions allowed this facility to meet the growth and changing needs of the next 50 years.
In early 2006, AG New England moved to a newly constructed Distribution Center in Pembroke, New Hampshire. The impressive new 380,000-square-foot facility houses nearly 11 million cubic feet of space.
The facility was designed to incorporate the latest technologies in receiving, handling and shipping goods. Precise climate control assures absolutely ideal conditions for the receiving, storing and shipping of all product.
The facility includes a test kitchen and meeting and
training rooms. Operations are a marvel of efficiency and allow us to maintain an exceptionally high service level while also boasting a consistently on-time store delivery record of 99%.