MALVERN, Pa. -- Acme Markets here, a division of Boise, Idaho-based Albertson's, said last week it is scheduled to begin shipping product today from a new 1.4 million-square-foot distribution center in Denver, Pa.
The new facility will consolidate volume from three other warehouses, the company said -- a 600,000-square-foot dry grocery warehouse in West Philadelphia that will be closed; a 500,000-square-foot grocery and perishables facility in South Philadelphia that Acme may continue to use for perishables, possibly until June; and a 350,000-square-foot leased facility in Lancaster, Pa., that warehouses nonfood and health and beauty care items.
The company said the consolidation is designed "to create efficiencies that allow Acme to better serve its customers."
The consolidation could result in layoffs of approximately 700 workers in Philadelphia, including 400 from the grocery facility and 300 from the perishables facility, although some employees at the perishables warehouse will keep their jobs as long as Acme keeps that facility open, while others might move to the new Denver distribution center after two Teamsters locals resolve a jurisdictional dispute.
Teamsters Local 169, which represents workers at the two Philadelphia warehouses, won a ruling in June from the Joint Council of Teamsters to move with the work to Denver; however, Teamsters Local 771 in Lancaster County, which has traditionally represented Teamsters in that area, has appealed that ruling to the union's general executive board, which is not expected to rule until early November.
When the Denver facility opens, the Teamsters there will be members of Local 771, pending the outcome of the appeal.