UWG REVAMPS SPECIALTY DIVISION

LOS ANGELES - Unified Western Grocers here said it is changing the name of its specialty division to Market Centre to communicate its broader scope.offer specialty, natural, organic and ethnic products to Unified members and other customers up and down the West Coast, with the new promotional tag line, "More ways to make it your market."According to Joe Falvey, president of Unified's Northern California

LOS ANGELES - Unified Western Grocers here said it is changing the name of its specialty division to Market Centre to communicate its broader scope.

offer specialty, natural, organic and ethnic products to Unified members and other customers up and down the West Coast, with the new promotional tag line, "More ways to make it your market."

According to Joe Falvey, president of Unified's Northern California division and also of Market Centre, "Our branding consultants recognized we had awesome capabilities that were not being effectively communicated - literally, 'more ways' to make our retailers more successful than their competitors. The notion of 'more ways' became the core of our new positioning because it creates emotional glue that ties our product and service offerings to the soul of every aspiring retailer."

Falvey outlined the new name and promotional program during Unified's annual meeting here last week.

Also speaking at the meeting was Dan Murphy, senior vice president, perishables and retail support services, who unveiled plans to expand Unified University from a series of classroom training sessions to incor-porate Internet-based training programs supplied by a third party - Your Retail Resources - dealing with workplace issues, leadership for women, finance, hiring and interviewing, diversity, interpersonal communications, effective listening, anger management and customer service, as well as a series of Internet-based management and department training programs from Cornell University.

Following the meeting, Unified's board elected Lou Amen chairman for the 12th time in the last 16 years. Amen, owner of Super A Foods, a 12-store independent based in Paramount, Calif., was first elected chairman of Unified's predecessor, Certified Grocers of California, in 1990. He had left in 2004 and returned last year.