HONOLULU — Times Supermarkets here is switching suppliers and will begin buying groceries next month from Unified Grocers of Los Angeles, the cooperative wholesaler said Wednesday.
Times, which operates 20 stores in Hawaii and is merging with another five-store operator there, had been buying from C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., which is the dominant wholesaler in Hawaii.
"We believe that Unified's wide selection of products and efficient distribution systems will help us become more competitive in the months and years ahead," said Bob Stout, president of Times Supermarkets, in a prepared statement.
Times operates 17 supermarkets under the Times Supermarkets banner, two stores under the Fujioka's Wine Times banner and one store under the Shima's Supermarket banner.
Last month Times' parent company, PAQ, Stockton, Calif., acquired 5 Big Save Value Centers on Kauai, which are expected to become "part of Times Supermarket family" on July 25, Unified said.
C&S took over most of Hawaii's supermarket accounts after Fleming folded in 2002 and had been supplying 70 stores that do about 43% of the state's volume, before losing the Times volume. Unified supplied 30 stores and had an 11% share before picking up Times, sources previously told SN.