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UNFI to Consolidate Denver Facilities

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — United Natural Foods here on Tuesday said it would consolidate its four existing Denver-based distribution facilities into a new 535,000-square-foot facility in Aurora, Colo.

The new facility is expected to begin operations in the summer of 2013. Situated near I-70 in the Denver International Airport corridor, the new facility will serve as a distribution hub for retailers in the Rocky Mountain region as well as Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, UNFI said.

The center will feature approximately 160,000 square feet of refrigeration and freezer space, including an expanded cold dock, and over 42,000 square feet for employee offices and workspaces. UNFI said no jobs were expected to be impacted in the transition. The facility is expected to open with 475 workers and increase up to 550 within the first three years, based on plans for increased capacity.

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"With new and efficient operations, and all our associates located together, this new facility should enable us to continue to expand our operations while reducing operating costs," said Steve Spinner, UNFI's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Denver and Aurora are great communities with a strong and receptive workforce. We are very excited about continuing our long-standing relationship in the area with a single, centrally located facility at Gateway Park."

Separately on Tuesday, UNFI said sales during its fiscal fourth quarter increased by 16% to $1.3 billion, while net income of $25.1 million improved by 46.4%. Gross margin as a percent of sales was down by 1.5%, below analyst expectations.

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