LOS ANGELES — Unified Western Grocers here is in the process of changing its name to simply Unified Grocers, as part of a new branding image. The member-owned cooperative wholesaler was founded as Certified Grocers of Los Angeles but changed its name to Unified Western Grocers in 1999 when it merged with United Grocers, Portland Ore. The latest name change comes as it is in the process of acquiring Associated Grocers, Seattle. However, that timing is coincidental, a spokesman for UWG told SN, since the company had been considering the change as part of a reassessment of its branding and imagery for several months. “Research indicated most people liked the name Unified but felt ‘Western’ was really not specific, because what is ‘Western,’ anyway? And it was also considered too limiting, though we have no aspirations to go nationwide. But ‘Grocers’ was deemed a positive word, because it relates to our focus on consumers and the realization our job is not finished at the back door of the store, but once the item is pushed across the scanner.” The company is also adopting a new blue “U” logo. Although Unified intends to use the name immediately, it will not be legally changed until shareholders vote in February, the spokesman said.
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