Moving ahead with its rapid expansion, KeHE Distributors plans to unveil what will be its largest distribution center next week in Dallas.
Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE said yesterday that the 1 million-square-foot DC will formally open on Oct. 5. The new facility houses enhanced technology to raise service levels to partners, including a 210,000-square-foot freezer with a climate-controlled ice cream room, robotics and automation to sharpen accuracy when selecting, and improved batch-pick to lower emissions and energy demand.
In addition, the Dallas DC will provide more dedicated support for KeHE’s expanding roster of retailer and supplier partners, the distributor noted.
“KeHE is ecstatic to continue serving its partners and helping the communities in which we do business,” Era Vaughn, vice president of operations at KeHE, said in a statement. “Dallas is the perfect location for this facility, due to its prime location that will allow us to expand upon existing as well as new clients. Additionally, the size and technology improvement in this distribution center will allow us to provide an expanded assortment of items and improved level of service that our retailers expect and deserve.”
KeHE has continued to bolster its distribution network and customer base in recent years. Last month, the company debuted a 124,000-square-foot expansion of its Aurora, Colo. DC, earmarked for new, independent grocery clients and featuring 33% more freezer space, 66% more cooler space and 43% more dry grocery space.
Also in August, KeHE also extended its KeHE CONNECT Direct digital fulfillment network to include its DC in Chino, Calif., making the service available to West Coast retailers. The Chino facility joins three fulfillment centers supporting the CONNECT Direct service. Launched in June, KeHE CONNECT Direct offers retail partners an expanded assortment options for dry, refrigerated and frozen items, including products not available in their home distribution center and items in smaller quantities.
KeHE earlier this year added grocery retail cooperative Allegiance Retail Services as a primary distribution customer and expanded distribution of natural and specialty products with Publix Super Markets. And in December, KeHE opened its 17th distribution center, a 500,000-square-foot facility in Goodyear, Ariz. The launch of the new DC, announced in October 2021, followed the openings of a 377,000-square-foot DC in West Ellettsville, Ind., in November 2020 and a 550,000-square-foot DC in North East, Md., in October 2020.
An employee-owned, B Corp-certified company, KeHE supplies natural, organic, fresh and specialty food, groceries and other products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, supermarket chains, independent grocery stores, online retailers, retail pharmacies, convenience stores, foodservice providers and specialty retailers across North America.