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Mitchell Grocery aligns with Ace Hardware wholesaler

Partnership with Emery Jensen boosts GM lineup for independent grocers

Distributor Mitchell Grocery Corp. is bolstering its general merchandise offerings for independent supermarkets through a partnership with Emery Jensen Distribution, the wholesale division of Ace Hardware.

Mitchell Grocery said Thursday that the alliance will enable it to offer 8,000 grocery-relevant SKUs — and give the company access to more than 90,000 other items — to all of its 200-plus independent grocers in the Southeast.

Through the program, retail customers can add products such as kitchen accessories, hardware and grilling accessories to their store inventory. Mitchell Grocery said customers can order these items for cross-dock on their regularly scheduled deliveries.

Emery Jensen is offering 40 in-aisle planogram sections as well as a clip-strip program and full seasonal programs, Mitchell Grocery reported. Independent grocery customers also will be able to access Hallmark greeting card and Bissell carpet-cleaning rental programs.

According to Mitchell Grocery, the collaboration with Emery Jensen fills a gap in its general merchandise lineup and will help its retail clients offer more convenient shopping. Currently, the Albertville, Ala.-based supermarket wholesaler distributes more than 20,000 items, including grocery, fresh meat, fresh produce, dairy, frozen food, ice cream, health and beauty care, and deli-bakery products.

"We are extremely excited to announce this partnership, and we have great confidence that this will put our retailers in the best position to compete," Jackson Mitchell, director of store development for Mitchell Grocery, said in a statement. "We believe that Emery Jensen has a superior offering and has created a program specifically compatible with our mission to improve our current general merchandise initiatives for the benefit of our customers."

Emery Jensen, based in Oak Brook, Ill., distributes over 90,000 locally relevant paint, lawn and garden, hardware, lumber and related items to more than 2,000 retail locations nationwide.

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