The expansion of the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler will bring new jobs to DeSoto County.
Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) will create 79 new jobs with the construction of a new facility in Hernando. The expansion project represents a corporate investment of $300 million. Governor Tate Reeves applauded the move this afternoon, stating that the company’s announcement comes at an opportune time.
“When Mississippi businesses, such as Associated Wholesale Grocers, grow and provide even more jobs in our communities, it serves as a strong testament to our state’s skilled workforce and strong, supportive business environment,” Governor Reeves said. “AWG’s expansion in DeSoto County and the creation of 79 new jobs come at a time when Mississippians are eager to return to work and get back on their feet. I know the company’s employees will work hard to continue AWG’s legacy of success in Northwest Mississippi.”
AWG is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently-owned supermarkets, serving more than 1,100 member companies and more than 3,000 locations throughout 28 states from eight full-line wholesale divisions. AWG is relocating operations from Southaven and Memphis to Hernando, where the company is constructing a 918,000-square-foot automated distribution facility. The Hernando facility will have a total of 590 employees.
“Our industry is ever-changing, and we must continue to identify opportunities to better meet our members’ needs. We are excited to be able to streamline our needs, implement technology to assist where it makes the most sense, remove the need for additional touchpoints on goods where practical and to have our employees focus on areas where they are needed most,” said AWG CEO David Smith. “This new facility will help us ensure we deliver an expanded variety of groceries and related products on time, accurately, safely and in good condition while creating value throughout the supply chain for AWG and our members.”
The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for site preparation, construction, and public infrastructure needs. AWG also qualifies for the Advantage Jobs Rebate Program, which provides a rebate to eligible businesses that create new jobs that exceed the average annual wage of the state or county in which the company locates or expands. DeSoto County and the city of Hernando are providing assistance with public infrastructure needs, a property tax fee-in-lieu, and a Free Port Warehouse exemption. Entergy Mississippi is assisting with the project as well.
“The Mississippi Development Authority is glad to support Associated Wholesale Grocers as the company brings so many new jobs online for the residents of DeSoto County, which is a result of the hard work and efforts of the DeSoto County Economic Development Council,” said MDA Interim Director John Rounsaville. “AWG’s growth will be a boon to the local economy for years to come, as its new employees will add to the local tax base while giving back to Northwest Mississippi’s communities.”
According to a news release from Governor Reeves’ office, AWG plans to begin operations in Hernando in the spring of 2023.