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    Sprouts unveils state-of-the-art distribution center in Fullerton
    • October 12, 2023

    Sprouts Farmers Market held a grand opening Thursday, Oct. 12 for a state-of-the-art distribution center in Fullerton that’s designed to shorten product delivery times and enhance the freshness of produce shipped to Sprouts markets.

    The 337,000-square-foot facility, at 1829 E. Orangethorpe Ave., began operation in April and currently serves more than 95 Sprouts locations within a 250-mile radius. It’s equipped with temperature-controlled “ripening rooms” that are kept at 34 and 55 degrees to support the ripening process.

    “This ensures optimal conditions for produce storage, providing shoppers perfectly ripe avocados and bananas,” Sprouts CEO Jack Sinclair said.

    Sprouts said the center, which employs more than 190 workers, will reduce transportation-related emissions by shaving an estimated 725,000 miles from current delivery routes due to its closer proximity to stores.

    The Fullerton facility is just 26 miles from Los Angeles, for example, while the company’s next closest distribution center in Union City, Ca. is 368 miles away.

    The Phoenix-based grocer operates additional distribution centers in Aurora, Colo. Glendale, Ariz. Orlando, Fla., Wilmer, Texas and East Point, Ga.

    A recent survey from Deloitte show that 68% of shoppers are willing to pay top dollar for fresh foods. On average, consumers will pay up to 28% more for fresh food as opposed to frozen, canned or processed alternatives.

    But at least 80% of consumers and grocers think food suppliers have raised prices more than necessary to increase their profits.

    Price is a top consideration when buying fresh foods, the study said, but consumers also look more to information related to supply chain and sustainability.

    The Fullerton facility incorporates Sprouts’ dedication to sustainability with 11 electric vehicle charging stations for employee use and an EV terminal truck to assist with daily yard operations. The grocery chain also plans to incorporate solar panels at the center.

    The distribution center will also support and expand Sprouts’ farm partnerships with a variety of local growers, including Eco Farms in Temecula, Cyma Orchids in Oxnard, Valdivia Farms in Carslbad and Windset Farms in Santa Maria, among others.

    To celebrate the opening of the Fullerton distribution center, the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is awarding $65,000 to support new school gardening and nutrition education programs at Maple Elementary School and Commonwealth Elementary School in Fullerton.

    The Deloitte report further notes that 91% of consumers believe a wholesome diet includes fresh food, while 64% of grocery retail executives say fresh food is the most important department for their company’s sales growth plan over the next 12-36 months.

    In recent years, grocery retailer have faced a host of challenges. On top of rising costs and growing inflation, they have dealt with major supply chain disruptions — from shipping delays to labor shortages.

    Sprouts’ most recent second-quarter earnings report shows the company generated $1.7 billion in net sales and opened six new stores. The company’s same store sales were up 3.2% for the quarter.

    Headquartered in Phoenix, Sprouts employs about 31,000 workers and operates more than 400 stores throughout the U.A.

    ​ Orange County Register