IRWINDALE, Calif. -- The distribution and fleet operations of Hughes Family Markets here will be integrated into the distribution systems of Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif., once the acquisition of both retailers by Fred Meyer Inc., Portland, Ore., is completed, as expected, at the end of this month.
As a result, Hughes Family Markets' 600,000-square-foot distribution center here, which services 57 stores, will close. Its fleet of 36 tractors and 71 trailers will be integrated into the Ralphs' fleet of 330 tractors and 965 trailers.
Rod Van Bebber, group vice president of distribution, said Ralphs does not need the space at the Irwindale facility to handle the extra capacity from Hughes Family Markets' stores.
Hughes' store base equals about 16% of Ralphs' store total, said Van Bebber. "We have existing capacity within the Ralphs organization to handle that."
Ralphs has four distribution centers ranging from 400,000 square feet to 940,000 square feet throughout southern California, including a perishables center in Compton, a dry grocery and perishables facility in Riverside, a dry grocery facility in Glendale and bakery operations in La Habra.
Labor issues regarding integration of Hughes Family Markets employees at the Irwindale distribution center are under discussion.
"Hughes' work force is recognized as highly effective and we're looking forward to having them as part of our team," Van Bebber said.