PORTLAND, Ore. -- United Grocers here reassured its stockholders that a $1.2 million drop in net income in 1996 was part of an investment in the future.
At the annual stockholders' meeting, Alan Jones, United Grocers president and chief executive officer, attributed the decrease in net income to the $21 million purchase of Market Wholesale Grocery, the former wholesale business of Bay Area Foods, San Rafael, Calif. He also said United Grocers made unprecedented investments in its distribution centers, information services and other areas.
One of the new technological investments was the installation of a frame-relay network last year that streamlined store-to-corporate communications and set the stage for a move onto the Internet.
United Grocers, with more than 390 member stores in Oregon, Washington and California, is best known for its ad groups (Thriftway Stores, Sentry Supermarkets and Select Markets) and several independent operators.