NEW YORK — Gristedes stores have joined Wakefern Food Corp.’s burgeoning wholesale business, the companies said Wednesday. The deal allows Gristedes, a division of Red Apple Group here, to buy more than 7,000 ShopRite private-label items, as well as branded nonfood items, at its 40 stores in metro New York. “We were looking for a supply agreement that would allow us to be more competitive in today’s environment,” John Catsimatidis, chief executive officer of Red Apple, told SN. He said the company could continue to buy White Rose goods from Associated Grocers of Robesonia, Pa., but said Gristedes was under no contractual agreement with White Rose. Wakefern, Elizabeth, N.J., formally established a wholesale division last year, adding Heinen’s Fine Foods, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, as its first high-profile customer.
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