Exclusive Brands Transition

January 10, 2018

In 2016, URM Stores joined Topco Associates with the objective of advancing our mission to provide our Members-owners the tools and support they need to thrive in their markets, strengthen their communities and operate successful businesses.

As you know, the grocery industry is undergoing tremendous change and consolidation, and our ability to innovate and adapt is integral to our members’ success. That is why, today, we are announcing that URM Stores has made the important decision to market the Food Club Brand offered by Topco. This announcement is being made in conjunction with Associated Food Stores, Inc. who will also be transitioning its Western Family brand to Food Club.

This decision comes primarily as a result of the sale of Unified Grocers to Supervalu.  Supervalu has announced that they will not continue the distribution of Western Family products to the retailers they service. The loss of this volume makes it very difficult to maintain competitive pricing and the continued production of certain categories. We are confident that moving to the Food Club brand will create the efficiencies and supplier volume we need to ensure our Member-owners remain competitive.

Like the Western Family brand, Food Club has a long history and has been winning the loyalty of shoppers since 1945. Today, Food Club offers more than 2,600 SKUs and has a significant presence in more than 900 stores across the United States, in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. As you’ll see in the attached brand overview, Food Club offers contemporary packaging, benefit call-outs on the front of the label and a double money-back guarantee—all compelling benefits to shoppers. In addition to these benefits, Food Club is manufactured and will continue to be manufactured by many of the same quality suppliers that produce Western Family products. Also, DeJarnett will continue as our primary broker for our exclusive brands.

Over the course of 2018, our plan is to transition our Western Family brand items to Food Club. Western Family will no longer be available in any U.S. market, with the exception of the Bread, Milk and Eggs categories, which will continue under the Western Family label.

We would like to thank our team who conducted extensive research with our loyal Western Family shoppers. As a result of their work, we will support the transition with a comprehensive marketing plan and strategy for building brand trust and awareness of Food Club. As we move forward, URM Stores and Topco will continue to support our internal teams and retail members with shopper insights and marketing materials to drive this conversion.

In the upcoming days and weeks, we encourage you to learn as much as possible about Food Club using the attached materials so that you may serve as a brand ambassador to our membership. Your role in our transition to Food Club is critical to our members’ success.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Ray Sprinkle