US-based supermarket chain Whole Foods Market has opened its new 140,000ft² distribution centre in the Pullman neighbourhood on Chicago’s South Side.
The centrally located distribution centre will allow the natural and organic grocery retailer to better serve its 26 Chicagoland locations, as well as 34 locations across the Midwest and Eastern Canada.
The facility is expected to distribute nearly 200,000 cases each week to Whole Foods Market stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario.
Whole Foods Market Midwest regional president Michael Bashaw said: “The Pullman neighbourhood is an ideal location for our new distribution centre.
“The proximity to major transportation and other business needs will help us to better serve our customers and support our stores in the Midwest and Ontario.
“We are now closer to the majority of our stores, shortening delivery time, and, in the long term, we have plenty of additional space for expansion to support growth.”
Built on a 16.5-acre site, the new distribution facility will feature a fresh salad bar, outdoor grilling space, patio and an equipped exercise room for company’s team members.
The facility currently has a workforce of 100 members, who were moved from the company’s previous five-acre facility in Munster, Indiana.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was also present at the opening ceremony.
Emanuel said: “Whole Foods’ decision to move its Midwest distribution centre to Chicago is a vote of confidence in the city and another sign of the economic renaissance underway in the historic Pullman community.
“The new distribution centre, coming on the heels of new Whole Foods Markets in Englewood and Hyde Park, is bringing more investment and opportunity to Chicago communities.”