ASSOCIATED WHOLESALE GROCERS held its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday in Overland Park, making its 90th year of operations. About 400 shareholders attended.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It was a record-setting year for Associated Wholesale Grocers in terms of consolidated net sales set a record and year-end patronage distribution.

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) held its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday in Overland Park, making its 90th year of operations. About 400 shareholders attended.

AWG operates the former Affiliated Foods Midwest operations in Norfolk, which the cooperative acquired in the past year.

At the shareholders meeting, it was reported that AWG had consolidated net sales of $9.18 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent. Year-end patronage distribution was over $201.7 million, also a record, or 2.78 percent of qualifying sales.

Total distribution to AWG members, including promotional allowances, year-end patronage and interest was $546 million. Stock value increased to $2,000 per share, up 4.4 percent over 2016. Total members' investment and equity ended the year with a new record at $544 million, up 14 percent.

A review of AWG’s history over the past 50 years shows a compounded annual sales growth of 8.7 percent and a compounded patronage growth rate on returns to members increase of 11.8 percent.

“This astounding performance is wholly due to the strong and dedicated membership base of great retailers,” said David Smith, AWG president and chief executive officer.

Smith told those in attendance that AWG serves only one master — its member retailers.

AWG’s ongoing mission is to "provide our member-retailers all the tools, products, and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served. This includes top quality supermarket merchandise and support services, all at the lowest possible cost," he said.

Barry Queen, AWG board chairman, encouraged the member retailers always to focus on customers.

"Customer service is still an element that differentiates us from our competition, so we better embrace it, believe it and live it," he said.

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