2018 means new exec, DC for Whole Foods
Whole Food Market is starting off 2018 by making changes to drive growth in its Midwest and Northeast operations.
The company has named a new President of its Northeast Region. Nicole Wescoe, a 24-year company veteran, will oversee 41 stores in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“I am beyond excited to return to the Northeast to lead the region in partnership with our accomplished team,” said Wescoe. “The Northeast is a Whole Foods Market leader when it comes to operations and culinary innovation and the opportunity to build on that existing strength and elevate the customer experience in our stores is incredibly inspiring.”
With 24 years of experience at the company, Wescoe worked her way up from a team leader in the bakery, specialty and grocery departments at stores in the Mid-Atlantic region to associate store team leader and store team leader before relocating to the Northeast, where she spent six years as regional vice president. She returned to the Mid-Atlantic region in 2013 where she most recently served as regional vice president, overseeing 15 new stores, four relocations and 10 renovations during her leadership tenure in the two regions.
On Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Whole Foods is placing new limits on how products are sold in its stores and asking suppliers to help pay for the changes.
The changes, outlined in an email recently sent to the company's suppliers, are intended to save on costs and centralize operations. They come as Whole Food's new owner, Amazon.com, pushes to reduce prices at the chain's 473 stores.
Meanwhile, the retailer has also opened a new 140,000 square foot distribution center in the Pullman neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. The new distribution center allows the natural and organic grocer to better serve its 26 Chicagoland locations as well as an additional 34 locations across the Midwest and Eastern Canada.
“The Pullman neighborhood is an ideal location for our new distribution center. 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,” said Whole Foods Market Midwest Regional President, Michael Bashaw. “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.”
Sitting on 16.5 acres, the new distribution center features a fresh salad bar, outdoor grilling space and patio, and an equipped exercise room for Team Members to enjoy. The facility employs 100 Team Members, who moved from the company’s previous 5-acre facility in Munster, Indiana.
The newly-designed facility also features environmental improvements. Approximately 20 percent more electrically efficient, the new Whole Foods Market distribution center saves more than 1.3 million kilowatts per year and more than $150,000 annually due to measures such as natural refrigerants, occupancy light sensors, high-efficiency interior and exterior lighting, thermosiphon oil cooling, and redistribution of refrigeration waste to heat floors.
With increased access to major transportation arteries, the new distribution center allows Whole Foods Market stores to replenish products faster, ensuring shoppers’ favorite foods are always available. The facility is expected to move an average of 200,000 cases each week to Whole Foods Market locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, and the Canadian province of Ontario.