- Southeastern grocery chain Rouses Markets is moving its headquarters from Thibodaux to Schriever, Louisiana, and opening its first distribution center at the new location, according to local reports. The company purchased a 32-acre property last week.
- The new distribution center will create between 200 and 300 jobs over the next year, CEO Donny Rouse said in a statement. Rouses has 63 stores and five under construction, and Rouse said the headquarters relocation and the opening of the distribution center are necessary as the company continues to grow.
- The center will be centrally located among Rouses’ store locations, which operate across the Gulf Coast in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Renovations of the company's new 310,000-square-foot distribution facility will cost around $1 million, and should be completed by January.
Rouses has operated in the Southeast since 1923 with a loyal following in the region, building its business on customer service, high-quality foods and low prices. The company has grown rapidly in recent years and continued to expand in recent months. In December, Rouses acquired three grocery store locations from fellow independent operator Frank’s Supermarkets, and just opened its most recent location in New Iberia, Louisiana, creating 150 new jobs.
The retailer has a small but solid footprint along the Gulf Coast, with some notable competition from Publix in Alabama. Winn-Dixie also has an established presence in the area and unveiled three newly remodeled stores in Louisiana last September. However, its parent company Southeastern Grocers has struggled lately with the announcement that it is closing 22 stores just a year after it filed for bankruptcy.
Just a couple weeks ago, Rouses announced the availability of online shopping and same-day grocery delivery at most of its stores through partnerships with Shipt and Instacart. With its new e-commerce efforts in place, space for distribution could be key in helping the grocery company expand its capabilities and support online order fulfillment.
More retailers have been investing in distribution centers as they refine logistics for e-commerce fulfillment and seek ways to cut operating costs in the face of price pressure. Some are strengthening their infrastructure with new locations, while others are enhancing existing distribution operations.
In February, Giant Foods opened its first e-commerce pickup and fulfillment facility in Pennsylvania, and Stop & Shop recently announced plans to open "several" additional micro-fulfillment facilities to pick and pack online grocery orders. To streamline costs and optimize operations, United Natural Foods, Inc. recently announced the consolidation of its distribution network in the Pacific Northwest.
Rouses also isn't the only retailer to have outgrown its longtime headquarters. Last year, Publix announced it would expand its headquarters in Lakeland, Florida and add 700 corporate jobs. Costco also received approval last year to expand its HQ in Issaquah, Washington.