Sprouts Farmers Market opened its newest distribution center last month in Southern California, situated in Fullerton, to cater to 95 Sprouts stores within a 250-mile radius of the facility. This new structure covers a vast expanse of 337,000 square feet and boasts features designed to enhance the efficiency and freshness of produce deliveries, all while aligning with the grocer’s commitment to environmental sustainability. The launch of the new central facility aligns with Sprouts’ rapid expansion strategy across the nation as the retailer strives to hit its target of unveiling 30 new stores in 2023. The latest distribution center for the grocer serves a dual purpose – supporting the grocer’s ongoing store expansion while reinforcing its dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainability, according to the October press release. Notable features of the facility include two distinct temperature storage areas and fruit ripening rooms, which CEO Jack Sinclair described as providing “optimal conditions for produce storage.” Furthermore, the distribution center facilitates and expands collaborations with approximately a dozen local farm partners, including Cyma Orchid, Five Crowns, and HMC Farm.
The strategic location of the Fullerton center is estimated to save around 725,000 miles that were previously covered in delivery routes, significantly reducing transportation-related emissions. The facility is also equipped with an electric terminal truck to streamline daily yard operations. To further their eco-friendly initiatives, Sprouts employees at the distribution center have access to 11 electric vehicle charging stations, with plans for additional installations in the future. The facility is also designed with future solar panel implementation and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in mind – a framework for creating highly efficient and cost-effective green buildings. The company emphasized that the Fullerton distribution center has generated more than 190 new full-time employment opportunities and marks the grocer’s seventh distribution hub opening. The other distribution facilities are located in Aurora, Colorado; Union City, California; Glendale, Arizona; Orlando, Florida; Wilmer, Texas; and East Point, Georgia. As part of its expansion strategy, the natural foods grocery retailer is on course to open 30 new stores this year, with the majority following Sprouts’ newer small-format store model. During its most recent earnings call in September, Sprouts disclosed its intention to open 40 new locations in 2024.