Albertsons announced that it will close its 749,000 square foot Collington warehouse operations in Upper Marlboro, MD which has served Safeway Eastern division’s approximately 110 stores since 1998. Warehouse operations and logistics will move to another Albertsons distribution center in Denver, PA which currently services the chain’s Acme Markets unit. The Collington facility currently employees approximately 300 warehousemen and 100 truck drivers.
The Collington distribution center will close in late May with full transition and inventory moves by August. About 300 new jobs are expected be added to the Denver depot. After the transition is complete, Safeway Eastern’s stores will be completely supplied from that Central Pennsylvania facility except for frozen foods, which will continue to be supplied by C&S Wholesale Grocers from its Bethlehem, PA distribution center.
Albertsons said that serving both Acme’s and Safeway’s stores (about 275 units located in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Washington, DC) from its large, partially automated warehouse in Denver will help fuel the company’s investment in e-commerce, its stores and, most importantly, its customers. The shift of Safeway Eastern’s business will also bolster capacity in Denver, which is reportedly currently running at approximately 60 percent.
A source told us that current employees based out of the Upper Marlboro facility will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the company’s Denver distribution center.
This marks the second time in four years that the Collington depot has faced closure. In January 2016 Albertsons announced that it would close that distribution center and shift warehousing and logistics to three non-union C&S facilities in Maryland and Pennsylvania. After members of Teamsters Locals 730 (warehousemen) and 639 (drivers) protested, Prince George’s County, MD and the state of Maryland contributed $1.5 million in financial incentives to keep the DC operational.
Prior to those events, C&S had operated the Collington warehouse since 2000 as part of a contractual agreement with Safeway which had built the warehouse from the ground-up. Since 2016, Safeway has fully run the facility.
The 1.4 million square foot Denver, PA warehouse was originally built by Acme in 1999. When the Malvern, PA based retailer was sold to Supervalu (now UNFI) in 2006, the Eden Prairie, MN based wholesaler/retailer took control of that facility. In 2013, when Albertsons acquired Acme and most of the original retail stores from the previous 2006 deal, the Denver facility was also part of that agreement. Supervalu/UNFI continued to operate the depot as part of a transitional service agreement (TSA) that expired in October 2018 when Acme took full control of the DC, forcing Supervalu/UNFI to relocate to another depot in Harrisburg, PA.