Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) is planning to consolidate its Munster distribution operations into a new center in Chicago. The larger warehouse is expected to open in 2018.
Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the Lake County operation, which opened in 2003, employs at least 90 people. Plans call for the Chicago facility to employ 150 and at 140,000 square-feet, it would be around 40 percent larger than the warehouse in Munster. The Texas-based chain has over two dozen locations throughout Chicagoland.
Whole Foods spokeswoman Allison Phelps says "all team members have the opportunity to move to the distribution center when it opens and with the larger facility more positions will likely open up, creating more opportunity for those looking to join our team. Until we get closer to the actual opening date, we won’t have any specifics on what this looks like. The building needs to get built first."
The Times reports Phelps says the company has outgrown the current space and the new one will serve customers in up to 70 stores throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, and the Canadian province of Ontario.
The city of Chicago will consider incentives for the project, which will be located in the Pullman neighborhood.