URBANA – A national contract to supply SuperTarget stores means another 50 full-time warehousing jobs at Supervalu's distribution center in Urbana.
Hiring for the positions began last week, with wages starting at $14.13 an hour and increasing to $19.60 an hour after three years, said Mike Guth, general manager of the distribution center.
Supervalu had been supplying some SuperTarget stores in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas from Urbana, but the national contract means the local center will pick up 31 additional stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
"We'll have the business at least through March 1 of next year, and at that point there could be an alternate solution," Guth said.
Supervalu, a Minnesota-based supplier to the supermarket industry, employs 625 at its distribution center in Urbana, plus another 100 regional retail accounting and marketing jobs locally.
Guth said Supervalu will supply the new SuperTarget stores with groceries, frozen foods, deli-bakery items, meats and dairy products. The stores had previously been supplied by Fleming Companies, which filed for reorganization in bankruptcy court in April.
The local distribution center is a primary supplier to 350 stores, including County Market, IGA, Cub Foods, Dierbergs, Buehler's and Wyndall's stores in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Kentucky.
It also provides "slower-moving" products to 150 stores served by other Supervalu distribution centers.
The distribution center in Urbana completed a $10.5 million, 80,000-square-foot expansion of its freezer areas this spring, Guth said.