The IGA brand, having arrived on these shores in ’02 and departed again in ’08, is back, this time in a partnership with Unitrade Management Services (UMS) with whom it shares a business model. IGA, you see, is the world’s largest voluntary supermarket network and includes nearly 5,000 Hometown Proud IGA independent supermarkets worldwide, with 36 DCs, operating all over the US and in 28 countries worldwide. UMS believe that the synergies between the businesses make the deal a no-brainer, as it is the goal of both “to assist independent retailers with building strong and successful businesses.” Accordingly, Unitrade is committed to growing its IGA-branded store count to 250 over the next five years. An exciting aspect of the partnership is that in partnership with the IGA Coca-Cola Institute, Unitrade will be launching the Unitrade Academy, which will provide SETA-accredited training to relevant management and staff.
Comment: A very big deal, and another vote of international confidence in our sector and our economy.