PROVIDENCE, R.I., Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) ("UNFI" or the "Company"), the leading national distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods, today announced plans to consolidate its four existing Denver-based distribution facilities into a new state-of-the-art, 535,000 square foot facility located at Gateway Park in Aurora, Colorado. The new facility is expected to commence operations in the summer of 2013. Situated near I-70 in the Denver International Airport corridor, the new facility will serve as a distribution hub for retailers in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States as well as Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The existing facilities' consolidation, all located within the City of Aurora, extends the Company's focus on enhancing efficiencies, improving productivity through "best in class" warehousing and inventory control systems, lowering operating costs in its distribution network and reducing Greenhouse gas emissions. The distribution facility will be leased from The Pauls Corporation. "With new and efficient operations, and all our associates located together, this new facility should enable us to continue to expand our operations while reducing operating costs," said Steve Spinner, UNFI's President and Chief Executive Officer. " Denver and Aurora are great communities with a strong and receptive workforce. We are very excited about continuing our long-standing relationship in the area with a single, centrally-located facility at Gateway Park." Commenting on the Company's announcement, Steve Hogan, Mayor of the City of Aurora said, "United Natural Foods is a solid company with a bright future, and we are thrilled they have chosen to consolidate their operations in Aurora. Aurora is the land of opportunity for business, and this state-of-the-art facility will bring new energy to our community. We're proud to have United Natural Foods in Aurora, and we look forward to their continued success." The Company noted that no jobs are expected to be impacted in the transition. The new distribution facility is expected to open with 475 associates; increasing up to 550 associates within the first three years based on current plans for increased capacity to meet demand.