General Merchandise

McLane NE to Supply Wilson Farms

Shifting to more specialized supplier

LANCASTER, N.Y. -- Wilson Farms is moving its warehouse operations out of the C&S Wholesale Grocers distribution facility in Lancaster, N.Y., and shifting it to a grocery supplier in the Syracuse area, reported the Buffalo News.

The move, which will be completed by the beginning of December, will result in Wilson Farms being supplied by McLane Northeast, a wholesaler that specializes in serving convenience stores and is located at the center of its service territory, said Paul Nanula, the chain's president and COO.

"Their [image-nocss] core competency is really based around serving smaller stores and convenience stores," Nanula said. While C&S gets most of its business from supplying supermarkets, McLane, a Texas-based grocery and foodservice distribution company, is better able to handle the orders of smaller quantities that convenience stores often make, said the report.

Because Wilson Farms was created in 1969 as part of the Tops supermarket chain, its 198 convenience stores traditionally were supplied out of the same warehouse as Tops, the report said. But with Wilson Farms coming under local ownership after Tops' Dutch parent company, Ahold, put the c-store chain up for sale, those old relationships no longer held sway. Wilson Farms' contract with C&S, which acquired the Lancaster warehouse from Tops in 2002, expires in December.

Wilson Farms also is phasing out Tops' private-label products in its stores and will be replacing them with a new private-label supplier that Nanula expects to unveil in the coming months, the report added.

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