FARMINGDALE, N.Y., and PHILADELPHIA — National Convenience Distributors is collaborating with delivery solutions provider Lula to help NCDs convenience-store customers create virtual Lula Convenience Store listings with nationally available delivery partners. They will now be able to enter the digital marketplace through Lula with the help of NCD representatives.
With customers in 11 contiguous states from Maine to Maryland, Farmingdale, N.Y.-based NCD is a wholesale distributor providing candy, snacks, fresh sandwiches and salads, cigarettes and cigars, coffee, ice cream and frozen and refrigerated foods to more than 14,000 customers.
Philadelphia-based Lula provides delivery solutions for convenience stores, pharmacies and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands that do not have a secondary sales channel, offering a multi-vendor 30-minute delivery platform.
Lula aims to help convert stores into micro-fulfillment centers, connecting each location with delivery partners such as Grubhub, Doordash and UberEATS. Convenience stores have struggled with consistent delivery offerings, whereas 70% of consumers prefer buying goods online, the companies said. COVID-19 has forced independent stores to evolve and expedite the digital transformation.
Through the collaboration, NCD now has a new way to help its customers increase inventory turnover and evolve in the digital world. Lula’s solution will assist c-stores by digitizing the physical store while providing a single point of contact with all major delivery solutions, with the added benefit of managing inventory and a customer support hotline to assist store owners with every order.
Formed in 2020 by the private equity firm Palm Beach Capital through the merger of three industry leading organizations — J. Polep Distribution Services, Allen Brothers Wholesale Distributors and Harold Levinson Associates—NCD generates more than $3 billion in annual revenues through servicing convenience and retail outlets in the northeastern United States, the company said. In 2021, Wustfield Candy joined the NCD family.