CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Who knew that candy around the checkouts could be such big business? In a profile of distributor Jim Schweikert and his Chandler, Ariz.-based Liberty Distribution Co. LLC, the Arizona Republic shows just how involved it can be selling candy bars, sweet tarts, bubble gum, potato chips and hundreds of other snacks to retailers that don't specialize in food but want to make an extra buck.
Liberty, which sold more than 8.5 million Snickers bars alone to its retailers last year, distributes to stores where customers go to buy DVD players, plywood, air conditioning filters [image-nocss] and cat litter, not breath mints, beef jerky or Sour Patch candies.
But the placement of these products at the checkout has helped even non-food retailers to bolster their sales.
"It's 100% impulse, (and) it's extra dollars to the retailer," Schweikert told the newspaper. "No one is going to these stores to by these items, but they're walking out with them."
Regardless, the 90-person company has charted average annual compound revenue growth of 26% over the last four years, according to numbers the company provided.
Liberty's growth attracted a major local investor in Scottsdale-based private equity firm Cave Creek Capital Management LLC, which recently bought a majority stake in the company and plans further expansion.
Schweikert attributes the growth to focusing on what he calls his "non-traditional customers." Where serving these clients is cost-prohibitive for larger distributors that sell to convenience stores, Schweikert has turned a profit by using proprietary software that enables the company to track sales and replenish their customers' inventory as they run low.
Click hereto read the Arizona Republic 's complete profile of Liberty Distribution Co.
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