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Technology/Services

New Look for Core-Mark

Wholesaler puts accent on "fresh"

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- Wholesaler Core-Mark Holding Co. unveiled its new brand initiative and visual identity. This re-branding affirms Core-Mark's commitment to its "fresh" initiatives and to the importance of this category to its customers and the convenience industry, according to the company.

In 2005, Core-Mark recognized the emerging convenience consumer trends toward fresh product offerings. The impact of the movement in Europe coupled with initiatives of industry-leading retailers in the United States led the company to begin building the necessary infrastructure [image-nocss] to handle highly perishable consumer products with quality and reliability. In the past three years, Core-Mark has invested millions of dollars and assembled the necessary components to properly serve this fresh movement, including:
in-house expertise for sourcing the right product and for creating effective retail marketing programs; facility and fleet modifications to upgrade and enhance the cold supply chain, including chill docks; state-of the-art ordering devices to improve the simplicity and accuracy of ordering "fresh" while minimizing inventory costs; and most importantly; experience gained in working with both suppliers and retailers of "fresh" over recent years. The company was the first to initiate several industry initiatives, including a turn-key, open-air cooler program featuring national brands of juices, salads, fluid dairy, value-added fruits and vegetables, and other fresh items, the company stated.

Core-Mark and other distributors have been in the frozen and refrigerated business for many years, supplying fast foods and certain grocery staples. "We recognized that, in order to source, market and properly handle this new wave of highly perishable product, we had to create another level of capability, across all aspects of the business, from fleet specifications to organization expertise," president and CEO Michael Walsh said in a press release.

Today, for example, over 40% of Core-Mark's 700 tractor-trailer fleet consists of tri-temp trailers. The dual-temps, which distributors traditionally use, don't meet Core-Mark's standards of providing quality assurance for the new, highly perishable products now in demand. Having made the investment and gained the experience, the company is adopting a fresh image commensurate with its capabilities and the demands of the convenience retail industry.

"Fresh" convenience retail leaders have relied on self-distribution methods to augment their traditional supply chain sources. Core-Mark believes that higher delivery frequency service provided by the primary/broadline supplier represents a quicker and more cost effective alternative to enable all convenience retailers to partake in the fresh movement. Connecting fresh bakery and fresh commissary items to the convenience retail offering are but two examples of Core-Mark's focus in helping its customers bridge the gap to fresh.

"Not too many years ago," Walsh said, "the notion of a broadline distributor handling milk would have warranted little or no consideration. Today, we enthusiastically and effectively service over 3,500 convenience retail stores with milk, ranging from full service to no frills, as determined by our customers."

Core-Mark's newly rebranded website, featuring the new logo, truck design and examples of its "fresh" programs, is available for viewing at www.core-mark.com. This bold visual representation of the brand will also be used in the company's new advertising campaign, and in its future marketing initiatives to help generate greater retailer awareness of its expanded capabilities.

South San Francisco-based Core-Mark is one of the largest marketers of fresh and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry in North America. Founded in 1888, Core-Mark provides distribution and logistics services as well as marketing programs to approximately 24,000 retail locations in 50 states and five Canadian provinces through 26 distribution centers, two of which Core-Mark operates as third-party logistics providers.

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