Groceries & Convenience Store Distributor

Company Overview


Groceries & Convenience Store Distributor - A $600 million distributor of groceries, convenience items and cigarettes primarily to Walgreens, C-Stores, Hispanic grocery stores; also operated six cash and carry retail stores. The Company’s geographic markets included Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.

Engagement Overview
•  The Company had been generating losses for numerous years resulting in underinvestment throughout the organization.

•  Within weeks of being engaged, the Company was notified that its largest and most profitable customer, which accounted for 40% of sales, would be ending its business relationship in three months.

•  The Company’s higher warehouse and transportation labor rates and benefits resulted in a cost disadvantage relative to the competition.

•  Fort Dearborn assisted the Company in developing a customer profitability and financial forecast to plan for the eventual loss of its largest customer.

•  Fort Dearborn served as financial advisor to Ownership in the sale of its Hispanic grocery distribution business and convenience store distribution business in separate transactions.
•  Fort Dearborn assisted with development of a profit improvement plan resulting in over $2 million in payroll savings and $1 million in other expense reductions.

•  Fort Dearborn prepared a strategic and operating plan to guide the Company through its transformation.

•  Ownership decided to pursue the sale of its convenience store business and its Hispanic grocery business in separate transactions while Ownership retained the cash and carry retail stores.