Category Archives: McLane

McLane Furthers Focus on Diversity with Expansion of SPARK Initiative

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice solutions, has announced the expansion of SPARK, a company-wide initiative focused on identifying workplace diversity opportunities through a variety of programs, community outreach and lending support to nationally recognized diversity-focused annual events.

With the expansion, McLane furthers its commitment of creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce to foster creativity and innovation in order to better understand evolving trends and drive results for customers.

As part of this expansion, McLane has collaborated with Colorado Division of Vocational Rehab (DVR), Workforce Boulder County and Easter Seals on a Workplace Diversity Hiring pilot program that provides real world work experience to individuals with disabilities.

Participants of the Workplace Diversity Hiring program are referred by DVR and Workforce Boulder County to participate in a six-week training program that combines classroom and on-the-job training. The two weeks of classroom instruction includes soft-skills training, such as teamwork and problem solving taught by Easter Seals. The remaining four weeks of the program are located at the McLane Western Distribution Center, where participants will be exposed to real-world work experience as they integrate and work alongside McLane teammates. During the experiential training a job coach accompanies participants, ensuring they receive proper training based on their individual abilities. The second training session is scheduled to kick off in early October.

Other programs currently deployed under the SPARK initiative include:

Hiring Our Heroes (HOH): Because McLane deeply values the sacrifice and driven work ethic U.S. veterans and military embody, the company embarked on a partnership with Hiring Our Heroes in 2015. Initiated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the 12-week Corporate Fellowship program strives to make the transition to civilian careers easier and more seamless for military veterans.

McLane works with other HOH partners Workforce Solutions and the Texas Veterans Commission to source active duty military personnel for onsite project work lasting 11 weeks. To date, McLane has successfully hosted four fellows and has hired three. With this partnership, McLane is able to tap into the skills, drive and value our veterans have to offer.

Operation Impact Network of Champions: To further expand its veteran reach and talent with expertise in logistics, information technology, security, maintenance and business operations, McLane became part of the Operation Impact Network of Champions. This program was started by Northrop Grumman, a Department of Defense contractor, and sets out to assist wounded service members injured during the war on terror with transition from military to civilian careers.

“McLane recognizes the value of a diverse workforce to include people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds, and with highly-trained military expertise. The launch of SPARK deeply aligns with McLane’s beliefs and values of honesty, integrity, and high Christian principles, and further demonstrates our commitment to diversity inclusion,” said Jennifer Rojas, EEO compliance, and inclusion manager at McLane. “It’s been a great experience working jointly with the many exceptional partners we’ve identified for each program, and we look forward to adding great talent to build out the McLane team and making people’s lives better.”

Looking ahead with SPARK, McLane plans to include additional disability training programs under the Workplace Diversity Hiring Program, as well as seek out opportunities that bring greater impact to the company, its teammates and the communities it serves.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Becomes Primary Service Provider for fred’s Pharmacy

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice solutions, has been chosen as the main distributor for fred’s Pharmacy. With more than 650 locations across the Southeastern part of the United States, this new service agreement allows McLane’s nationwide reach and expertise to consolidate the work of fred’s 60-plus previous distributors.

“McLane is well-known in the industry for offering supply chain efficiencies and additional benefits of scale of a single source of supply for key consumable categories,” said Chief Executive Officer, fred’s Inc., Michael Bloom. “Partnering with McLane as an alternate distribution source allows us to improve our efficiencies and overall direct-to-store process including our ability to improve service, assortment, and freshness; and ultimately grow sales and profit.”

fred’s recently participated in McLane’s value-add Center for Category Innovation (formerly Lab Store) process, where the retailer was able to benefit from McLane’s proprietary sales database and category managers to identify and capitalize on key merchandising trends and market-specific product mix and planograms.

“fred’s has uniquely positioned itself to be a successful pharmacy retailer with a broad value based assortment in the Southeast,” said Tony Frankenberger, president at McLane Company, Inc. “It’s a privilege to be chosen as a supply chain provider for fred’s, and further help the company reach its goals.”

About McLane

McLane Company, Inc. is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the U.S. providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants throughout the United States. McLane, through McLane Grocery, McLane Foodservice and wholly owned subsidiary, Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc., (MBM), operates 80 distribution centers across the U.S. and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 different consumer products to nearly 90,000 locations across the U.S. In addition, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its wholly owned subsidiary, Empire Distributors, Inc.

In May 2003, Berkshire Hathaway acquired McLane Company from Wal-Mart, and the company currently has more than 20,000 employees.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Debuts New Private Label Product Line

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions, announced at its annual National Trade Show that it is rebranding its private label company Salado Sales to CVP® (Consumer Value Products).

The private label company’s goal is to offer quality private label product lines equal to or better than name brands for a lower price and higher margins for retailers, and will be offered only to McLane customers.

Along with the rebranding to CVP, McLane will debut five new brands and provide an affordable and exclusive mix spanning 240+ foodservice, automotive, candy and snacks, general merchandise, grocery and health, beauty and wellness products. Road-Tech and Work Fare, two of McLane’s established private label brands will still be available to consumers through the rebranded CVP line.

According to a report cited by McLane, 47 percent of consumers buy more private label today than before the economic downturn began, and that one-in three US shoppers actively searches for store brands to save money.

“McLane’s new comprehensive CVP line provides retailers who don’t already offer a private label products or have the resources to stock private label inventory the ability to do so and at attractive prices, while keeping their gross margins and profits high.”

Having founded Salado Sales, its original private label company in 1993, McLane says it designed the new comprehensive CVP family of brands to reflect the needs of consumers today including delivering a product mix that offers relevancy, variety and value, while saving them money.

Under CVP’s umbrella, McLane will make available five new brands consisting of:

Hometown Market – The Hometown Market line will offer a variety of products like banana nut granola, nuts, trail mix and yogurt pretzels to sugar and creamer that support c-stores foodservice operations, and many of which will also meet The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) healthy criteria.

Pristyn Purified Water – Also part of the PHA commitment, McLane will support the organization’s signature “Drink Up” initiative to help promote more consumption of water. The Pristyn Purified Water is a purified bottled water line to be sold in 100% recycled individual bottles and 24-packs.

Excursion Beef Jerky – The Excursion Beef Jerky line is the ultimate protein snack with zesty flavors ranging from Smokey BBQ Pork Jerky, Teriyaki Beef Jerky, Cracked Pepper Beef Jerky to Smokehouse Beef Jerky.

YumBees – To appease the sweet-tooth, the YumBees line will offer various hard, gummy and chocolate candy products as well as a variation of favorite name-brand products.
Beau Dacious Biscuits – According to Pet Industry News, dog treat purchases consumed 16% of pet food spending in 2014 and are expected to grow exponentially. Beau Dacious Biscuits is a new line of quality dog treat products available in peanut butter, grain free yogurt and cranberry bites and assorted treat flavors.

“Consumers today want the option to purchase quality store-branded products at a reasonable price, so it made sense for us to up our commitment to private label and rebrand to fit the needs of our retail customers,” said Teresa Voelter, general manager of private label at McLane.

Voelter added, “McLane’s new comprehensive CVP line provides retailers who don’t already offer a private label products or have the resources to stock private label inventory the ability to do so and at attractive prices, while keeping their gross margins and profits high.”

Looking ahead, McLane plans to roll out additional new products under the CVP family of brands in 2017. Consumers will also be able to utilize a new product search tool located on the new CVP site to find their favorite products at one of the 17,000+ retailer locations.

About McLane

McLane Company, Inc. is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the U.S. providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants throughout the United States. McLane, through McLane Grocery, McLane Foodservice and wholly owned subsidiary, Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc., (MBM), operates 80 distribution centers across the U.S. and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 different consumer products to nearly 90,000 locations across the U.S. In addition, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its wholly owned subsidiary, Empire Distributors, Inc.

In May 2003, Berkshire Hathaway acquired McLane Company from Wal-Mart, and the company currently has more than 20,000 employees.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results

McLane Lands Circle K

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions throughout the U.S., has been awarded the eastern and Midwest business by Circle K, one of the largest convenience store companies in the U.S. and Canada.

Included in the multi-year agreement, McLane will begin servicing 1,161 Circle K locations starting January 2017, and an additional 982 locations in January 2018, totaling 2,143 stores.

In addition, Circle K has extended a multi-year agreement with McLane to continue servicing its 1,356 former Pantry locations.

“Circle K is well-known and respected in the industry. They, like McLane, continue strategic growth throughout the United States to better meet the needs of their customers,” said Tony Frankenberger, president at McLane. “It is an honor to be chosen to service such a significant amount of the Circle K business, and to expand our relationship with Circle K.”

About McLane

McLane Company, Inc. is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the U.S. providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants throughout the United States. McLane, through McLane Grocery, McLane Foodservice and wholly owned subsidiary, Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc., (MBM), operates 80 distribution centers across the U.S. and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 different consumer products to nearly 90,000 locations across the U.S. In addition, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its wholly owned subsidiary, Empire Distributors, Inc.

In May 2003, Berkshire Hathaway acquired McLane Company from Wal-Mart, and the company currently has more than 20,000 employees.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Company Sues Texas Over “One Share” Rule

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, a $28 billion supply chain services company, is suing in federal court over Texas’s “One Share” rule which currently prohibits it from selling alcohol in Texas.

The Alcoholic Beverage Code regulates the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas by establishing a three-tier system where participants in each tier—manufacturers, distributors and retailers—must operate independently. These laws are commonly called “tied house laws,” and prohibit control or influence among the tiers.

McLane Company, based in Temple, Texas, and the Texas Association of Business are suing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) claiming that the TABC has taken this common prohibition to an absurd extreme by asserting that even one overlapping share of stock ownership across tiers, whether direct or indirect, violates its interpretation of the law, the so-called One Share Rule.

They assert that the TABC is applying this rule arbitrarily and only in limited instances. They note that in the last year, over 40 manufacturers, distributors and retailers with overlapping ownership had over 2,500 permits approved or renewed by the TABC.

“The TABC’s application of Texas alcohol law defies common sense as the majority of alcohol manufacturers, retailers and distributors have some over-lapping ownership with businesses in other tiers,” said Bill Hammond, CEO of the Texas Association of Business. “The TABC is arbitrarily picking winners and losers, and that is simply not how we operate in Texas.”

They also claim that the TABC is out-of-step with other states that operate under a three-tier system. For example, in New York, Maryland, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan, companies are prohibited from having interests across more than one tier only if they control or influence the activities of businesses in more than one tier.

“The Texas Association of Business opposes regulatory actions—like the TABC’s so-called One Share Rule—that harm the Texas economy and job creation, for no good reason. We’re taking this action to demand that our government create a level playing field for all business in the State of Texas—anything less goes against the very fabric of our state,” said Hammond. “Texas has succeeded principally because we make it easier, not harder, to do business here. Regrettably, the TABC’s policies do not reflect the vision and philosophy of the state, and through its absurd interpretation of the Alcoholic Beverage Code, it is discouraging business expansion.”

The Texas Association of Business says it believes that the TABC’s erroneous interpretation of the law and inconsistent licensing practices clearly violate the protections afforded to all businesses by the U.S. Constitution.

The Texas Association of Business calls for the TABC to abandon the so-called One Share Rule, and begin enforcing the three-tier system in what it feels is a fair, consistent and legal manner, similar to other state alcohol agencies.

McLane’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 2% of Walmart, and this has been the basis for the prohibition.

Berkshire acquired McLane from Wal-Mart in 2003, and roughly one-third of its annual revenues are still from Wal-Mart.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Company Announces Fresh Produce+

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, a $48 billion supply chain services leader, providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants throughout the United States, is rolling out the McLane Kitchen’s nationwide Fresh Produce + supply chain solution.

Fresh Produce + is a turnkey solution that provides top quality products, operational best practices, merchandising units, information on suggested retail pricing and best-in-class customer service to help operators establish their locations as destinations for fresh produce.

According to Mclane, what makes Fresh Produce + truly unique is McLane’s unmatched ability to deliver fresh produce nationwide, allowing operators in multiple regions to offer a consistent product mix of healthier options. For single c-stores, McLane’s nationwide distribution means leveraging the company’s buying power to better compete pricewise, while ensuring the high-quality fresh produce.

Because choice in pricing is a key factor in creating a solution that works for every retail customer, Fresh Produce + offers mark-up options associated with varying levels of product guarantee. Fresh Produce + is also fully compatible with McLane’s Premium Ordering Management Suite (POMS) and smart handheld technology, giving operators the ability to order fresh items just like any other SKU. Over the coming months the solution will integrate seasonal items and category management to ensure operators continue to grow their return.

According to an independent study, close to half of the nation’s population visits a convenience store each month. What’s more,48 percent of Americans say c-stores are a place to buy fresh items.

According to a 2015 NACS retailer sentiment survey, 50 percent of c-stores have expanded fresh fruit sales, while 30 percent have increased cut fruit and vegetable offerings.

“We recognized our customers wanted a consistent way to fill their consumers’ need for safe, fresh, better-for-you produce,” said Holly Veale, product director for foodservice at McLane. “McLane Kitchen’s Fresh Produce + solution makes fresh produce and cut fruit available to all our customers, regardless of size or location.”

In conjunction with the nation-wide rollout of McLane Kitchen’s Fresh Produce + solution, McLane recently announced its affiliation with The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), a nonpartisan nonprofit organization devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of the nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis within a generation. McLane is the first grocery and chain restaurant distributor to make a commitment to PHA.

“We’re honored to come on board as the first grocery and chain restaurant supply chain distributor to support PHA’s efforts,” said Tony Frankenberger, president of McLane Grocery Distribution. “It is now more important than ever for the food, retail and distribution industries to work together to help solve the childhood obesity problem, and to offer consumers fresh and healthier products to make better food choices on a daily basis.”

“Consumers are shopping more and more at convenience stores throughout the week, and their demand for healthier options — regardless of where they shop — is not slowing down,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We are proud that companies like McLane are stepping in and joining the ranks to provide thousands of Americans access to nutritious foods. This is a tremendous opportunity to reach customers where they are — in convenience stores, drug stores, mass retailers and restaurants.”

“The fresh and better-for-you food category will continue to expand as consumers become more health-conscious and the c-store industry places additional emphasis on growth,” added Veale.

“Now, through Fresh Produce + and McLane’s nationwide distribution network, location will no longer hinder a retailer from offering fresh produce choices to their customers.”
Veale concluded, “McLane’s role in making fresh products available to any c-store location — no matter the size or individual buying power — will be a game changer in the industry.”

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McClane Plans Distribution Center in Schodack, New York

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When you move 10 billion pounds of merchandise to customers every year, you are constantly looking to do it better. The key is logistics.

Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Foodservices, a division of McLane Company, is planning a 175,000-square-foot distribution center in Schodack, New York. The main building will be 50 feet from routes 9 and 20, and is next to I-90’s Exit 11.

The facility will be on 32.5 acres of the 55.6-acre gravel mine owned by the R.J. Valente Co., and will run 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Drawing Protests

Officials from the town of Schodack had entered into a legally binding agreement with McClane to keep its identity quiet during the first stages of the planning process, and the public announcement drew protests from neighbors bordering the property. Some of the abutters live as close as 600-feet from the proposed building, and are concerned about truck traffic, unwanted lighting, and the potential for pollution of wells.

About McLane

One of the largest companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway,  McLane Company is a $46 billion supply chain services company that provides grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants throughout the United States. McLane was acquired by Berkshire in 2003.

Founded in 1894 as a small retail grocery store in downtown Cameron, Texas, McLane, through McLane Grocery, McLane Foodservice and its recent foodservice acquisition, Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc., operates 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private truck fleets.

The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 different consumer products to nearly 90,000 locations across the U.S. In addition, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution via McLane Beverage Distribution, Inc., and its acquisitions of Empire Distributors, Inc., Horizon Wine & Spirits and Delta.

McLane employs 20,000 people, and had 2014 revenues of $46.6 billion, an increase of $710 million (1.5%) as compared to 2013.

© 2015 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.