C&S Wholesale Grocers
|Industry||Grocery wholesale and distribution|
|Founded||Worcester, Massachusetts (1918)|
|Founder||Israel Cohen and Abraham Siegel|
|Headquarters||Keene, New Hampshire, United States|
Number of locations
|about 50 distribution centers in 15 states|
|Revenue||$21.7 billion (as of 2013)|
Number of employees
|about 14,000 (as of 2013)|
C&S Wholesale Grocers is an American wholesale distributor of food and grocery store items with its headquarters in Keene, New Hampshire, United States. C&S is the twelfth-largest privately held company in the United States, as listed in 2013 by Forbes. C&S owns the Piggly Wiggly grocery brand (which is independently franchised to store operators) as well as the Best Yet private label brand. C&S is the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the United States, based on revenue.
C&S provides more than 95,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) food and nonfood items to 5,000 corporate customers, including produce, meat, dairy products, delicatessen products, fresh/frozen bakery items, health and beauty aids, candy, and tobacco. C&S has 14,000 associates in 15 states, and storage space of more than 15 million square feet.
C&S was founded by Israel Cohen and Abraham Siegel in 1918 in Worcester, Massachusetts. It began as a small grocery distribution center in a three-story building on Winter Street. In 1929 the original building flooded, prompting a move to a new, larger location on Hygeia Street. In the 1940s, as the popularity of supermarkets grew, C&S made several improvements to their distribution process including a warehouse "roller system", and staffing trucks with one employee who acts as driver and salesman, thus cutting delivery costs in half.
C&S grew dramatically in 1958 after it began serving supermarket chain Big D in Worcester.
In the 1970s, the founder's grandson, Rick Cohen, joined the company. C&S then built and moved into a 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) warehouse in Brattleboro, Vermont. With the move, it began serving several large supermarket chains, including A&P.
In 2001, C&S moved into retailing as it acquired the Grand Union (supermarket) company (now Grand Union Family Markets). It was Grand Union's largest unsecured creditor when Grand Union declared bankruptcy, making a stalking horse offer.
Beginning in 2013, C&S entered into a partnership with BI-LO to provide warehousing, distribution, and procurement services for all 480 Winn-Dixie stores. As a result, C&S began to operate six existing Winn-Dixie distribution centers in the Southeast of the United States. In September 2014, C&S entered into an Asset purchase agreement with Associated Wholesalers Inc (AWI), thus allowing C&S to acquire nearly all of their assets.
- January 2009: Lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Wisconsin and New Hampshire alleging that C&S and SuperValu engaged in collusion to allocate markets and reduce competition. The charges stemmed from a 2003 asset swap in which SuperValu swapped distribution centers in the Northeast with C&S's centers in the Midwest with suits claiming that each had indicated it would not compete in the other's territory. The agreement raised red flags when C&S closed its newly acquired distribution centers shortly after the deal.
- December 2010: A&P filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing in court papers that, among other causes, A&P made an "unfavorable" arrangement with C&S where A&P was required to get 70 percent of its inventory from C&S.
Notes and references
- "About". C&S Wholesale Grocers. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "C&S Wholesale Grocers on the Forbes America's Largest Private Companies List". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
- "Full Line Wholesale Procurment". C&S Wholesale Grocers. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Investor Relations". C&S Wholesale Grocers. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Private Label Brands". C&S Wholesale Grocers. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "C&S Through the Years". C&S Wholesale Grocers. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- Coffey, Brendan; Siraj, Zohair. "Hidden Billionaire Cohen Hauls Fortune in Unmarked Trucks". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- http://www.paulweiss.com/files/Publication/d1436bab-f7cd-4ecf-a1d7-26764ac96052/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/896831da-763f-4a4e-a70d-7599105b5056/837336.pdf[dead link]
- Springer, Jon (2013-05-14). "C and S to Take Over Winn-Dixie Distribution". Supermarket News. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Associated Wholesalers Enters Into Asset Purchase Agreement With C&S Wholesale Grocers". PRNewswire (Associated Wholesalers Inc). September 9, 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- Stevens, Caleb (January 22, 2009). "Supervalu faces collusion lawsuit".
- "Grocery Wholesalers Face Anticompetitive Lawsuit | Modern Distribution Management". Mdm.com. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- Sanders, Bob (2009-07-03). "Grocery score: suit alleges C&S in antitrust conspiracy.". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2010-12-13.[dead link]
- Kary, Tiffany. "A&P, Century-Old U.S. Grocery Store Owner, Files for Bankruptcy". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-12-13.