Palmer and Harvey

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Palmer and Harvey plc
Type Private/Employee Owned
Industry Wholesale, Distribution and Retail
Founded 1925
Headquarters Hove, East Sussex, England
Area served United Kingdom
Key people

Christopher Etherington (chief executive), Martyn Ward (managing director - sales and commercial),

Paul Hagon (managing director - sales), Julian Streeter (managing director - operations), Jon Moxon (group finance director), Jim Newsome (managing director - direct van sales)
Employees 3,400
Subsidiaries Mace
Website palmerharvey.co.uk

Palmer and Harvey plc (also known as P&H, formerly Palmer & Harvey McLane plc) is a UK-based wholesaler that services the multiples, convenience, forecourt and CTN sectors.

Headquartered in Hove, East Sussex, it is the UK's largest delivered wholesaler, and the 6th biggest private company in the UK.[citation needed] It has an annual turnover of £4.3 billion and an integrated national distribution network across 14 sites in the UK. The company was originally founded in 1925 as a traditional confectionery and tobacco wholesaler. Today, Palmer and Harvey is the UK’s largest wholesaler working with a diverse range of 63,600 retailers. Palmer and Harvey, which employs 3,400 people, is privately owned by current and former employees.

Business Divisions[edit]

Palmer and Harvey has four distinctive business platforms – Distribution, Multiple Retail, Independent Retail and Wholesale. Each is designed to service the specific needs of a broad and varied client base, supplying customers with anything from freshly made sandwiches to shoelaces.[1]

Palmer and Harvey Wholesale and Distribution[edit]

Palmer and Harvey Wholesale and Distribution is the UK's largest wholesale distributor, supplying ambient, grocery, chilled and frozen foods, health and home products to a diverse range of retail outlets, including supermarkets, multiple forecourts and convenience store operators. Palmer and Harvey’s customer base includes Esso, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Welcome Break, Martin McColl (MMRG), Moto and Blockbuster; the key grocery multiples Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Makro (through the PalMak purchasing joint venture); and also handles distribution on behalf of blue chip manufacturers such as Nestle, McVitie’s and GSK.

Palmer and Harvey Retail Services[edit]

Palmer and Harvey Retail Services is a portfolio of the four established symbol group packages - Mace, Mace Express, Your Store and Supershop; the Plus Extra drop shipment scheme, providing direct-to-store access for a range of more than 60,000 product lines; and dedicated retail support through an alliance with PCMS, providing IT solutions and EPoS systems to retailers.

Palmer and Harvey Direct Ltd[edit]

Palmer and Harvey Direct Ltd offers more than 50,000 smaller retailers an opportunity to buy from a range of products through the direct to door van delivery services P&H Snacksdirect, P&H Sweetdirect and P&H Direct.

Company History[edit]

Palmer and Harvey underwent management buy outs in 2002 and 2008, the latter led by Chief Executive Chris Etherington in a deal which valued the business at £330m. The equity of Palmer and Harvey is held by current and former employees, a fundamental cornerstone that underpins the company’s culture and structure and has been instrumental in growing turnover to more than £4.23 billion in 2009.

Company Timeline[edit]

  • 2012 - Palmer and Harvey acquires the Walkers Van sales operation[2]
  • 2011 - Palmer and Harvey release fuel deserts, a research paper that looks into the state of the UK's forecourt industry[3]
  • 2010 - P&H announces record sales of £4.2bn, with a profit of £227,000.[4] CEO Chris Etherington commented on the firms 2010 performance "The market has been much more competitive....People have been giving their margins away."
  • 2009 - P&H Launches Sweetdirect, a direct to store van sales operation selling products from Perfetti Van Melle, Tangerine Confectionery, Weetabix (until July 2012), Kelloggs Cereal Bars (from July 2012), Reckitt Benkiser Medicines, Lindt, Bon Bon Buddies and the Top 25 Chocolate lines in the UK.
  • 2008 - P&H reaches £4bn in turnover; a third management buyout is completed, lead by current chief executive, Chris Etherington. The deal, valuing the business at £330m, offers 50% of shares to management and employees
  • 2008 - P&H acquires Leeds-based delivered wholesaler WH & HM Young, a member of the Key Lekkerland Group, with sales of £112m and launches its new Partnership Plus initiative to provide a tailored business growth package to independent and symbol group retailers
  • 2007 - P&H acquires West Country delivered wholesaler T&A Symonds, a member of the Key Lekkerland Group
  • 2006 - P&H wins the supply contract for the CTN chain Northcliffe Retail (supplying 66 company-owned stores and 250 retail partner stores) worth 75m a year; Chris Etherington is appointed as Chief Executive, joining P&H from motor parts wholesaler, Unipart Automotive
  • 2005 - P&H acquires franchise for the Mace symbol group in Scotland from Somerfield, previously operated by Aberness Foods
  • 2002 –P&H unveils its new look to Mace stores under the 21st century Mace design and undergoes a second management buyout
  • 2001 - P&H acquires a 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) depot in Crawley, begins supplying to Sainsbury's petrol filling stations and secures a long term distribution with Shell UK Ltd to supply core and noncore food ranges
  • 2000 - P&H purchases YP Electronics, a specialist retail solutions business, acquires Snacksdirect from KP McVities and successfully acquires supplier status to 85 Esso forecourts
  • 1999 - P&H sells theSelect and Save brand name to Larnheath Ltd and acquires Booker Wholesale Foods from Booker plc. The symbol groups Mace and Select and Save are included in this sale, giving P&H control of the symbol group in England and Wales
  • 1999 - P&H sign a long term distribution contract with TM Retail Group and Snowking Foods is merged with the ambient arm of P&H business, supported by a 190,000 sq ft (18,000 m2) multi-temperature depot in Coventry
  • 1998 - P&H launches Your Store to complement the Supershop symbol group. The Supershop fascia is also reinvigorated, leading to a rise in symbol group members
  • 1998 - Pro Retail, P&H's annual trade show, is launched and P&H acquires Winerite, a BWS wholesaler in Yorkshire running 650 BWS product lines
  • 1995 - Mojo Cash & Carry and frozen food distributor Snowking Foods are acquired by P&H. Warehouse and fleet size are both increased
  • 1994 – P&H acquires McLane, the UK offshoot of the mammoth US business
  • 1988 – Sir Don Gosling quits after his divorce, but returns after a management buyout
  • 1959 - Sir Don Gosling becomes a director after he marries Shauna Ingram, a member of the family which owns Palmer & Harvey
  • 1925 – Palmer and Harvey is founded by Archie Stone who buys two wholesale businesses from a Mr Palmer and a Mr Harvey in North London and merges them into one.

References[edit]

External links[edit]