business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Portland Press Herald reports that Vermont-based C&S Wholesale Grocers plans to close its Portland warehouse in early May. The move reportedly will put more than 100 employees out of work.

C&S acquired the warehouse from Supervalu last September, as part of a territory swap that had the New England wholesaler taking over all of Supervalu's accounts there.

In a prepared statement, C&S said: "After conducting a thorough analysis, we have reached the difficult decision to close the Portland facility. Continuing to keep the facility open was not an economically viable alternative for our company, The customers of the facility will be serviced from other existing facilities. We will work with all affected parties to make the transition as smooth as possible."

One report suggests that the move allows the company to eliminate 77 union positions, while moving the work done by the Portland facility to non-union distribution centers in Vermont and Connecticut.
KC's View:
We feel for the employees who are losing their jobs, but this probably was inevitable as C&S looks to redefine itself for the customers it gained when it swapped territories with Supervalu.

These logistical issues are one thing. The harder work is developing a culture that offers service as well as supplies, something that C&S was not known for in the past. But we're told by people in the know that the company is moving along in this regard, and believes that it will have a compelling service case to make to its existing, past and potentially future customers.

It'll be interesting to watch.