2020 Category Captain for General Merchandise: McLane Co. Inc.
As McLane enhances its relationships with novelty suppliers, the distributor has been able to offer a strong lineup of items that help fulfill retailers' needs. McLane strives to offer a wholesale solution for these items, which are traditionally offered within a direct-store-delivery (DSD) network. Creating this offering reduces the number of trucks delivering merchandise in the retailers' parking lots, and offers consistent deliveries throughout the week along with their normal deliveries. Although the product is not guaranteed, the program helps retailers run larger margins and minimize the exposure to their store.
McLane's category management team has used several tools to initiate interest and increase sales, including discussions in McLane's Center for Category Innovation (CCI), a recreated c-store environment at the company's headquarters in Temple, Texas.
Retailers also can access special offers and educational webinars through McLane's Virtual Trade Show (VTS), an Internet-based trade show. The distributor also has put additional time and effort into seeking new items and additional offerings to help retailers focus on seasonal opportunities.
Through its retailer and supplier partnerships, McLane anticipates strong results in 2020. General merchandise, especially novelty, is a key driver for impulse sales in the convenience/truck travel channel. Year to date, general merchandise subcategories such as batteries, gloves, novelty, hardware and school/office supplies are all growing at a high sales rate for McLane's retail customers, according to the company.