As rules, regulations and guidelines have evolved throughout the pandemic, McLane has seen an increase in demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items. Consumers are looking for masks and sanitizing agents, so McLane increased its offerings and inventories in these areas.
Many states and municipalities have mandated the use of face masks. Through its retailer and supplier partnerships, McLane anticipates carrying this new subcategory throughout 2021. PPE offerings are new to the general merchandise mix, so McLane is helping retailers ensure that the sources for these items are reliable and of good quality.
The distributor has also worked with customers to merchandise these products in a variety of locations throughout their stores. Endcaps specifically designed to market these items along with other cleaning and sanitizing products have been very successful. McLane has had stores merchandise PPE products on the front counter as well, or in a display near the entrance for ease of access and purchase, especially in those areas of the country where masks are required.
Through this effort, the new subcategory has gone from zero sales to more than $18 million across McLane's network, and the company expects to see continued PPE sales through most or all of 2021.