RICHMOND, Va. — GPM Investments LLC is honoring The Hershey Co. as the company's first-ever Supplier Partner of the Year.
The award recognizes Hershey for its important role in the convenience store operator's 2020 success, from driving growth to supporting the company's vision, and showing dedication and commitment to building a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership, GPM stated.
In an unprecedented year, Hershey remained proactive in ideation, category growth recommendations and strong program execution in partnership with GPM. It continued to maintain steady production and launched new products in GPM stores including Chocolatey Payday, Kit Kat Duos Mocha and limited-edition Golden Apple Ice Breakers.
Additional pillars of the partnership include:
- Hershey became a charter member of GPM's fas REWARDS program and is layering additional loyalty promotions throughout 2021.
- The entities held a promotional program that drove mutual business growth called "The Year of Reese's."
- Hershey supported cooler door suction cups in all GPM stores and provided seasonal candy hutch displays for Easter, Halloween and the December holiday season.
Currently, the companies are working together on new collaborations such as front-end assortment, under-counter checkout merchandising, queuing, and CHIMP best-in-class assortment. GPM is also testing Hershey's magnetic Grab & Go case rack and reviewing a permanent seasonal candy rack option.
"Hershey has been, and continues to be, an outstanding strategic partner to our business. We're proud of the outstanding collaboration and program execution of this partnership that has resulted in business growth for both our team and theirs," said GPM Investments Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer Michael Bloom. "We're happy to recognize Hershey as our first-ever Supplier Partner of the Year and look forward to continued growth ahead."
GPM presented the award to Hershey recently during a virtual planning meeting. Those who accepted the award on behalf of Hershey were:
- Senior Director of U.S. Convenience Ben Stoffel
- Director of Strategic C-Store Sales Scott Bennett
- Senior Manager of Customer Supply Chain Elise Sheffer
- Senior Manager of Category Management, Strategic C-Store Sales Josh Chandler
- Manager of Sales Planning C-Store Andrew Moore
- Customer Sales Executive Candice Lafourcade
- Category Analyst Kara Puntriano
"We're honored to be recognized as GPM's Supplier Partner of the Year. GPM continues to be a great company to work with," said Lafourcade. "As they continue to grow rapidly, we couldn't be more excited to be part of that success and growth while working closely together to reach their customers and bring them products they can enjoy."
Based in Richmond, GPM Investments is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ARKO Corp. It operates and supplies stores in 33 states and Washington, D.C., and is the seventh largest convenience store chain in the United States. GPM has 3,000 locations comprised of approximately 1,350 company-operated stores and 1,600 dealer sites to which it supplies fuel.