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02/09/2021

Two Top Northwest Convenience Distributors Exploring a Merger

Harbor Wholesale truck

LACEY, Wash. — Harbor Wholesale and Rich & Rhine Wholesale are considering teaming up, bringing together two family-owned companies in the distribution business.

"After several discussions with Robert Krupp [chairman at Rich & Rhine], we realized that our vision for the convenience industry and strong values-based leadership were well aligned towards common future goals and opportunities," said Justin Erickson, CEO of Harbor Foods Group. "We share a common passion for building an organization where our team members can be successful while being 100 percent focused on our customers' success."

Harbor Wholesale operates distribution centers in Lacey and Roseburg, Ore. A tie-up would open the door for Harbor to establish a hub in Portland, Ore., to service the more densely populated markets in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington.

"As we continued down the path of successfully growing our business, we realized that substantial capital investment would be necessary to support our customers' expansion into foodservice, fresh foods, branded programs, and new technologies," Krupp said. "Our partnership with Harbor would allow us to accomplish these goals by leveraging Harbor's existing infrastructure in a number of these areas."

Rich & Rhine and Harbor would conduct business as usual with Rich & Rhine operated independently and led by the current leadership team, including Ron Squires as president.

"In our 98 years of doing business, we've found only one true competitive advantage in this industry: our people. We look forward to collaborating with the Rich & Rhine team so our collective knowledge, experience, and creativity can explore new and innovative ways to serve our customers better than ever," Erickson said.

The combined companies would serve nearly 4,000 independent retailers throughout the Northwest, and the collective buying power of the combined businesses would bring new opportunities for customers to enhance their profitability, according to the two companies.

Harbor Wholesale is based in Lacey, and Rich & Rhine Wholesale is headquartered in Portland.