BYRON CENTER — Food distribution and retail company SpartanNash Co. is expanding its distribution capacity with the acquisition of an independent grocery wholesaler in the Upper Peninsula.
The deal for Great Lakes Foods LLC will also add a 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Menominee, where the company is based. Great Lakes Foods serves 100 independent grocery customers throughout Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois, and employs 125 people, who will now join SpartanNash.
Since 2012, entrepreneur Tom Kuber has owned and operated Great Lakes Foods, which traces its roots back more than 130 years to the Carpenter Cook Co., founded in 1891.
“I am incredibly proud that SpartanNash purchased our distribution center,” Kuber said in a statement. “We value our Associates and long-standing customers and know SpartanNash is well-equipped to elevate the level of service and amplify its People First culture based on their strong track record.”
SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) said it plans capital investments and I.T. upgrades at the Menominee facility and will bring new service offerings to Great Lakes Foods’ existing customer base. That includes increased marketing support, merchandising expertise and various private label products, as well as the expertise SpartanNash has gained via its own wholesale and retail operations.
Integrating the Great Lakes Food business will take place over the rest of 2023 with a strategic focus on driving shareholder value and serving existing customers.
Masiar Tayebi, executive vice president and chief strategy and information officer at SpartanNash, said the acquisition fits with the company’s “ongoing commitment to optimize our supply chain network, drive growth through geographic expansion, and serve our customers more efficiently.”
“The location of this distribution center is ideal for serving both new and existing customers in the surrounding communities — as well as our own Company-owned stores in the Upper Peninsula,” Tayebi said, noting SpartanNash will “continue building upon the legacy Great Lakes Foods has established.”
Previously, SpartanNash in 2022 acquired three Shop-N-Save Food Centers in Benzonia, Fremont and Ludington, which it later converted to the Family Fare store brand.
Through three quarters of 2022, SpartanNash generated higher net sales of $7.34 billion, compared to nearly $6.84 billion in the previous year. However, reported earnings over the first 40 weeks of 2022 were off 34 percent.
Still, in their Nov. 9 conference call with brokerage analysts, SpartanNash executives raised their guidance for the overall 2022 fiscal year, citing strong year-to-date results.
The company now expects net sales of $9.5 billion to $9.7 billion, compared to the prior guidance of $9.3 billion to $9.6 billion. They estimated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) would end the year at $237 million to $242 million, up from previous estimates of $227 million to $240 million.
SpartanNash will report its fourth quarter and full-year earnings for 2022 at the end of February.
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