UNFI’s acquisition of SUPERVALU has closed. What does this mean for suppliers?
According to UNFI, they will be building upon the best elements from both companies to become a premier distributor. Ideally, this will give suppliers greater reach with fewer hoops to jump through. This makes for one less distributor with different processes, different ad programs, etc. while gaining the ability to do business with 45,000 stores in all 50 states, Canada, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
With the purchase of SUPERVALU, UNFI has become the first truly national distributor in the USA and will gain leverage with Amazon-Whole Foods. The two companies (SVL & UNFI) do very different business, which will make for a strong learning curve necessitating collaboration as they merge together. The natural/organic-focused UNFI will have to learn how to service all departments, as SUPERVALU’s business has a much broader scope, but this expansion is ripe with opportunity to develop relationships with giant retailers that neither of them serviced alone such as Target and Walgreens.