- C&S Wholesale Grocers announced Thursday it has entered into an agreement to purchase Wisconsin-based Piggly Wiggly Midwest.
- Under the agreement, C&S will supply 84 Piggly Wiggly franchisee stores and 14 Butera Market locations in Chicago. It will also operate 11 Piggly Wiggly Midwest stores along with the company's three distribution centers and offices. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this month.
- The marks the first major deal for C&S under CEO Bob Palmer, who was named to the top role last October.
C&S Grocers is looking to notch a win after experiencing a few high-profile setbacks in recent years.
This includes the loss of its largest customer, Ahold Delhaize, which is in the process of transitioning to a self-distribution model, as well as Key Food Stores, which last year signed on with C&S competitor United Natural Foods, Inc., in a deal worth $10 billion over 10 years.
C&S also watched as rival SpartanNash secured a commercial agreement last fall with Amazon, whose stores the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based wholesaler also supplies.
With its Piggly Wiggly Midwest acquisition, C&S expands its footprint and adds buying power to the legacy grocer and wholesaler, which has been in business for more than a century. Piggly Wiggly Midwest operates two distribution centers in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and another in Milwaukee that will transfer to C&S ownership.
C&S is also venturing into familiar territory with its pickup. The wholesaler has decades of experience supplying independent supermarkets, including 55 Piggly Wiggly locations in South Carolina and Southeast Georgia.
"The purchase of Piggly Wiggly Midwest is a natural expansion of our already successful Piggly Wiggly Carolina business and reinforces our strong commitment to this beloved brand," Palmer said in a statement. "It is a well-established legend in grocery retail that is valued by customers for its competitive pricing and focus on service."
Palmer was named to the top post last fall shortly after Key Food and UNFI announced their partnership. The appointment came just one year after he had retired from C&S following a more than 30-year career with the company.