L&R Distributors Buys LaFrance's SAJ Distributors from Walgreen

by Lance Turner  on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 11:46 am  

L&R Distributors Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y., said Wednesday that it is buying the assets of SAJ Distributors, formerly owned by Stephen L. LaFrance Holdings, from Walgreen Co.

Walgreen bought SAJ, which includes the private label line Select Brand, from LaFrance Holdings in July as part of its $438 million purchase of LaFrance's USA Drug chain.

In a news release, L&R said it will operate the SAJ Distribution Center and offices in Pine Bluff under the SAJ name and retain "many existing SAJ staff who work in customer service, accounting, purchasing and operations."

L&R said it will also maintain "the existing SAJ sales staff, delivery methods and inventory mix."

Art Walker, vice president of finance for L&R, said his company is retaining about 250 SAJ employees, including about 150 at the lone Arkansas location in Pine Bluff. SAJ employed more than 200 employees at the Pine Bluff location, but Walker said he couldn't give a total number.

"This will ensure a 'no change' turn-key solution for the existing SAJ family of customers," the company said. "Over time, L&R's SAJ Division will introduce new items, categories and unique promotional programs which are currently in place and available to L&R customers across the country."

The companies did not disclose a purchase price.

L&R said the deal adds 1,000 points of distribution to its client base. In June 2011, L&R purchased UNFI’s Non Foods Division, previously known as Millbrook. 

L&R is a national distributor of more than 30,000 HBC, GM, and cosmetics products, and claims more than 7,000 points of distribution within the supermarket, drug, independent and mass classes of trade across the country.



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