C&S Wholesale Grocers Success Story: The largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S. and an industry leader in supply chain

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In the fast-paced life we live, completing even the basics of jobs becomes rather challenging. Grocery shopping is a job that we need to make time for. Fortunately, with the boost of the retail industry, finding a reliable grocery outlet is no longer a tough task.

Dealing with various products, the company has crossed all hurdles to achieve success. Let us have a look at C&S Wholesale Grocers and their journey so far.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Company Highlights

  • Company Name-C&S Wholesale Grocers
  • Headquarters-Keene, New Hampshire
  • Sector-Grocery wholesale and distribution
  • Founder-Abraham Seigel and Israel Cohen
  • Founded-1918
  • Revenue-$30 Billion (2021)
  • Employees-17,000+ (2017)

C&S Wholesale Grocers - About

  • Based in Keene, New Hampshire, C&S Wholesale Grocers is a wholesale grocery supply service. The company was set up as a small grocery store in 1918. C&S Wholesale Grocers is considered the leader in supply chain management.
  • The company offers services to other supermarkets, independent stores, etc. in the form of wholesale procurement, pricing, marketing, category management, merchandising, advertising, business, accounting, engineering, and store design.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Industry

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers operates in the Grocery wholesaling industry. As per the data shared by Marketresearch, the global wholesale market was wroth around $45672.6 billion in 2022.
  • As opposed to other industries, the Grocery wholesaling industry has shown slower growth. Between 2018-2023 the sector rose by 1.1%. The industry is affected by the number of households. The more the number the higher would be the sales of the industry.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Founders and Team

C&S Wholesale Grocers was launched in 1918 by Abraham Seigel and Israel Cohen in Worcester, Mass. At that time, it was set up as an independent grocery provider.

Abraham Seigel

  • Abraham Seigel and Israel Cohen joined hands to fulfill the latter's desire to have a wholesale supply of their own. They set up a 5000 sq. ft. Three-story Worcester warehouse that dealt in 1200 grocery products.

Israel Cohen

  • Israel Cohen was the founder of the C&S Wholesale Grocers company. He started his career in the wholesale grocery industry in the early 1900s. When working in Worcester for $25 per week, he thought he could make more profit.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Startup Story

  • One of the company's owners Israel Cohen was dissatisfied with the $25 per week he was earning in a supermarket. He decided to launch a wholesale delivery system of his own. Along with his companion Abraham Siegel, he set up C&S Wholesale Grocers in 1918. The company's name was taken from the founders' surname alphabet.
  • They set up a 5000 sq. ft. warehouse where 3 workers managed the delivery of around 1200 products. The need to have a well-defined distribution system became more evident with the rise in population.
  • Israel Cohen realized that their customer's opinions held the most importance. While other distributors stocked the products as per their wishes, C&S Wholesale Grocers talked to the customers and kept their opinions in mind. This increased the company's reputation among customers giving them a solid footing in the industry.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Mission and Vision

C&S Wholesale Grocers' vision statement is as has been mentioned below:

  • We work as one team.
  • Every person matters.
  • We're tenacious in fulfilling our commitments.
  • We challenge the status quo.

We continuously make our work environment and communities better.

The company aims to take its customer's opinions rather seriously. Their mission statement is as follows:

"Our mission is to consistently deliver the very best service and value to our customers.."

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Name, Tagline, and Logo

  • The term C&S from the company name "C&S Wholesale Grocers" is taken from the initials of the founder's surname, Abraham Siegel and Israel Cohen.
  • C&S Wholesale Grocers uses a unique red and white logo to promote its brand. In the logo, both C and S seem intertwined with each other. The logo signifies the synchronization of the customer's needs with the company's mission to deliver quality groceries on time.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Business Model

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers is a company that deals in wholesale grocery distribution to supermarkets, grocery stores, chain stores, military institutions, etc. They supply various products, including fresh produce, meat, dairy products, seafood, health, beauty products, general merchandise, etc. Some stores that the company provides products to include names like Stop & Shop, Giant of Landover, Giant of Carlisle, Pure Harmony, Safeway, and Target.
  • Apart from the above, the company also has its own brands that it owns and licenses. These include Best Yet, Piggly Wiggly, Tippy Toes, and Exceptional value. The other services the company provides are wholesale procurement, category management, pricing, marketing, advertising, etc.
  • C&S Wholesale Grocers moved into retail operations after it acquired Grand Union Supermarket chain in 2001. Post that, they merged with many other stores only to sell them further.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Revenue Model

  • The revenue for C&S Wholesale Grocers was $30 Billion in the last quarter. The company has 17,000 employees. This makes it an average revenue of $17,64,705.

C&S Wholesale Grocers- Employees

  • Apart from offering competitive salaries, the company offers multiple benefits to its employees. Benefits like comprehensive medical plans, flexibility in choosing a dental plan, savings on basic eye care costs, paid vacations, retirement plans, tuition assistance, adoption assistance, employee perk, discounts, etc are provided by them.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Challenges Faced

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers faced many issues post their association with A&P supermarkets. The deal was to provide them with groceries during the winter holidays. However, the company was not prepared to handle the bulk of the work. The issue was that the time to complete the order was limited.
  • The company needed to increase its productivity and number of employees to rise up to the challenge. Apart from that, they have to deal with increased fuel prices. Their work involves transportation, and if fuel costs rise, it impacts the margins of operations.
  • Severe weather is another problem that C&S Wholesale Grocers has to deal with. Flooding roads, transit systems, railways, etc., impact the transportation of goods. As they cannot modify the weather, they would have to boost the algorithms that trace the weather changes and locate warehouses that can be affected.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Funding and Investors

  • The company received a grant investment from New York State on 2nd May 2014. The amount was greater than $ 5 million, which was a massive break for C&S Wholesale Grocers.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Growth

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers has progressed in the form of expanding its network. They have around 7700 supermarket stores in 2021, rising from 7500 in the 2020 year. The revenue increased from $25 Billion to $30 Billion in 2021. This was commendable in a competitive industry like grocery wholesale.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers has not ventured into creating any new commercials of late. However, in 2019, they released a series of ads that showcased the company as an ideal workplace.
  • Each commercial showed the company as a family-oriented warehouse. There were testimonials from the existing employees that showcased the company's unique workplace policies.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Awards and Achievements

Some awards received by the company are:

  • Seven Seals Award in 2012 from the Department of Défense and New Hampshire Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
  • In 2010 C&S Wholesale Grocers was named the Business of the year by the Keene Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Food Marketing Institute awarded them the Wholesaler Innovator of the year, Feeding America's Grocery Distributor of the year, and the national Neighbourhood Partnership award the same year.

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Competitors

C&S Wholesale Grocers has established itself in the Wholesale grocery market. Its competitors are:

  • Giant Eagle
  • Spartan Nash
  • Imperial Distributors
  • Kehe Distributors
  • Winn Dixie stores Inc
  • United Natural Foods
  • Mc Lane Company
  • US Foods
  • Sysco

C&S Wholesale Grocers - Future Plans

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers has always tried to make the process of distribution simple. It aims to increase transparency and flexibility in its supply chain processes.
  • The company has deployed a unified supply chain and planning technology from partner Relex Solutions. By doing it, the company aims to enhance the customer experience and focus on high growth.
  • In the future, C&S Wholesale Grocers wants to incorporate technology to transform the company's operations. With AI and Machine learning, the company intends to use its operation platform to monitor traffic and identify suitable distribution routes.


Who is the current CEO of C&S Wholesale Grocers?

  • The current CEO of C&S Wholesale Grocers is Mike Duffy. He took over the reins in 1989.

Which industry does C&S Wholesale Grocers operate in?

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers operates in the Grocery Wholesale industry.

What are some of the other brands that C&S Wholesale Grocers has?

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers has Best Yet, Piggly Wiggly, Tippy Toes, and Exceptional value brands.

Who are the founders of C&S Wholesale Grocers?

  • C&S Wholesale Grocers was founded by Israel Cohen and Abraham Seigel in 1918.

What are some competitors of C&S Wholesale Grocers?

  • Some competitors of C&S Wholesale Grocers are Giant Eagle, Spartan Nash, Winn Dixie, and Imperial distributors.