Another convenience operator calls on private brand suppliers

GPM Investments, a subsidiary of Arko, is hosting its first Open Buying Day, and suppliers have until Sept. 5 to apply to pitch.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Looking for new supplier partnerships, including for private brands, to build out its range of convenience locations and acquisitions, GPM Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arko Corp., is presenting its first-ever “Open Buying Day,” for suppliers to apply and pitch them products virtually Oct. 26-27.

The company is partnering with ECRM and RangeMe to manage the submission process. Many companies this year, particularly in the convenience arena like Casey’s, TXB, Rite Aid, Kum & Go and Yesway, for example, each held submissions for new suppliers.

Arko, based in Richmond, Va., represents a family of community brands, and operates or supplies stores in 33 states and Washington D.C. It is the 6th largest convenience store chain in the country, and GPM has approximately 3,000 locations comprised of approximately 1,400 company-operated stores and 1,650 dealer sites to which it supplies fuel. GPM operates in three reportable segments: retail, which consists of fuel and merchandise sales to retail consumers; wholesale, which supplies fuel to third-party dealers and consignment agents; and GPM Petroleum, which supplies fuel to GPM and its subsidiaries (both in the retail and wholesale segments).

"We are looking to add both national and private label brands to our portfolio that can assist with this strategy across several different categories."
Michael Bloom , EVP, chief merchandising and marketing officer, GPM Investments

The stores carry beverages, coffee, fountain drinks, candy, salty snacks, prepared foods and more. Building out this assortment, GPM is working with ECRM and RangeMe for the company’s first “Open Buying Day.” And according to Michael Bloom, EVP, chief merchandising and marketing officer, GPM Investments, they’re keeping store brands in mind.

“We hope to expand our network of suppliers and develop partnerships that provide opportunities for growth. We are looking to add both national and private label brands to our portfolio that can assist with this strategy across several different categories,” he told Store Brands.

Suppliers can apply here by Sept. 5. GPM will review submissions and notify suppliers selected for the event individually. Qualified suppliers will be invited to attend the event virtually on Oct. 26-27.

The company is seeking suppliers that must be able to distribute to at least 80% of GPM’s stores via Core-Mark, Grocery Supply Co. or through direct store delivery (DSD) and meet all insurance requirements. Suppliers that are currently doing business with GPM or have presented the product to GPM in the last six months are ineligible to participate.

“We look forward to conducting our first open buying day, inviting suppliers from around the world to showcase their products to the Category Team at GPM,” said Bloom. “You never know where the next new item or category will come from. We are always looking for new growth opportunities to meet our customers’ needs.”

He added: “Partnering with RangeMe allows us to streamline the process and build relationships with a wide variety of suppliers. This translates to capturing innovation potentially earlier than others, a robust assortment of products for our customers to choose from, and ultimately more sales for our stores, benefitting all stakeholders.”