Snacks Direct

P&H bought PepsiCo’s van sales business in 2012

PepsiCo is to launch its own van sales division after failing to reach an agreement with administrators at P&H to buy back the business it sold to the wholesaler in 2012.

PepsiCo said it was making the move following the collapse of P&H, as the wholesaler would no longer be providing a direct-to-store service that many retailers and foodservice operators rely on.

Its new division will deliver Walkers snack products direct to independent retailers, foodservice operators and the licensed trade.

However it appears that it had actually been hoping to secure a deal with PwC, which is handling the P&H administration, to buy P&H Direct Van Sales, P&H Sweetsdirect and P&H Snacksdirect, all of which were subsidiaries of Palmer & Harvey McLane (Holdings).

PwC confirmed today that it had not been possible to agree a sale for the van businesses and that it had been forced to make a further 404 people redundant across the country. This brings the total number of P&H redundancies to 2,850 since the wholesaler went bust on 28 November.

“We have been working closely with the directors of the vans business to pursue a sale. However it is with regret that we have to announce this has not been successful,” said PwC partner and joint administrator Matthew Callaghan.

“We will be working with those being made redundant, as we have with those made redundant previously, to assist and provide support where possible.”

PepsiCo is currently in discussions with a third party to provide warehousing and depot services to support the vans operation that will see Walkers-branded vans delivering products to thousands of outlets across the country.

It will start recruiting for the new operation shortly and will consider any experienced van sales representatives who would like to apply for roles, it said. This is understood to include former P&H workers.

“The wholesale market is experiencing a significant amount of change and our focus is to ensure that our customers’ needs are being met in the absence of the important direct-to-store service previously provided by P&H,” said PepsiCo UK vice president of impulse sales Huseyin Tulpar.

“By establishing our own van sales delivery operation, we can quickly replace that service and ensure our retail customers are getting the direct-to-store service and the continuity of supply they require. It is part of our long-standing commitment to the impulse market and to supporting local retailers.”