Amstelveen, January 27, 2005
Royal Wessanen nv today informed employees at its North American subsidiary
Tree of Life North America (TOL NA) about further steps taken in its ‘Build on
the Roots’ restructuring program. In addition, the company announces
theintroduction of new service capabilities and recently signed a number of
distribution agreements with new customers.
Further steps in ‘Build on the Roots’ program to generate extra savings
As stated at the publication of Wessanen’s third quarter 2004 results, the
decline in Low Carb sales has prompted TOL NA to intensify the restructuring of
Meanwhile, in December 2004, the company has consolidated its two
California-based facilities into one state-of-the-art facility in Los Angeles .
Also in December, the company has closed its secondary distribution facility in
the Dallas , Texas , area, reducing the number of facilities it operates in
Texas from three to two. With these measures the company lowers its cost base,
improves operating efficiencies and enhances customer services.
Moreover, effective today, operations in TOL NA’s Northeast Region, Southeast
Region, and Tree of Life Corporate Headquarters have merged to form the new
East Region. This move concentrates Tree of Life’s U.S. distribution operations
into three regional offices located in St. Augustine , FL (East Region), Dallas
, TX (Southwest/West Region), and Bloomington , IN (Midwest/Northwest Region).
TOL NA will also immediately implement a reorganization of its
procurement-related activities. The purchasing function will be separated into
category management, vendor management and inventory management. This structure
will promote focus and business excellence in supply chain management, product
assortment, gross margin and service level.
“Our new, more streamlined organization allows us to put our best people in
leadership positions close to our customers, and extend one consistent set of
best practices across the company. It also creates synergies that help us
improve customer service and allows us to take all unnecessary costs out of our
operations”, said Alec Covington, President and CEO of Tree of Life and Member
of Wessanen’s Executive Board.
The announced measures are within the exceptional charges indicated earlier.
The detailed financial implications will be further specified at the
publication of Wessanen’s 2004 results in March 2005.
Introduction innovative Smart Assortment™ marketing service
TOL NA announces today that its innovative new Smart Assortment™ marketing
service has successfully completed the pilot stage and will begin to become
available to the company’s customers in the second quarter of 2005. The Tree of
Life Smart Assortment™ program combines the use of several types of data to
determine the optimal product assortment, by category, for individual retail
New distribution agreements signed
TOL NA also announces that a number of distribution agreements have been signed
in recent weeks with new customers, including one to supply natural and
specialty foods to the Penn Traffic Company, which operates 109 supermarkets in
Pennsylvania, central and upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire under the
BiLo, P&C, and Quality trade names. In addition, the company has signed an
agreement with Coborn’s Inc. to supply all of the chain’s specialty, gourmet,
ethnic, natural and organic products to their 30 stores in Minnesota , North
Dakota and South Dakota .
Royal Wessanen nv
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