wrapped to perfection

Sheetz increases efficiency 13% at its Pa. distribution center using stretch wrappers.

Sheetz Inc. understands that speed and innovation are differentiators in the convenience industry. The family-owned Altoona, Pa.-based chain proved it by being one of the first retailers to integrate touchscreen ordering into its Made-to-Order (MTO) food offer. It followed that up by creating its “convenience restaurant,” a modern, quick-casual eatery that is also powered by touchscreen terminals—at the drive-through and inside.

The company applied similar “drive-through” efficiency by installing LantechS-300XT overhead stretch wrappers at its Claysburg, Pa., Distribution Center,which spans 360,000 sq. ft. and supports its 310 retail sites.

“Combined with other technology efficiencies, such as wearable radio frequency for our order pickers, the stretch wrapping operation has helped us deliver 13% annual increases in volume in the last two years, without an increase in hours or equipment,” says John Barger, shipping supervisor for Sheetz DC.

Designed for tall and unstable loads the freestanding S-300XT has a 12-RPM wrap arm that allows each machine to produce 30-40 loads per hour, up to 80 inches high, wrapped with two layers of film, pre-stretched 200%. Automatic load-height detection adjusts film overlap to meet requirements for Sheetz’s varying loads, which range from knee-high to the maximum the wrapper can produce.

“We did a lot of hand wrapping before we got these machines on line and had some issues with loads shifting in the trailer,” says Barger. “That ceased as soon as we went to machine wrapping. The pairing of these wrappers is an exceptionally efficient layout. Now we’re able to produce 600 pallet loads—26 tractor-trailer loads—per day, working six 12-hour days.”

McLane to service Town & Country
Town & CountryFood Stores Inc. reached a deal with grocer McLane Co. Inc. on a distributionservice agreement that will run through 2008.

The deal covers all 159 of Town & Country’s convenience stores and travel centers in Texas and New Mexico, says Alvin New, President and CEO of the San Angelo, Texas chain.

“Our service agreement with McLane positions our company well to continue serving our customers with quality products and services—especially fresh foods—and to accomplish our vision of great people reaping the rewards of great service,” says New.

Getty Realty adds 18 Arrow Mart locations
Getty RealtyCorp. acquired 18 convenience store properties from privately-heldArrow Mart Convenience Stores for about $16 million. The real estate investmenttrust said the newly added store properties, which are being leased out to YellowGoose Markets, will add to Getty Realty’s annual earnings by about two centsa share. Getty said the deal for the stores located in Western New York is expectedto close by the end of the first quarter.

Family Express honored
Family Express Corp.was honored by its peers in Indiana with the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

The award, bestowed for the first time by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, is designed to honor small business in the state that are making big contributions to the local economy as retailers, employers and upstanding corporate citizens. Family Express, based in Valparaiso, operates 47 stores in northwest and north central Indiana. The company has 375 employees and generates a gross annual revenue of $150 million.

“Family Express’s passion for customer service, its distinct private brand of products and the latest in technology conveniences have helped the company grow and prosper,” says Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “Their business model has now been replicated in 47 stores in 22 Hoosier communities. It’s an inspiring success story.”

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