Nash Finch Gets Business Turned Around
Nash Finch found plenty of detractors in years past. But
more recently, the grocery wholesaler has changed its approach and that
has enabled it to prosper during an economic downturn even as larger
rivals struggle. In fact, the turnaround at Nash Finch is so complete
that the company’s CEO is looking to build on its organic growth through
David Livingston, principal at DJL Research and RetailWire BrainTrust
member, was one of those who criticized Nash Finch in the past, particularly
its former chief executive Ron Marshall.
Mr. Livingston told the Minneapolis
Star Tribune that current CEO Alec Covington
has the company on course. “He has realistic goals and realistic
“We continue to make good progress in debt reduction, working
capital improvement and cost containment,” Mr. Covington said in a press
release to announce the company’s second quarter results. “As we previously
announced, we delayed some of our non-essential 2009 capital expenditures
to ensure we attain our goals for free cash flow to net asset returns.
In the second half of 2009, we will continue to focus on attracting new
food distribution customers, improving the productivity in our warehouse
operations and converting the final GSC military warehouse onto our standard
suite of military systems.”
Discussion Questions: What
is different about Nash Finch today compared to a few years back? Is now a good or bad time for Nash Finch to be looking to grow through acquisitions?