T Geddes Grant lands big distribution deal
Kimberly-Clark brands now firm’s largest portfolio
T GEDDES Grant (TGG) has acquired the exclusive local distribution rights for Kimberly-Clark personal care brands, which include household names Kleenex, Scott and Huggies.
In preparation for the deal, which became effective last Friday, the local distribution company has invested a "significant" amount of money in transport, warehouse and sales equipment upgrade, according to Michael Subratie, managing director of TGG.
"All our warehouse locations have been upgraded to meet Kimberly-Clark's rigorous standards and ensure quality to the consumer," Subratie told the Business Observer yesterday.
"Significant investments have been made in delivery vans/trucks and IT handhelds by each sales rep, and we will ensure that adequate supplies of the product are on the island and available in the market," Subratie said, without disclosing the exact dollar amount of the investment.
He specifically noted, however, that the company will triple its van/truck operations over the next six months to 30. TGG has also been investing heavily in staff training, including sessions hosted by personnel from the US-based Kimberly-Clark, he said.
Kimberly-Clark products are sold in more than 175 countries, with revenues exceeding US$20 billion a year. Its brands, which also include Kotex and Depend, cover every aspect of personal care paper-related products such as facial tissue, paper towels, baby and adult diapers, and feminine hygiene.
It is estimated that a quarter of the world's population purchase their products daily and the company has topped the personal care category of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index five years in a row.
Subratie said that the brand already enjoys significant presence in three major aisles -- Baby & Child Care, Feminine & Adult Care and Family Care -- of major supermarkets across Jamaica.
"Essentially, Kimberly-Clark products touch every stage of your life, starting from the time you are born," said the managing director of TGG, which is a major distributor to pharmacies, wholesalers and supermarkets on the island.
Kimberly-Clark brands were previously distributed by Wisynco and Lascelles deMercado's general merchandise division. According to Subratie, the international giant recently made the decision to give the portfolio to a single distributor.
"This is a major win for TGG; it speaks to the confidence that the trade has in our customer service and ability to deliver quickly," Subratie said. "TGG will build on the current excellent product portfolio and further deepen its distribution."
The Kimberly-Clark portfolio of brands will be the largest held by T Geddes Grant. The local distribution company also exclusively represents UK-based United Biscuits, which produces brands such as McVitie's, Jacobs, Go Ahead and Carr's. Other brands distributed by TGG include Blue Ribbon rice, Arcor confectionery, Bauducco wafers, Natural Life health foods and Big Bamboo Irish Moss drink.
TGG also produces its own Geddy's brand.
According to Subratie, the company has grown by double digits the last three years, driven by the acquisition of other distributorships, particularly in the pharmaceutical and agriculture industries.
"I made a foray into representing India's top drug manufacturers as I realised that Jamaica had a demand for economically priced medicines with the same quality as the traditional brands, especially given its free health care policy," Subratie explained.
"We started with Glenmark, followed by Ranbaxy, and then Dr Reddy's, which are all well respected by doctors across the island for treating many symptoms in various areas such as dermatology and oncology," he said, noting that other wins for the firm included representing Fersan fertiliser, Nutramix feed and Herman Miller furniture.