Palmer and Harvey was originally named “Palmer & Harvey McLane PLC.” The company was founded in 1925 and originally engaged in the wholesale of tobacco and confectionery. The founder, Archie Stone, created the company by buying two businesses, one owned by Mr. Palmer and another owned by Mr. Harvey. Both of the businesses were engaged in wholesale. After successfully buying the businesses, Stone then merged the two into one wholesale company.
In 1994, P&H was able to acquire McLane UK, the subsidiary. A year after, P&H acquired Mojo Cash and Carry, as well as Snowking Foods (distributor of frozen foods). In the same year, the company’s fleet and warehouse were also increased. In 1998, P&H acquired Winerite (BWS wholesaler) and launched its yearly trade show, Pro Retail. In the same year, the company launched “Your Store” as a complement to the Supershop group.
In 1999, P&H signed a long-term distribution agreement with the company TM Retail Group. Snowking Foods merged with P&H’s ambient arm. In the same year, P&H sold the brand name Select & Save to Larnheath Limited. It then acquired Booker Wholesale Foods. In the same year, P&H gained control of the Mace and Select & Save brands in Wales and England. In 2000, the company was able to acquire YP electronics and Snacksdirect.
In 2001, P&H began supplying Sainsbury’s petrol stations when it was able to acquire a 200,000-square foot Crawley depot. In the same year, P&H was also able to secure a long-term agreement with Shell to distribute both non-core and core food ranges. In 2005, P&H was able to acquire the franchise for Mace in Scotland, which had been run by Aberness Foods. A year after, P&H won the supply contract for the chain CTN, which allowed it to supply 66 stores owned by the company, as well as 250 retail affiliate partners. In 2007, P&H acquired T&A Symonds (a company engaged in wholesale).
In 2009, P&H launched Sweetdirect, a direct-to-store van sales business. Today, P&H is considered UK’s biggest delivered wholesaler and makes about 48,000 deliveries every week. The company also operates some independent retail and multiple retail businesses in the UK.
Headquarters: East Sussex,England
Ownership Type: Private
Demography: wholesale companies, retail businesses