Supermarket chain Aeon Co. is calling on beer makers to deliver their products directly to the retailer and skip wholesalers, sources said.
Wholesalers dealing in beer have been asking retailers, including Aeon, to accept an increase in prices. Aeon’s move appears aimed at countering that demand.
Aeon is proposing that wholesalers play a certain role in distribution, including placing orders with breweries, because wholesale trading of alcoholic beverages requires a license.
But it wants the breweries to directly ship beer from their factories to its 17 distribution centers nationwide.
In return, Aeon would then control more of the product sorting and distribution work for wholesalers to shoulder part of their distribution costs, instead of taking a rise in wholesale prices, the sources said.
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