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floral wholesalers join forces

Kennicott Brothers Company and Vans Floral Products, both with headquarters in the Chicago metropolitan area, will merge their operations on Oct. 1, with Kennicott acquiring most of the assets of Vans.

The principals of both companies approved an agreement that would achieve greater economies of scale throughout their combined distribution areas. Gustavo Gilchrist, who will succeed Gary Doran as president of Kennicott Brothers, will lead the transition process and ongoing operations. Mr. Doran will remain active with the company as a special consultant in his retirement. Jack Van Namen and John Van Namen will fill key executive roles.

“This dynamic combination will leverage the strengths of each organization to better serve all of our customers,” stated CEO Harrison “Red” Kennicott.

Kennicott Brothers Company has served retailers in the Midwest for more than 130 years from its seven locations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. Vans Floral Products was established in 1960 and operates eight locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Georgia.

“For many years, Vans and Kennicott have been friendly competitors with similar values and have worked together on behalf of the industry through our affiliations with AFE [American Floral Endowment], SAF [Society of American Florists] and WF&FSA [Wholesale Florist and Florist Supplier Association],” said Jack Van Namen. “Now we will be working together to build a stronger network of sourcing, sales and distribution among our customers and suppliers.”

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