BY DAVID MALONEY, CHIEF EDITOR
SOMETIMES, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES COME ALONG THAT ARE TOO
good to pass up. That was the case for Atlas Distributing, an Auburn, Mass.-based
beverage distributor, when it acquired the rights to distribute Yuengling beer in the
central part of the state in 2013. Although landing the contract was a coup for the distributor—Yuengling hadn’t been distributed in the Bay State since the early 1990s—it
also created a space challenge for the company’s DC.
For Atlas, a family-owned and -operated beverage distributor founded in 1933, the
space problem had been brewing for some time. The company, which provides beer,
wine, and non-alcoholic beverages to more than 1,700 customers, carries about 1,500
different beverages, with nearly three-quarters of those stock-keeping units (SKUs)
consisting of beers. Owing to the boom in craft beers in recent years, its inventory of
these specialty items had been steadily increasing, putting a strain on the company’s
“When you take on any new brand, you have to figure out how to fit it into your
warehouse,” says Amanda Lamoureux, the company’s warehouse and inventory
The Yuengling contract essentially brought the problem to a head. To accommodate
the popular lager, Atlas would either have to add another 5,000 square feet of costly
storage space or make better use of the space it already had in its Auburn, Mass., DC.
STAYING ON TRACK
Given the costs involved, Atlas quickly rejected the idea of expanding the warehouse’s
footprint or renting outside space. Instead, it decided to focus on finding ways to
With its craft beer
needed a better
way to store and
handle heavy kegs.
provided the answer.
Roll out the barrels!