Sysco CEO: During coronavirus considering lending workers to retail customers in need

Distribution company would have its employees work for grocery clients to help keep shelves stocked

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The largest foodservice distribution company in the world is mulling the idea of having its own employees work on behalf of other companies they serve in order to keep its people working and keep up with the unpreceded demand from the coronavirus, according to Sysco CEO Kevin Hourican.

“We are in the process of pivoting our support to help the retail grocers in this country help keep their shelves in stock,” Hourican told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.

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Panicked shoppers, gripped by coronavirus anxiety, are emptying store shelves as they stock up on food, cleaning and sanitizing products.

A man shops in an aisle of mostly empty shelves in a Walmart in Cranberry Township near Warrendale, Pa., Friday, March 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Sysco has the second-largest truck fleet in America, Hourican said, and it is acting as a third-party trucking company for grocers. They are in the process of becoming a supplier of fresh produce, meat and poultry.

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The company’s balance sheet has $2 billion worth of cash on hand, according to Hourican, and is taking “dramatic reductions to variable expenses” in order to navigate its way through a difficult time.

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“Sysco is an extraordinarily strong company,” he said.

Hourican said the company is focused on helping small businesses in America and has jumped behind the National Restaurant Association’s request for the federal government to provide support restaurants across the country.

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