Persistence pays off
Gilchrist figures out how to work with big retailers
Sunday, July 20, 2014 1:44 AM
Columbia entrepreneur Stephen Gilchrist’s unorthodox approaches are poised to change the way people do business.
Gilchrist, 43, who grew up in Greenwood, is chief executive officer of GSL Distributors L.L.C., a direct store delivery company. Gilchrist found an innovative way to get one of his favorite snacks on shelves of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart.
It all started with the purchase of pork rinds, along with a newspaper and a cup of coffee at a convenience store.
Wallace’s Old Fashioned Skins Inc., produced in Florence, offers a variety of pork skins and other snacks.
Gilchrist said he contemplated whether it was possible to get the product on shelves in every Wal-Mart in the United States.
“It took us two years to get it done,” Gilchrist said. “I first approached the manufacturer of the pork rinds. They said they had tried placing the product in a few Wal-Marts, but it didn’t work out. They looked at me like I was crazy when I suggested trying for every Wal-Mart in the United States.”
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