General Business Services sold to Chris Apel

Menomonee Falls company inventories grocery stores

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Jerry Bannerman, president and owner of Menomonee Falls-based General Business Services Inc., has sold the company to Chris Apel. The deal was completed Jan. 27 for an undisclosed price.

General Business Services inventories grocery stores.
General Business Services inventories grocery stores.

Bannerman purchased GBS in 2008 from the founder. He sold the company to Apel because he is moving out of state for family reasons. Bannerman will remain on staff full-time for three months, then part-time for another three months, and then will consult for GBS for another year.

GBS has five Midwest offices. In addition to Menomonee Falls, it has offices in Beloit; Wisconsin Rapids; Amber Grove Heights, Minnesota; and Hickory Hills, Illinois.

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The company provides physical inventory services for grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores and other retailers with large inventories.

While GBS is in a competitive space, Bannerman said the company sets itself apart by its expertise and personal service. GBS can inventory a store in four to six hours, which could take a store’s employees much longer since they are likely not as experienced, Bannerman said.

“It can be very time-consuming if you are only doing it with your employees two, three, four times a year,” he said. “They’re not going to get very proficient. We’re experienced and we have the equipment to handle taking the physical inventory, whether we have to scan the UPCs or we have to put in a name and price.”

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Apel, who worked in the finance department at Journal Media Group Inc. until it was acquired in April 2016, said he found out GBS was for sale from Waukesha-based M&A advisory firm Lakes Business Group Inc., which helped complete the sale.

Apel declined to discuss any changes he may make at GBS as owner.

“I think it has a pretty good business model,” he said. “Jerry’s done a great job growing the company and running the company the last few years.”

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