Fitch Lovell sites in closure threat
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• If foods group Booker succeeds in its £308m bid to takeover Fitch Lovell, the meat trader to sandwich maker, transport depots will be closed and vehicles sold to cut costs, warns Barry Skipper, chief executive of Booker's food distribution division.
Booker's 12 depots and its delivery trucks are all multitemperature, with frozen, chilled and ambient foods stored on the same premises, Fitch operates two separate distribution systems for ambient and frozen foods from its 30 depots; 14 of which are dedicated to frozen foods. Most of Fitch's ambient sites will be closed, although a few will be upgraded to multitemperature operation.
"We will aim to have two levels of distribution — dedicated frozen and dedicated multi-temperature,"'says Skipper. "We do not see ambient distribution meeting the needs of the growing catering market we serve."