The new, purpose-built centre features a three-chambered warehouse with space for 6,500 pallets of frozen, chilled and ambient products. It represents a multi-million pound investment - with £1m being spent on the cold store alone.
Kevin Gunter, chief executive of Frozen Value, said that the move into the centre from its previous facilities had been the main focus for the business in the past year.
He added: “It’s been like moving from a tent to the Hilton. This is a major step for us. It’s a major change in the cycle of developing Frozen Value as a business and allows us to grow in a number of different ways.”
The centre will allow the company to supply up to 300 shops. Frozen Value runs 65 stores under the Jack Fulton brand and in The Grocer Top 50 ranking for 2005 the chain came in at number 22 with sales of £36m. Gunter said that the plan now was to grow store numbers both organically and through acquisitions. He added: “We are looking at both.”
Additionally, Frozen Value is exploring the viability of a brokerage service being offered to other retailers.
Gunter said that the new centre, together with Frozen Value’s ability to source product at competitive prices, would allow it to develop a third-party service for other independent retail chains.a