But its USP remains the same: a high quality service with a personal touch. As Miles Harvey, operations director at forecourt chain Park Garages - a key customer - attests: “I can pick up the phone and talk to James Ward if there is a problem. You can’t do that with P& H.”
Its main depot is in a more convenient location now that business has been transferred from AC Ward’s Kelvedon depot to Saxton’s larger depot at West Thurrock, just off the M25. Ward explains: “By combining our businesses at one site, we can take out significant costs. We can also offer a stronger range by adding our expertise in grocery with theirs in snacks, tobacco, confectionery and soft drinks.”
Ward supplies retailers trading under the Express and Day Today symbol fascias, but the focus will be encouraging more of its 1,000 retail customers to join KeyStore, the symbol for Key Lekkerland members.