Lowrie’s operates as a cash and carry and delivered wholesaler from depots at Killingworth, Newcastle, and Hexham, Northumberland.
The deal will provide it with a third cash and carry and a contract catering business that will operate under the new name Lowrie’s Caterserve.
Managing director Peter Lowrie, who appeared recently in our Making Waves feature (The Grocer, October 30, p30), said: “In terms of cash and carry, the Penrith operation is an excellent fit for Lowrie’s.
“We have a substantial storage facility at Newcastle that already services our Hexham depot and will be able to fulfil the same role for Penrith.
“This will increase volume, provide a more competitive English range and we anticipate a healthy increase in turnover.”
Lowrie said the Penrith depot’s delivered business would benefit from being able to offer retailers Landmark’s Lifestyle Express fascia and its associated package of services.
Lowrie added: “In foodservice the excellent contracts and customers supplied by Penrith will form the basis for a drive
into the huge markets of Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria. We can now add a competitive alcohol range that will create the potential to supply hospitality businesses of all shapes and size.”
The deal leaves CJ Lang with four cash and carry depots trading as Martex at Dundee, Ayr, Cupar and Aberdeen. CJ Lang wholesale director Dick Smith said: “The geographical location of Penrith in relation to our headquarters in Dundee put a huge strain on our distribution facility and senior management time. The sale of the business will be beneficial to our Scottish customers and staff.”
He said it would enable the company to give greater focus to its Scottish business interests, particularly in the cash and carry and foodservice areas.
In addition to its C&Cs, CJ Lang is the Spar wholesaler for Scotland and also the largest independent retail group in Scotland with more than 70 company-owned Spar stores.