South Wales-based wholesaler Weekes Brothers will leave Key Lekkerland in January 2004 to join Sugro UK.

Key Lekkerland, which has a UK turnover of £400m, said the move fits its focus on building its business with convenience stores and off-licences.

Weekes Brothers exclusively serves CTNs and has 200 retailers on its books.

Speaking at Key Lekkerland’s 20th anniversary summit, organised in conjunction with William Reed Publishing, Key Lekkerland commercial director John Liptrot confirmed its strategy to build its Key Store fascia.

He said 350 retailers were currently part of Key Store, including 200 CTNs and forecourts and 150 c-stores.

“We will only be recruiting full c-store outlets,” he said. “We have no targets as yet - the focus is on quality, not quantity - but we want to see the brand expand southwards. We are seeing considerable interest in Scotland and the south west.”

Key Lekkerland is testing an EpoS-based system for centralised ordering and invoicing at select Odeon cinemas and 10 Fuelforce forecourt sites.

The group is rolling out voice activated picking designed by software firm Voiteq to its core wholesalers.