Over £1 million invested in fleet of new vehicles at Central England Co-op’s Leicester-based distribution hub

Central England Co-op has reaffirmed its commitment to its prized distribution operation by investing over £1 million in a range of new vehicles.

Colleagues at the retailer’s Food Distribution Centre and Chilled Distribution Centre, both based in Leicester, will soon be delivering items to hundreds of food stores up and down the country in brand new modes of transport thanks to the cash injection.

The money has been used to pay for three new trailers, one tractor unit and seven rigid lorries to ensure that everything from Irresistible chocolates to Fairtrade bananas arrive at stores on time for customers and members to drop in their baskets.

Transport Manager Gary Tomlinson said: “Our colleagues at both the Food Distribution Centre and Chilled Distribution Centre are the hidden gems of our operation – they work in the background to make sure that everything runs smoothly so that food gets into stores on time and we make our customers happy.
“This major investment is a great lift for them and is a great show of appreciation for their hard work and the vital role they play in the work we do as a community retailer.

“The modern fleet has a great, vibrant look and will also support our continuing efforts to be an environmentally responsible retailer.”

Hundreds of colleagues work across the sites 24-7, 364 days a year to ensure that 266 stores across 16 counties are stocked with everything from chocolate to fresh fruit every single day.

The centre also supplies goods to 54 stores for two other co-operatives.

Recent research revealed that a total of 14,639,462 cases of food were delivered to stores last year by 60 lorries which cover 2.7 million miles each year – showcasing the need for the major investment in the fleet of new vehicles.

In the last six weeks alone, the Chilled Distribution Centre, which receives, picks, assembles and delivers refrigerated and frozen foods, has dealt with 40,942 punnets of strawberries, 15,146 punnets of blueberries and 9,298 Co-op pepperoni and 8,706 Co-op margherita pizzas in anticipation of the bank holiday weekend.


Notes to editors


Picture caption: Gary Tomlinson, Transport Manager, and his team at the Chilled Distribution Centre, proudly showcase two of the new vehicles.


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.


Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to member activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop


For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative


Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390


Email –publicrelations@centralengland.coop