SPAR parent, AF Blakemore & Son, one of the UK's leading food distribution and retail companies has continued its expansion drive by investing more than £3 million in new vehicles.
The Willenhall-based firm put the wheels in motion last September and has now taken delivery of 52 refrigerated trucks and trailers, financed by Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance in Birmingham.
The vehicles were purchased by the company's SPAR Distribution, Food Service, Wholesale and Fresh Foods divisions.
It takes the company's overall fleet, which operates across the country, to more than 200 vehicles. AF Blakemore was established in 1917 by Arthur Blakemore, who started the business as a store in Wolverhampton.
The company now employs more than 5,200 people and has an annual turnover in excess of £578 million.
A family-run business, it is now in its third generation of ownership. Current managing director Peter Blakemore took over the role from his father Frank in 1973.
AF Blakemore is the key player in the SPAR group and supplies about 750 stores across England and Wales.
In 1994 it purchased Tates, a grocery chain based in Grimsby, which now operates about 200 stores and is the largest of all the SPAR subsidiaries and the fourth largest convenience store operator in the UK.
In addition, the AF Blakemore group operates seven cash-and-carry outlets throughout the UK, plus a food service operation.
The company's headquarters at Longacres Industrial Estate in Willenhall is home to its fresh foods and shopfitting arms.
Jon Stowe, logistics director for SPAR Distribution, said: "The need to invest in new vehicles is a priority for the business and one that we are committed to."
Mr Stowe added the increased demand for the transport of chilled and fresh products from the SPAR side of the business meant it needed to increase the number of refrigerated trucks.
Keith Moore, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance regional manager, said: "AF Blakemore remains one of the UK's leading food distribution companies due to its ability to move with the times and adapt to the changes in the market.
"The management team places great importance on the need to invest in the business."