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‘My Local’ enters administration

London, UK: Convenience store chain My Local has gone into administration.

Ninety-three of the retailer’s 125 stores will close, with the rest remaining open while buyers are sought.

If administrator KPMG cannot find buyers, the remaining stores will also shut. The chain was sold to Greybull Capital last year by supermarket Morrisons.

It has struggled to compete in the cut-throat grocery sector caught in a fierce price war.

My Local, formally known as Morrisons’ M Local, was sold to Greybull for £25m in a deal fronted by Mike Greene.

Greene said: “The last nine months has been one of the toughest retail trading periods that I have ever experienced and My Local has faced intense competition.

“The management team has been unable to return the business to profitability. For that I am truly sorry.”

Mark Orton, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Management have faced tough trading conditions and despite their best efforts to improve performance, My Local was ultimately unable to return to viability.

“Although the majority of stores have now closed, we are in active discussions with a number of interested parties in relation to both the remaining 32 premises that are trading and a small number of those that have closed,” he said.

Insulated vans for Thomas the Baker

York, UK: Thomas the Baker, based in Helmsley on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, is running two new Sprinter 313 CDIs with insulated Long bodies supplied by Northside Truck & Van.

Sprinter 313 CDI - Thomas the Baker (32)

The new vehicles have food-grade insulated conversions but no refrigeration units

Thomas started buying Sprinters some two years ago and 10 of its 16 vehicles are Merecedes.

The new vehicles also represent a departure in terms of their body design. Like their predecessors they have food-grade insulated conversions by GRP, of Leeds. This time, though, they have no refrigeration units – instead, each is fitted with a small chilled compartment kept cool by removable ice packs which are frozen overnight at the bakery.

Steve Simpson, production director, Thomas, says: “Our delivery runs are quite short – typically taking no more than two hours – and the ice packs are well capable of maintaining temperatures between 2 -5 degrees C within that time window,” he says.

“It’s a simpler, more cost-effective system, and well suited to our operation.”

Simpson said the Sprinters have proved to be extremely tough and dependable. “If ever we have even a minor problem the service team at Northside Truck & Van are very flexible, and will always do their utmost to fit us in at short notice. They’re real ‘commercial vehicle people’ and understand the needs of a business like ours.”

The operator pays a fixed monthly fee for its Mercedes-Benz Service Care contracts. “This is a new system for us,” Simpson says. “We’re trialling it, and have been impressed with what we’ve seen. The rates are highly competitive and the regular payment makes our running costs much more easily predictable.”

Thomas the Baker has 34 shops and two cafes, which extend from Richmond in the north to Wakefield in the south, that receive as many as three deliveries each morning from the Helmsley bakery.

Schmitz Cargobull takes refrigeration award

Stuttgart: Schmitz Cargobull won the Best Brand award in the trailer category of the ETM-Verlag Image Awards.

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Double victory for Schmitz Cargobull in the Image Awards‘ trailer category, left to right, Gerd Rohrsen, head of corporate public relations, Andreas Schmitz, chief executive, Frank Reppenhagen, head of sales Germany, and Dirk Mayer-Mallmann, head of brand management

The readers of ETM’s publications, Lastauto omnibus, Trans aktuell and Fernfahrer, voted for the 20th edition of the awards recognising the best commercial vehicles.

Schmitz topped the poll in the plane/curtainsider trailer and box/refrigerated body trailer categories for the first time.

Andreas Schmitz, chairman, Schmitz Cargobull said he was proud to receive the award. “We regard the award as confirmation of the value of our efforts and our customer-oriented products. The practice-oriented and efficient innovations from Schmitz Cargobull consistently prove their reliability every single day,” he said.

Schmitz Cargobull’s in-house development team also took second place in the refrigeration units category, repeating the success of the previous year. “Our increasing vertical system integration and ‘one-stop shop’ strategy, together with tailored financing, are proving their value for customers,” Schmitz said.

“In particular, the high-performance refrigeration unit with its intelligent control system and data recording, combined with the web-based monitoring system and unique proactive service management, provides reliable control when transporting temperature-controlled freight,” he said.

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