Lawrence Batley opened Britain’s first cash-and-carry warehouse in Huddersfield 44 years ago. Until his death last year at the age of 91, the entrepreneur built up a nationwide chain of outlets for retailers and caterers, supplying 25,000 different products from pot noodles to cigarettes. Sales of L Batley reached £649m in 2002, when it employed 2,311 staff. In the past two years the company has also moved into pet food, acquiring two businesses that it has rebranded as Batley’s Pet Products.
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