Spar wholesaler A.F. Blakemore achieves record inbound store recruitment

Rupert Morris, Group Trading Director at A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, speaking at the company’s annual Supplier Conference.

A.F. Blakemore said it saw record inbound store recruitment across its Spar estate over the last 12 months.

Addition of SOHO Coffee Co. and Bistrot Pierre to its foodservice client base has been another major highlight of the year, Jerry Marwood, group commercial managing director told the company’s annual Supplier Conference.

The transformation of Philpotts, which it acquired in March 2019, is well underway with new menus, store refits and the acquisition of new sites, he added.

Geoff Hallam, group operations managing director, said the company has set ambitious new space targets for retail operations across Blakemore Retail company-owned stores and Philpotts. It aims to grow the turnover of the Foodservice division by £100 million over the next five years.

Over the last year, the company has made £15m investment in a new group distribution centre in Bedford, a £6m investment in IT and a £2.3m investment in commercial terms for independent SPAR retailers, he revealed.

Summing up the event, Rupert Morris, group trading director, said:  “If you’re a supplier, we have it all at Blakemore’s. We’re a family business with 103 years of heritage and huge scale as one of the biggest privately owned companies in Great Britain.

“Through our divisions we have a view of the customer and their food consumption that is unrivalled amongst our competitor set, whether at home, on the go, dining out, on holiday, in education or in a corporate environment, and we can offer suppliers a route to each of those markets.”