Elwyn Davies, retail development director at AF Blakemore & Son, has retired after 45 years working in the grocery industry.

Davies started his retail career with his uncle RJ Davies in Aberdovey, mid-Wales, before joining Sainsbury's as a management trainee in 1968, where he was involved in implementing the new ordering system in 1970.

He left Sainsbury's to join Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore and Son in 1983 as sales manager and was made sales director in 1985. He subsequently became retail development director.

On his retirement this month, Davies said: "Retail is exciting and I always aimed to give customers what they wanted from their local c-store."

He has been a central figure in Spar's decision-making for years, serving as Spar Guild chairman.

Spar UK managing director Jerry Marwood said: "Personally, Elwyn has been one of those people who have always been at the end of the phone for a chat, or advice if I needed it - and also on a number of times when I hadn't realised that I needed it!"

Davies was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Convenience Retail Awards.