Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore is to scrap delivery charges and cut the price of 500 key lines for retailers who sign up to a new set of terms designed to make them more professional and successful.
The new price structure, labelled Benefit, will apply to new recruits and existing Spar members in the Midlands who choose to subscribe. In return for the lower prices and no delivery surcharges, retailers will be expected to run the SparPos system in store, comply with set ranges and promotions, support nominated direct suppliers, maintain good store standards and high levels of loyalty and consider a review of their current delivery schedule.
The price reductions, which include big brands such as Nescafé and Coca-Cola as well as Spar own label, will deliver an average 6% margin enhancement. In addition, overrider discounts will kick in at £500,000-worth of purchases per year (excluding cigarettes) and the MRG surcharge will be phased out, according to compliance with approved ranges. Overall, the average store will benefit from £5,000 a year extra profit as a result of signing up to the scheme, Blakemore maintains.
Three more sales managers are also being recruited to enable each manager to make more regular calls on retailers.
The new terms were announced at a conference and trade show in Birmingham last week, attended by 600 retailers and suppliers. Blakemore retail sales director Mike Fitton said: "It was great to have such overwhelming support at the conference and to see everyone pulling together. It clearly showed that by working in partnership to improve sales and standards, we can all share the benefits."
Blakemore is also revamping the Meridian Spar guild and is encouraging more retailers to participate. The guild recently became a limited company to enhance accountability and financial controls, and the plan is to meet regularly with Blakemore to have an input on company policy and to agree key perfomance indicators. A quarterly magazine for members has also been launched.
Fitton added: "Only 25% of Spar retailers have any involvement in our guild and there is the perception that it is just for an elite group. But there is so much it can achieve in terms of support and advice to improve the effectiveness of retailers."

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