A Spar retailer has praised the “incredible” response from his symbol group after thieves ram-raided his store and stole his ATM.

Thieves broke into Mike Duffy’s 1,500sq ft store in Binfield, Berkshire, at 3am on 31 March and proceeded to tie chains around the ATM, drag it through the store and out of the window on to a waiting lorry.

However, after calling AF Blakemore, his Spar distributor, the “whole of Spar were on side” and set to work repairing the damage in time for the store to reopen the following day.

“Wayne Evans [local BDM] and two colleagues arrived within the hour and began repairing gondolas, straightening shelves and remerchandising. John Dolman [Spar Development Manager] was on the phone organising builders, the Spar epos engineer replaced smashed equipment (screen and printers) and rewired the network, and John attended and organised fascia repairs,” Mike said.

Mike said the incident highlighted the importance of the support of a good symbol group. “They were excellent, we all need good partners in times of need. The break in was devastating and many staff were in tears when they saw the damage,” he added.

“But Spar was incredible and there with support within the hour: you never really know how good a symbol group is until the chips are down. Spar are the best!

“We are now back trading thanks entirely to their support.”