Blakemore Trade Partners (BTP) is to invest £2.3m in its independent Spar customers over the financial year, after delivering on last year’s pledge to boost retailers’ margins by 1%.


Sales director Louis Drake

Announced at the Spar Retail Show (SRS) in Telford on Tuesday, the investment will include a 6% rebate on all purchases except tobacco and the availability of leasing options to all retailers at “competitive rates”, according to sales director Louis Drake.

“This is the best and most flexible proposition I’ve seen us put together,” he added.

BTP also announced a new ‘Store Cluster’ strategy aimed at helping retailers tailor their stores to their locations and demographic.

AF Blakemore group marketing Sarah Ellis said: “The customers who visit our stores are not all the same, and a ‘one size fits all’ approach is no longer an option for retailers who want to remain current and competitive.

“Our new strategy recognises both the customer need and commercial opportunity for us to create a store estate that has the flexibility to respond to the needs of the audiences it serves. We want our stores to be the most convenient places to shop.”

AF Blakemore has analysed more than 500 million transactions of Spar shoppers to understand the core missions and enable the business to segment its Spar estate across five cluster types, which will determine the space, range, pricing and marketing promotional strategy for individual stores.

Meanwhile, Nikki Rogers, food solutions & retail proposition director, pledged that Blakemore would “get better” at sustainability, fresh, and its free from offer.

“Aldi and Lidl are making really bold statements about sustainability – we have to get better at this, it’s now mainstream.

“Every category has to have gluten free and free from products,” she added.

AF Blakemore group managing director Jerry Marwood also underlined the company’s commitment to long-term sustainable growth.

At the evening awards ceremony, retailer Richard Barron, owner of Barron’s of Chesterfield, won the prestigious Baldwin Cup.