Matt Teague 2023

A.F. Blakemore has unveiled a new collaborative structure, focusing on “company-owned and independent retailer growth”.

Matt Teague has been promoted to managing director, retail and will oversee both Blakemore Retail and Blakemore Trade Partners. He was previously managing director of Blakemore Retail.

A.F. Blakemore CEO Carol Welch explained the move. “It is recognised that through greater collaboration, the skills, talent and the sharing of knowledge and experience across company owned and independent Spar stores, we can accelerate our company owned and independent retailer growth.

“Matt and his team will be accountable for driving growth in fresh food to go and food for later, acquiring, partnering, extending, and re-furbishing stores to improve our retail sales per square foot and delivering excellent operational standards and service for our customers.”

Other changes include the former commercial director of Blakemore Trade Partners Louis Drake becoming retail sales director and being responsible for building sustainable sales and profitable growth through stronger commercial partnerships, and former commercial director, fresh foods Tom Blakemore becoming retail development director and being responsible for growing and developing the quality of the store portfolio across the Spar and Philpotts brands.

Teague will also be supported by store operations director Chris Bacon and head of formats excellence Steve Gale. According to A.F. Blakemore, the new structure is designed to foster collaboration both within the organisation and with external partners, enabling it to deliver its forward-looking strategy.

Welch added: “The last few years have brought their fair share of challenges and opportunities to A.F. Blakemore. Following a strong financial performance in 22/23 driven by our Spar retail estate, we are committed to sustaining this growth by meeting customer needs, establishing robust relationships with our valued suppliers and partners.”

Earlier this month, Spar UK managing director Louise Hoste announced she was stepping down from the role.