AF Blakemore has launched a new commission operator SPAR store model. For each store in the programme, Blakemore will own the business, with the self-employed commission operators responsible for developing sales and profitability.
Louis Drake, sales director of Blakemore Trade Partners, commented: “AF Blakemore’s new commission operator trading model will provide a platform for growth and expansion in the coming years by broadening our scope of retail outlets.
“The model will provide us with new opportunities to acquire sites that would not have fitted our previous trading models and therefore will bring us greater flexibility.”
SPAR Leominster in Herefordshire became the first SPAR store in Blakemore’s estate to be run by a commission operator after being relaunched last month. Formerly operated by Blakemore Retail, the site is now being run by MIH Traders Ltd, owned by Dasitha Gamage and Janaka Watowita.
The Leominster store is about to undergo redevelopment, which will enhance the food-to-go proposition and enable the operators to build on the sales growth achieved over the last six months of trading. Gamage commented: “AF Blakemore’s new commission operator store model is a great opportunity for retailers like us who want independence but extensive backing from a big business.
“Not only are we benefiting from the well-known SPAR brand, a dedicated business development manager, and training, marketing and supply chain support, but as a commission operator, we are also benefiting from Blakemore’s site investment.”
AF Blakemore now has three SPAR trading models: independent, commission operator and company-owned. The company’s SPAR estate currently consists of 277 company-owned stores and 689 independently run stores.