Weekly news summary 19th June 2015




A record-breaking 280 guests, including retailers, suppliers and AF Blakemore employees, attended the recent 2015 SPAR Meridian & Welsh Guild conference held in Sitges, Spain.

Peter Blakemore

Peter Blakemore: ‘The business is financially secure.’

Addressing delegates, Blakemore group managing director Peter Blakemore said: “We are living in times of great change, but we still share the same stability and values that have been around for 100 years, and that will be around for a further 100 years.

“We are financially secure and, more importantly, a family business defined by values – something that all in SPAR share. We are here for the long term with the purpose of growing our business sustainably.

“We are at the leading edge of convenience retail, with many new customers adding to good business growth.”

Blakemore Trade Partners managing director Jerry Marwood spoke about SPAR brand product development and introduction of the Shop & Win promotional campaign, while Blakemore Fine Foods commercial director Caoire Blakemore described the company’s new single point of ordering, delivery and invoicing.

Tel: AF Blakemore & Son (01902) 366066


Today’s Group has launched a Plan for Profit app, enabling retailers to access the group’s core ranging guide via smart phones and tablets while on the move.

The app allows traders to tap into a range of benefits, including exclusive deals, the chance to download the latest 2015-16 Plan for Profit guide, location of the nearest Today’s member wholesaler depot and advice from industry experts.

Managing director Bill Laird said: “We noticed that 20% of visitors to the Plan for Profit website access it using their mobile phone and 10% via their tablets.

“Retailers are increasingly needing to do business on the go and we’re helping them to respond by offering all the functionalities of the website in a handy, easy-to-use app.”

A further benefit is that group wholesalers can upload their latest deals.

Retailers downloading the app are being entered into a draw to win an iPad.

Tel: Today’s Group (0844) 247 0700


Appleby Westward trade show

Left to right: Appleby Westward’s sales director Nick Kenworthy, chairman Leo Crawford, and managing director Mike Boardman, and SPAR UK’s managing director Debbie Robinson.

Appleby Westward is to invest heavily in pricing support and store improvements within its SPAR south-west region.

The announcement was made by managing director Mike Boardman, who addressed retailers and suppliers at the wholesaler’s annual trade show in Exeter.

Some £275,000 is being channelled into enhanced pricing across categories including soft drinks, beer, household, health & beauty, grocery and fresh produce.

The company has allocated £2 million for co-investment in store development this year. It also plans to add another 20 stores to the SPAR south-west chain by December.

Another development, said Boardman, was a new training resource for retailers called ‘The Academy’, while Appleby Westward has also spent £500,000 on a new EPoS system for traders – ‘Prosper’ – which is currently being rolled out across the region.

“We are a company on the move,” he told visitors. “We are offering our retailers a complete package and partnership approach. And the local expertise is what makes us that bit more special.”

Also present at the Exeter event was Appleby Westward chairman Leo Crawford, chief executive of parent company BWG Group. He said: “Appleby Westward and SPAR UK are in a very strong position and it is important that everyone maintains higher standards for the long term. We have established a momentum, and that gives you all a great advantage.”

Crawford added that BWG’s joint venture with SPAR South Africa last year meant the company now had a very strong balance sheet.

Other speakers were SPAR UK managing director Debbie Robinson and Appleby Westward sales director Nick Kenworthy.

Tel: Appleby Westward (01752) 854000

Published Date: June 19, 2015
Category: Wholesale Industry News