The company has identified 20 sites for potential franchises in 2004 and said 100 people had so far registered interest.
The target forms part of a total of 120 stores which Spar is seeking to add to its portfolio in the region within a year. They include 60 independent sites, 20 multiple sites and an additional 20 stores for its company-owned stores division Tates, number one in The Grocer Top 50 independent store groups.
The franchise option is aimed
purely at people who want to become single-store operators. AF Blakemore previously operated a licensing system which gave shop managers the ability to buy stores after 12 months. The latest scheme safeguards Spar’s business because those who sign up will not ultimately be able to sell their stores to Spar’s rivals.
AF Blakemore managing director Peter Blakemore said: “This is good business. There are talented people who have the ability to become good independents but who do not have the cash to buy a site.”
The wholesaler will locate sites, buy them and then lease them out to store managers who will oversee the day-to-day running of the shop.
Store managers will earn all the profit made by the outlet. Agreements will be renewable every five years. Other Spar wholesalers operate similar franchise programmes.
AF Blakemore retail director Elwyn Davies said: “We service the store in the same way as other Spar stores and will charge a franchise fee based on the cost of the store.”