Spar retailers supplied by AF Blakemore are being offered interest-free development loans to encourage them to adopt Spar's Millennium store format. Speaking to 380 retailers at a Spar Meridian Guild meeting, AF Blakemore retail director Elwyn Davies said: "Spar's Millennium Store programme has never failed to deliver increased sales, and we are now converting between four and five a week. "But with competition increasing it is imperative that all stores reach Millennium standards and quickly." The loans, which are repayable over five years, will be in the form of bank loans direct to the retailer with Blakemore paying the interest in return for a five-year trading agreement. The minimum sum is £30,000 and Blakemore will help retailers draw up a business plan to present to the bank. Also at the meeting, Blakemore trading director David White urged retailers to join Spar's Multiple Retail Group, which offers members enhanced bonuses in return for increased retail disciplines. White said some independents who had joined MRG were seeing increases in earning in excess of £4,000 a year. {{NEWS }}