spar trolleys

AF Blakemore’s regional sales director Stephen Gale also announced “fundamental changes” to Spar’s fresh produce range

Blakemore Trade Partners has set itself the goal of helping its independent Spar retailers grow their margins and save money.

Neil Mercer, BTP sales director, announced the initiative at the group’s annual trade show at the Telford International Centre last week.

“It is our objective to create a platform that enables retailers to grow their margin by 1% every year. This is about us delivering a clear plan of retail solutions that if implemented brilliantly will create an environment to enable our retailers to deliver the target,” he said.

Mercer said the group wanted long-term partnerships with its retailers, helping them grow sales and margin through “strategic sales drivers” that were based on consumer insight, market trends and innovative thinking designed to provide growth and margin opportunities.

“We continue to put a lot of work into researching shopping missions and how our formats can deliver against these missions,” he said. “The way consumers shop is ever-changing and we are constantly responding and evolving to who they are and what they need, both now and in the future.”

Jerry Marwood, joint managing director of parent group AF Blakemore, announced new investment in warehousing, infrastructure and technology to the 1,200-strong audience.

A new commercial system would put the business at the forefront of technological innovation in the UK convenience market, he said.

Stephen Gale, AF Blakemore regional sales director, reported that Spar produce had been relaunched to enable retailers to respond to increasing consumer interest in healthy eating.

He announced “fundamental changes” in the packaging, pack sizes, quality and pricing of the fresh produce range, enabling retailers to build their sales without the challenges of high wastage.